Braes of Foss
A gateway to Schiehallion
This small forest is the starting point for the most popular route up Schiehallion, one of Scotland's famous Munros (mountains over 3,000 feet). Its name comes from Gaelic words meaning 'fairy hill of the Caledonians'.
An impressive, almost perfect cone from across Loch Rannoch, it's one of the easiest to climb in good weather. The John Muir Trust owns the eastern part of the mountain, and has done major work to improve the path to the summit.
There's space for up to 20 vehicles but the car park can get busy, especially at weekends.
It's £2 to park here all day. Find out more about pay parking.
Grab a bite to eat
The nearest places to eat are in Kinloch Rannoch and on the north shore of Loch Tummel.
Mountain biking trails
Climbing the fairy hill
The path up Schiehallion is not waymarked but is clear and easy to follow, although the final sections are rough and rocky. You will need good walking boots, warm and waterproof clothing, and food and drink. Allow at least 5 hours for the 6¼ mile (10km) trip. Check our advice on hillwalking before you set off.
Science parties on the hillside
Schiehallion was the site of a remarkable experiment in 1774 to estimate the mass of the Earth. It involved making careful observations of the stars to establish a true vertical line, and measuring the tiny distance by which the mountain pulled a pendulum away from it. It also involved drawing an accurate plan of the mountain, making what was probably the first use of contour lines to show height.
Nevil Maskelyne, the Astronomer Royal, spent over four months living on the hill working on the project. He had to cope with appalling weather, which made star gazing difficult. But it also sounds as if there were some enjoyable parties in his temporary observatory. Maskelyne wrote that "the neighbouring gentlemen ... often paid me visits on the hill, and gave me the fullest conviction that their country is with justice celebrated for its hospitality and attention to strangers."
How to get here
Turn west off the B846 between Tummel Bridge and Aberfeldy at Tomphubil, at the top of the hill close to Loch Kinardochy. Head west for about a mile. The car park is on the left. The car park is at grid reference NN 752 557.
PH16 5NN is the nearest postcode.
If the weather doesn't look good enough for a high level walk, try Carie, Allean or Drummond Hill. All are just a short distance away and offer a chance to stretch your legs in the shelter of the forest.
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