Kirk Road through the Lairig Ghallabhaich
Start location: Innerwick (NN 587 475)
End location: roadside at Dall (former Rannoch School) (NN 597 569)
Geographical area: Perth, Kinross and Stirling (part)
Path Type: Drove Road
Path distance: 10.2km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians, Suitable for Bikes
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From the church at Innerwick in Glen Lyon, 1km east of Bridge of Balgie, follow the track NNW up the east side of the stream, then in 1km turn NNE to the Lairig Ghallabhaich (478m), also known as the Kirk Road. Continue down along the Allt Droilichean and into the forest until the stream turns northeast. At that point there is a cross-roads, go straight ahead past a small lochan to reach Dall (the former Rannoch School) at the foot of the Dall Burn.
If you're thinking of biking this old route, we hear it includes a little bit technical landrover track, but is beautiful and super enjoyable. To get a further idea of what to expect, here is a link to Markus Stitz' video which includes this route, the Drove Road between Dalnaspidal and Loch Rannoch and the Callander & Oban Railway.
OS Landranger 51 (Loch Tay)
This old route is known as the Kirk Road, but its religious history is relatively uncertain. The present church at Innerwick is a Telford parliamentary church, built in 1828 replacing a earlier building. Inside the church is an eighth century bell, known as St Adamnan's bell. Innerwick lies in the parish of Fortingall. Said to be one of the largest parishes in Scotland, the Old Statistical Account (1792) gave its length of 37 miles and breadth as 17 miles. As it encompassed the districts of Glenlyon and Rannoch as well as Fortingall, it would be unsurprising if this route linking Loch Rannoch and Glen Lyon enabled the minister or congregation to travel to church. If anyone has further information about this old route's use as a kirk road, the Heritage Paths project will be pleased to hear from them.
Glen Lyon is relatively remote from other centres of population. In 1681, in recognition of this, a warrant was granted for two annual fairs to be held at Innerwick on the first Thursdays of September and November. The warrant specifically noted that Innerwick lay about 30 miles from a royal burgh and its fairs would provide necessities, so this route may well have been used to travel to and from those fairs. One fair at Innerwick is still mentioned by the time of the New Statistical Account (1838).
The route from Innerwick to Dall is shown as a road on James Stobie’s 1783 map of Perthshire; it can also be seen on Aaron Arrowsmith's 1807 map of Scotland. This route is also part of an old drove road which can be picked up again further south heading through the Lairig Breislich to Duncroisk and thence to Killin.