A relatively short and easy walk to the summit of 702m Graham and Marilyn, Duchray Hill. To add a bit of interest to the walk, an alternative descent route is described although this is a bit rougher than the ascent. There is also the option of including 557m Creag na Bruaich on the descent.
- Distance: 9.3km / 5.8 miles (including Creag na Bruaich)
- Ascent: 480m / (including Creag na Bruaich)
- Terrain: Mix of forest track, ATV track, trodden path, and off path on tussocky grass and heather hillside
- Start/finish: At end of forest track near Dalnaglar Castle, Glen Shee (NO 149 644) off B951. Room for parking at end of track. Nearest refreshments the Wee House of Glenshee or Bridge of Cally Hotel.
The walk starts very easily by simply following the forest track up the hill. Ignore any side tracks/branches and stick with the main track. As height is gained, the tree cover thins out a bit and the views are more open. The track goes up to almost 550m at the edge of the forest where it becomes more of an ATV track on the open hillside. Continue upwards on the track / trodden path until it disappears, after which the remainder of the ascent to the first top of Cairn Derig is on easily negotiated short heather and blaeberry.
On reaching the wall junction at the 640m summit of Cairn Derig, cross the wall and go through the gate. From here it is a straightforward walk following the wall / fence in a north easterly direction on grassy hillside to reach the summit of Duchray Hill. Either side of the wall or fence can be used. The easiest option is probably to stick between the fence and wall but there is a bit of an ATV track on the north west side of the fence. On reaching the summit area, the actual summit is at the wall junction not the cairn which nevertheless is well placed for the view into Glen Lochsie.
To make a circular walk, descend north west from the cairn. The path soon peters out and the descent is on slightly rougher tussocky grass and heather. At the coll between Duchray Hill and Creag na Bruaich an obvious ATV track crosses the hillside. This track can now be used for the descent. However, before doing so it is possible to make a detour up the steep heathery slope of Creag na Bruaich. From this summit is is probably easiest to return by the ascent route as the direct route south is rather steep. It is not necessary to return all the way to the coll though as it is possible to turn south down grassy slopes before the slight rise.
Meet the ATV track mentioned earlier which now provides an easy, if somewhat wet, descent down to the farm buildings at Dunmay. From here follow the rough track which forms part of the Cateran Way southwards, keeping left after passing a pond. Alternatively it is also possible to walk around the edge of he field alongside the river. The waymarked Cateran Trail passes Dalnaglar Castle (private) and joins the public road for a short distance to return to the start of the walk.