Kenmore to Amulree track
Start location: Kenmore (NN 775 452)
End location: Amulree (NN 900 368)
Geographical area: Perth, Kinross and Stirling (part)
Path Type: Rural Path, Drove Road
Path distance: 17km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians, Suitable for Bikes
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Newsflash: the Crieff & Strathearn Drovers' Tryst sees part of this old track walked from Amulree to Loch Freuchie (and on to Meall Dubh) on 13th October 2017. Other historic routes featured as part of the festival (7-14 October) include General Wade's Military Road, the hill track from Comrie to Callander, the Ardtalnaig to Comrie Drove Road and the Rannoch Drove Road.
At Amulree, a right of way signpost ‘Footpath to Kenmore’ stands where a private road heads west from Amulree bridge. Follow this road up Glen Quaich along the north bank of the River Braan and Loch Freuchie and on by Tirchardie to join the road over the Lairig Mile Marcachd to Kenmore. Lairig Mile Marcachd - the pass of the mile of riding - is so named because of the level part on the summit.
A road has linked Amulree and Kenmore for a very long time and a route is shown in Roy's Military Survey of 1747-55. The route shown in Roy is the road that runs to the south of Loch Freuchie although both roads are later shown in early OS maps. It looks like the road shown in Roy was the more important of the two, but the track to the north will see far less vehicular traffic and so is likely the more pleasant to walk.
Interestingly the route shown in Roy goes completely off the track that we currently use at NN804421 to the west and crosses the current road at the car park before entering Kenmore from the east. None of this old section of the road is shown on current maps and so is likely to be completely gone.
Haldane's book The Drove Roads Of Scotland (1952) suggests that the drove road between Kenmore and Amulree continued in use until the early nineteenth century. Haldane also refers to an earlier more nefarious use of the route in quoting Mackintosh of Borlum - in 1742, the latter wrote of Kenmore, "a very frequent and beaten Pass for driving stolen cattle from Perthshire, Stirlingshire, Kinross and Clackmannan into Glenlyon, Rannoch, Breadalbane, Glencoe, Appin and Lorn".
The droving history can be taken further back than that though as the Amulree Hotel (now sadly closed) was founded as a drovers' inn in 1714. Sitting as Amulree does at a crossroads of old routes, it is perhaps no surprise that it had a Tryst in May, which existed even before the more famous Tryst was established at Crieff.
These days, part of this old route is used by the Amulree to Aberfeldy section of the Rob Roy Way, a long distance route from Drymen to Pitlochry.