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Deuchary - at last

Deuchary - at last


Postby Dot on the landscape » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:19 pm

Route description: Loch Ordie and Deuchary Hill, Dunkeld

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Deuchary Hill

Date walked: 23/02/2016

Time taken: 5.25 hours

Distance: 15.2 km

Ascent: 637m

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There is so much on offer within an hour of Dunkeld and having been on a few walks in Angus, Fife and Perthshire, we decided to walk up one of our local hills. We've already been up Birnam Hill, so this time we opted for Deuchary, having been up to the wonderful Loch Ordie numerous times in various seasons. We kept talking about 'doing' this hill, but never really got round to it until now. Definitely worth the visit for the widereaching views all round from the summit.


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We parked at the small parking area at the edge of Loch of Craiglush, just to the north of Loch of the Loweson the A923 just a few miles wet of Dunkeld. From there, it's a very straightforward track used by the off-road experience group, so it's very easy going. 30 minutes later there's the Glack dog kennels – it's where this path joins the one from Cally car park (which is a slightly longer route to this point). It's a bit muddy in places here, particularly at the wee bridge, but not too bad. Through the gate at the kennels and up towards lovely Mill Dam – one of our favourite spots to sit and watch the swans, ducks and buzzards

P1060536 small.jpg
Swans this time....waddling and slipping on the frozen loch

Choices for the walk are to take the lower path, past Rotmell and Dowally lochs (both are fantastic any time of year) or the upper path to the east of Mill Dam, which rises quite quickly alongside the woods overlooking the loch.

signpost.jpg
Clear signpost

We took the higher route. The ground was frozen, so nice and easy walking, but I know that it can be wet and a bit boggy along this stretch.

A second decision point comes at a small bridge, as the trees thin out and the terrain becomes more moorland.

Junction at bridge.jpg
Decisions, decisions...OK Right it is, to take the steeper/quicker route to the summit

Carrying on straight ahead skirts the west side of the hill and round towards Loch Ordie....or turn right to tackle the muddy and steeper route to arrive at the summit from the south. We took the latter for an anti-clockwise route. It is very muddy, but fortunately still a crust of ice to make it passable – though one or two detours were needed to get round some particularly nasty stretches. I've walked along this path before – it can be really wet!

Past a gate and one of several old bits of machinery dotted around, the path meanders for a mile or so, before bending towards a cleuch between two steep hill sides, there's a burn running between them and the path bends to the right. Be careful not to walk too far past this or you'll miss an indistinct path that cuts sharply left and up into the trees.

Junction at burn.jpg
You can just (only just) make out the worn grassy route to the left, just before the tree

This is the start of the steepest section with a touch of scrambling, which has some stretches that are just like footprints going up stairs, I would expect them to be slippery when wet, so care is needed. The path comes and goes a little from here to the summit, which isn't actually seen until just about at the top.

The trig point comes into view, before the vista opens up in all directions.

First view of trig.jpg
Trig suddenly appears

Wow. Well worth the effort.

We had walked up Mount Blair the day before – you can see it from here with the transmitter clearly visible. Scheihallion, Chonzie and one of my favourites, Ben Vrackie, are easy to spot.

Sheihallion over lochan.jpg
Scheihallion to the west

Looking southwards, the East & West Lomonds are clear – funny how you can spot them from just about anywhere, they're so distinctive. You can even make out the Pentlands too.

Lomonds.jpg
South to East and West Lomonds

The highest point a few metres from the trig is the small rocky outcrop

IMOT at summit.jpg
Inmyowntime at the rocky summit with the distinctive white strip of stone

Loch Ordie is lovely any time of year, but best (in my opinion) in winter when frozen

Snow over Ordie.jpg
Snow shower coming in over Ordie

More wildlife- great to see some fallow deer lazing in the crisp sunshine

Fallow at top.jpg
Fallows watching us closely

We came down the north side past the little Lochan na Beinne, which was frozen.

Lochan.jpg
Looking from lochan back up to summit

A few more boggy patches as the path becomes more obvious and wends its way down towards the trees again, offering great views of Vrackie and Schiehallion.

Coming down to trees.jpg
A bit boggy - will be worse when ice and snow thaws

The path eventually comes to a clear crossroads – right takes you to Loch Ordie itself, ahead takes you to the main lower path back to Mill Dam and go left to take the higher path and re-join the route at the little bridge. We took the latter and missed out the extension to Loch Ordie.

more deer.jpg
Yet more locals keeping a close eye on us.

Back past Mill Dam, the kennels and back to the car – around 5 hours in all, but with a lot of stops for pictures and a long tea break at the top to take in the views.

A lovely mix of a walk, plenty of woodland, moorland, lochs, wildlife, a bit of scrambling and tremendous views. Brilliant.

There are loads of walks in this area, many combinations for variety and distance – but that's for another time – for now, this hill has just turned blue on our maps :o)
Dot on the landscape
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Re: Deuchary - at last

Postby Gordie12 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:02 pm

The swans at Mill Dam were having a bit of a disagreement with a couple of geese this morning when I went past (the swans won).

Deuchary Hill is always worth a climb, I love the views to the north and to the west and you looked like you had a good day to be up there. Some great photos.
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Re: Deuchary - at last

Postby Dot on the landscape » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:44 pm

Hi Gordie12....yeah, it's usually the ducks that come sniffing around near the bench at the start of Mill Dam....they were nowhere to be seen that day though.

I've done the walk up to Ordie when properly frozen - some great photos from that trip, of Ordie, and the 3 wee ones on the way from Cally
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Re: Deuchary - at last

Postby LoveWalking » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:19 pm

Great report, thanks for posting. I was up there today. Had originally planned to go up and down from the south side until I saw this route. Much better choice :D
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Re: Deuchary - at last

Postby Gordie12 » Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:29 pm

Dot on the landscape wrote:Hi Gordie12....yeah, it's usually the ducks that come sniffing around near the bench at the start of Mill Dam....they were nowhere to be seen that day though.

I've done the walk up to Ordie when properly frozen - some great photos from that trip, of Ordie, and the 3 wee ones on the way from Cally


Not sure if you have ever been beyond Loch Ordie but the track up to Lochan Oisinneach Mor & Lochan Oisinneach is good and it's a great spot that is rarely visited.
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Re: Deuchary - at last

Postby jacob » Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:10 pm

Wow, the photo of Scheihallion to the west shows you don't have to be miles up to enjoy the greatest views. The sky in that photo is also doing it's best for great effect. Nice one.
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Re: Deuchary - at last

Postby Dot on the landscape » Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:29 am

Gordie12 wrote:
Dot on the landscape wrote:Hi Gordie12....yeah, it's usually the ducks that come sniffing around near the bench at the start of Mill Dam....they were nowhere to be seen that day though.

I've done the walk up to Ordie when properly frozen - some great photos from that trip, of Ordie, and the 3 wee ones on the way from Cally


Not sure if you have ever been beyond Loch Ordie but the track up to Lochan Oisinneach Mor & Lochan Oisinneach is good and it's a great spot that is rarely visited.



Yeah, tried getting to Oisinneach in January from Guay, but had to turn back as light was going a bit...and was pretty wet along the track. Defo want to get there and up to Creag nam Mial - likely to do that in the summer.
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Re: Deuchary - at last

Postby Dot on the landscape » Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:37 am

LoveWalking wrote:Great report, thanks for posting. I was up there today. Had originally planned to go up and down from the south side until I saw this route. Much better choice :D


Glad my post was of help.

I've just posted one for Newtyle, if you're in the area and want to do that one. It's not a clear route from what I had read, but I think my post maps it out quite neatly.
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