Hike the Historic Cateran Trail

For centuries, up until approximately the seventeenth century, the hills and landscapes of the Cateran Trail were dominated by the Caterans. They were feared cattle thieves and descended on their victims in the dark of night in large numbers, ranging from between fifty men and up to a massive invasion of five hundred strong. They would not only steal cattle, but would invade any celebrations to steal guests’ jewellery or anything of value. Travelling far distances to retrieve a good bounty was also not a problem for the Caterans, and they eventually carved out roads and routes through the landscape, which is now known as the Cateran Trail.

The Cateran Trail covers a distance of just over a hundred kilometres in total, and is also divided into five stages, giving hikers the choice and opportunity to either enjoy short trails or longer hikes that can take a few days to complete. There is no real starting point, so hikers are able to get onto the route wherever it is the most convenient for them. Most hikers start their journey in Blairgowrie, and there are maps and signboards available to assist hikers in navigating the routes. The Cateran Trail is located approximately an hour’s travel outside of Edinburgh. If a long excursion is not ideal for some visitors, there is a mini trail available to them. The Cateran Trail does offer the best of Perthshire, as its scenery and views are nothing short of breathtaking. The ancient tracks of the Cateran, forests, drove roads and farmland will leave visitors inspired and spellbound. Due to the routes being clearly marked, hikers do not have to fear losing their way, and as some of the trails do cross privately owned farmland, it is requested that dogs are not taken on the trails, especially where small farm animals are kept.

Some of the trails include routes such as the thirteen kilometre hike that takes hikers through Kikmichael to Spittal of Glenshee. It also goes past Enochdhu and includes moorlands, as well as rising to approximately seven hundred metres above sea level, offering spectacular views of the country side. The Spittal of Glenshee route, that end in Kirkton of Glenisla, is just over twenty-two kilometres long and also includes farmlands, passing Loch Shandra and Loch Auchinttaple, with spectacular sightings of Mount Blair. All the trails are rewarding and beautiful, and a wonderful way to relax and just enjoy the magnificence of nature.