Birks of Aberfeldy and the Rob Roy Way
This circular walk takes in the scenic Birks of Aberfeldy (highly recommended for Autumnal colour) and a section of the Rob Roy Way long distance walking trail. The walk itself is straightforward on tracks and paths though it is quite undulating at times. Both a shorter and a longer option are described depending upon how far you wish to walk.
- Distance: 15.5km / 9.6 miles or 13.5km / 8.3 miles(shorter option)
- Ascent: 500m / 1600 feet
- Terrain: Unsurfaced paths with steps and landrover tracks
- Start / finish: Birks of Aberfeldy car park (free). Public transport, refreshments available in Aberfeldy a short walk away.
From the car park follow the path alongside the river to where it splits. The route up the east side of the burn is the more scenic taking the walker past numerous waterfalls and cascades. Cross over the footbridge and proceed up the hill on the east side using the obvious path and steps. On reaching the top of the Birks at the Falls of Moness, the path crosses back over the burn on a wooden footbridge. After crossing this bridge, keep left on a path through the woods and then keep left again for a second time on a trodden path. The path will bring you out to a tarmac road (Urlar Road) where you want to turn left.
Follow the road for about 800m to reach the farm at Urlar where signs indicate the footpath around the outside of the farm. Follow these signs, passing through some gates and crossing a grassy field. On the far side of the field the main track is rejoined and you should turn left (pass through another gate). After the gate, the track splits. Take the right hand fork which forms part of the Rob Roy Way. This track crosses rough moorland and offers open views although somewhat marred by the presence of powerlines and windfarms.
After a further 1.5km you can decide whether to do the longer or shorter route.
If opting for the shorter route go through a gate on the right hand side at NN 8294 4554 (a cattle grid and the edge of a plantation of young trees are useful landmarks) on to a grassy track. Almost immediately, the path splits. Keep left at this point heading in a roughly south west direction for a while up a hillside. Follow this grassy track for about 1km over the moorland until it meets with the “pylon track” where you want to turn right.
For the longer route, stay on the landrover track for a further 1.4km until a very obvious junction is reached with the “pylon track”. Turn right at this point (leaving the Rob Roy Way) following the track alongside the pylon line. After about 1.6km the shorter route joins from the right hand side.
Approximately 1km beyond the point where the two routes meet, the track passes through a gate into a forestry area. The track now winds its way down the hillside to reach two junctions where you need to turn right both times. The remainder of the walk is again on a section of the Rob Roy Way and there are core path arrow markers along the route. Leaving the pylons behind, the track enters further forest and about 700m from the start of the forest an arrow signpost points left away from the main forest track. Follow this signed path to reach the house at Upper Farrochil. Follow the waymarked route for about 1.6km through pleasant open woodland until it meets the tarmac Urlar Road. Turn right for a short distance, then turn go left onto a signed path in the woods. This path will bring you back to the Falls of Moness area.
Instead of crossing the footbridge and returning via the east side of the Birks, an alternative woodland route is available on the western side of the burn. Follow this path downhill above the river to return to the car park.