Traverse the trail at Tain Hill
Tain Hill may sound daunting but most of the climbing has already been done by the time you arrive at the car park. What's left is a pleasant, steady ascent through sheltered pinewoods to a fabulous view over the Dornoch Firth. Willowy ferns, soft mosses and crisp heathers line the forest floor and small birds - crossbills and a variety of tits - call out through the trees.
Our map guide to the Forests of Ross and Cromarty will help you discover Tain Hill and surrounding woodlands.
You'll find public toilets and places to eat in Tain.
Pulpit Rock Trail
A short climb through the twisted pines to Tain Hill, where Pulpit Rock provides a fine vantage point across Tarbet Ness and the Cromarty Firth.
Uneven gravel surface throughout. Some fairly steep slopes.
1 miles / 1.8 km Allow ¾ hour
Mountain biking trails
Steps to a mystery
At the very top of Tain Hill is the mysterious Pulpit Rock. Steps lead up the side of a large boulder to what seems to be a lectern. It's easy to think that it was used by preachers for outdoor sermons but there is no evidence to support this. All we know is that the rock is probably a glacial erratic, a boulder left here by a glacier during the ice age. And the steps... well, what do you think?
Deep in the forest is another local secret, for there are several quarry pits here, hidden by the trees. They supplied the gorgeous amber and golden sandstone you can still see in Tain's oldest buildings. Explore the history of the area at Tain and District Museum.
How to get here
Tain Hill is two miles west of Tain in Easter Ross, just off the A9. From the Tain bypass you'll see brown signs to 'Tain Hill forest walk'. Turn off the A9 here and follow Quarry Road inland for 1 ¼ miles (2 km). The car park is at the end of the tarred road at grid reference NH 753 813.
IV19 1PX is the nearest postcode, halfway along Quarry Road.
Tain is served by several trains and buses from Inverness and Thurso, and is about 2 miles (3.2 km) from the forest. See Traveline Scotland for details.
There are easier trails in Aldie Burn just around the corner, as well as across the Dornoch Bridge in Camore and Skelbo. For a longer and more challenging trail follow the Strathrory to Scotsburn Drove Road or explore the bog woodland of Monadh Mòr.
For nearby trails in Sutherland see the Forests of the Far North leaflet.
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