Three Easy Ochils and Geordie’s Wood
Three Ochils summits (Auchlinsky Hill (440m), Commonedge Hill (468m) and Seamab Hill (439m)) are easily attained on this 6 mile circular walk. The walking is easy on grassy paths and forest track although some lower sections can be a bit muddy after heavy rain. There is about 370m of ascent in total. The ascent of the hills is made through the Woodland Trust area of Geordie’s Wood. There are numerous grassy paths through the woodland most of which are not shown on OS maps. You may find the map on the Woodland Trust Glendevon leaflet useful for this section of the walk, especially if you want to explore some of the other paths.
- Distance: 9.5 km / 6 miles
- Ascent: 375 m / 1200 feet
- Terrain: Mostly paths and tracks. Feint rough path through firebreak to Auchlinsky Hill.
- Start / finish: Castlehill Reservoir layby NN 997 032 on the A823 near Muckhart.
Start from the large Castlehill Reservoir layby on the A823 at grid ref NN 997 032. Opposite the layby is a water authority private road leading up to the Glenquey Reservoir. Walk up this road until you reach a very obvious gate and signpost on your left. This is the start of both the “red” and “green” waymarked trails. Follow the marker posts uphill alongside a wall until you reach a picnic table at a junction. Go right at the junction following the red arrow markers and black arrows for the Reservoir Trail. When you reach a deer fence with a large gate, go left uphill on an unmarked path. At the next T junction close to a wall go right on what is part of the green waymarked trail. This trail joins a forest track where you turn left to continue uphill.
Go into the forest and keep straight on (right) at the track junction. 180m after the junction is a wide firebreak on your left. If you want to take in the summit of Auchlinsky Hill, leave the track and head up through the firebreak. If you prefer not to walk off path, then stay on the forest track and follow it round the hill to the next junction where you keep right.
If heading up the hill, go up the firebreak for 250m until it turns right and shortly afterwards you will be at the high point. The summit is not marked and because of the trees there are no views. Continue on in the firebreak now going downhill for 400m to reach a forest track where you turn right. When you reach a track junction you go left.
Follow the forest track which will take you out of the forest on to the open hill. At the point where the track ends, a grassy path goes left, crossing a fence at a stile to reach the summit of Commonedge Hill. There are views south from here over the surrounding fields.
The path continues eastwards along the crest of a broad ridge to the rounded Seamab Hill. Although the lowest of the three hills, Seamab has the best views and is marked with a small cairn.
There are a number of paths descending from Seamab which will take you to the Muckhart area from where you can use the Reservoir Trail to return to Castlehill. For the shortest option, descend to the north east with the trees to your left. On a clear day you will see Castlehill Reservoir ahead of you. At a path junction go left and walk towards a clump of pine and spruce trees. There is a path through the trees which joins the Reservoir Trail but it is currently (early 2017) closed due to fallen trees. To avoid this path, keep right before reaching the trees and go through a large gate into the trees onto an obvious track. Use the track to walk around the outside of the water works until you reach a tarmac road where you turn right.
Almost immediately, go left into the trees on the Reservoir Trail (marked with black arrows). The path is well marked as it twists and turns a bit before running alongside a ditch and then a stone wall. After another gate the path widens and soon the green trail joins the Reservoir Trail. Stay on the path until you reach a junction where both the green and red trails go right. This is the junction with the picnic table that you passed earlier. Follow the waymarkers and then turn right when you reach the water authority road at the gate. Walk down the road back to the main road and the layby.