Old Military Road from Blairgowrie
Start location: Hotel, Bridge of Cally (NO 138 512)
End location: Lornty Bridge (NO 170 464)
Geographical area: Perth, Kinross and Stirling (part)
Path Type: Military Road
Path distance: 7.2km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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In 1976, William Taylor asserted that this path "must be regarded as one of the best remaining stretches of military road for walkers". However, it seems to be walked very rarely now.
The first mile southbound on the Cateran Trail is fine. When the road branches off left from the main path, it is only just discernable, as it is overgrown with trees, and a pheasant rearing pen is built across it. It emerges from the trees into open moorland and is very obvious, although overgrown with heather which is very beautiful in August, and straight as a die. There is a rather broken down bridge and there is not much of a path although the line is clear. The middle section has no path but the walking is on grass before entering a planted shelter belt where the road was gives the line to travel. Just west of Middle Mause the road is used for field access and so is obvious although overgrown, going down to the bridge at Lornty and on to Blairgowrie.
OS Landranger 53 (Blairgowrie & Forest of Alyth)
This small section of military road is part of the road that ran from Coupar Angus to Fort George through Braemar, Corgarff and Grantown-on-Spey. This was a 100 mile stretch of road and took 9 years to build, between 1748 and 1757. Built under the auspices of Major Caulfeild, it must have taken a very good line as the majority of the modern road follows it, this part being a notable exception. There is a more easily walked section near Corgarff, and another north of Grantown-on-Spey.
During the 1750s Caulfeild was undertaking other massive road building projects and so by the 1760s travellers would have been able to go by military road, from Corgarff to Stonehaven via Aberdeen, and to Portsoy or Fochabers by way of Huntly. A road was later built to Fettercairn, which gave people another option from Corgarff.
The Bridge of Lornty is a modern bridge that incorporates the arches of two earlier bridges, one of these is almost definitely part of the military road. The other is locally thought to have Roman origins but this is unlikely. The remains of another bridge was reported at 159 494 and had the date 1875 inscribed on the south parapet, probably referring to when the military bridge was renovated. However this report was in the 1970s and it is unclear how much of it still exists.