Discover ancient history in the woods of Grandtully
This part of Scotland was long occupied by the Picts, the Celtic tribe who built the prehistoric fort of Caisteal Dubh (The Black Castle). It gave defenders unrivalled views over the River Tay and beyond.
You'll see lots of juniper trees in the woodland here. Juniper was traditionally used for smoke-free firewood, and its blue-black berries for medicine or to flavour gin. It's now one of the UK's threatened species of native conifers.
Find out more about Grandtully and the surrounding area with our guide to the Forest Park.
The car park here is small, with space for about 4 cars. If it's full when you arrive, there is some additional space at the entrance to the forest.
Where to find life's essentials
The closest town is Aberfeldy, where you'll find toilets and a good selection of places to eat and drink. You'll also find refreshments in the nearby village of Ballinluig.
Caisteal Dubh Trail
A steady climb through the colourful birch forest to an Iron Age hill fort at Black Castle with commanding views over Strathtay.
Largely uneven gravel surface with continuous moderate slope for two miles. Rough and narrow grassy section at the top, with some steep slopes.
3 ¾ miles / 6.0 km Allow 2½ hours
When the local Picts lived here, the stone ramparts of the fort didn't just keep out invaders, they kept out the other locals – wolves and...possibly bears.
Stone cairns stand guard a little below the fort. Some were built in the 1800s but no one knows why they're here. Do you have a theory?
Mountain biking trails
How to get here
From the A9 at Ballinluig, take the A827 towards Aberfeldy for about 4 miles. Cross Pitnacree Bridge and turn left. Grandtully Forest is approximately 1 mile on the right. The car park is at grid reference NN 934 523.
PH9 0PY is the nearest postcode.
Perthsire’s Big Tree Country has more about the area’s heritage trees and trails.
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