Little Glenshee and Craig Gibbon
A moorland walk to reach the wooded hilltop of Craig Gibbon with its well preserved obelisk. This is grouse moorland country and land management activities may be taking place from time to time.
- Distance: 12.7km / 7.9 miles
- Ascent: 440m / 1440 feet
- Terrain: Mostly landrover track walking. A short section on trodden paths including a somewhat steep bit.
- Facilities: Small car park at Little Glenshee (grid ref: NN 988 340). If approaching from the south it is not necessary to drive through the ford to reach the car park.
From the small car park head cross the river on the wooden footbridge and use a trodden path to reach the road on the opposite of the river. A deer gate and stile provides easy access on to a landrover track across the moorland. Approximately 600m from the road the landrover track splits. Take the left fork heading up hill skirting around the slopes of the 456m Marilyn Creag na Criche. Keep to the main track, ignoring some side tracks, heading in the general direction of a skyline cairn. On reaching the area of the cairn it can be reached by a short diversion from the track. Continue on the landrover track aiming towards another cairn again ignoring the side tracks. This next cairn is the 392m summit of Carn Tuile and is actually the high point of Craig Gibbon, the tree clad hill ahead. Again Carn Tuile can be easily reached by a short diversion. On returning to the landrover track continue on toward Craig Gibbon losing a small amount of height until an obvious trodden path appears to the right. As the hill is crested the views into Glen Garr and over to Craig Obney open up. Use the trodden path across the moor to reach the woodland. Cross the wall where it is broken. Once into the trees a further trodden path leads the walker to the obelisk on the summit. Very little information seems to be available on the obelisk other than it was constructed by a Colonel William Mercer in the 1800s as a means of identifying his own hill from his house at Meikleour. See Statistical Account 1938.
The return route can be varied by heading back to the broken wall and turning left onto a quad bike track around the outside edge of the trees. On reaching the southern side of the trees there is a trodden path through the bracken to the right. This may be a little hard to find when the bracken is at its highest. Follow this path south east down the hillside through the bracken/heather. There is a short steep section of hillside which must be negotiated before an obvious grassy track is reached. Turn right onto the grassy track, heading slightly uphill past a waterfall. If you would rather not tackle this path, an alternative is to return back to the landrover track and follow it back in the direction you came for approximately 1.2km to reach a junction. Turn left at the junction (away from your outward direction). This track heads downhill to reach a junction where there is a deer gate and large stile to your right. If you came down the hillside on the trodden track follow the grassy track past the waterfall. Approximately 600m beyond the waterfall the junction with the deer gate and stile to your left is reached.
Go through the pedestrian gate (or over the stile) following the main track downhill past Strath-head Wood. There are many tracks on this side of the hill, some of which don’t appear on the maps. However, there are some helpful signpost signs from time to time pointing the way to Little Glenshee. After passing the woods you can either stick with the main track following it downhill, keeping right at two junctions to reach a couple of ponds. Alternatively, the corner can be short cutted by picking up a grassy track to your right which goes around the western side of the second pond before rejoining the main track. For the remainder of the walk stay on the main track, keeping left after fording a river (high water levels may result in wet feet). Keep with the main track alongside the pleasant Loch Tullybelton. After the loch it is about 1km to the junction where the outward route went up hill and then a further 600m back to the roadside.