Walk the Wild with the John Muir Trust: Schiehallion

This iconic Munro is in much better shape than it was a few years ago thanks to the hard work of the John Muir Trust, and there’s more to come…

This is a sponsored article from our friends at the John Muir Trust.

Owned and managed by the John Muir Trust, East Schiehallion is an area of 871 hectares, including the eastern part of Schiehallion itself and the quieter and wilder Gleann Mor to the south.

An iconic and distinctive mountain with magnificent views, Schiehallion is a popular destination for walkers. When the Trust took ownership in 1999 the main path to the summit had become an ugly scar on the hillside, in sections up to 90 feet wide. Over a five-year period, the Trust realigned the path onto a more sustainable and less intrusive line, building a new path using locally sourced materials. The charity has since embarked on a programme to heal the damage caused by the old path.

East Schiehallion lies within the Loch Rannoch and Glen Lyon National Scenic Area, and is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its geology and montane habitats. The Trust works to improve its important habitats, which are rich in wildflowers – including purple saxifrage, wood anemone and rockrose – and home to hares, black grouse and the rare mountain ringlet butterfly, among other wildlife.

Tree-planting at East Schiehallion © Cat Burton

Tree-planting at East Schiehallion © Cat Burton

By controlling deer and sheep numbers, the John Muir Trust is also helping to restore native woodland in East Schiehallion. In July 2017 it was one of seven organisations that together launched the Heart of Scotland Forest Partnership, a collaborative project to link six areas of land in order to create a linked woodland corridor across 3,000 hectares between Schiehallion and Loch Tummel, benefiting wildlife, visitors and the local community.

The shared vision for the Heart of Scotland Forest Partnership is a restored, vibrant landscape that provides opportunities for wildlife to thrive, for local employment, and for people to enjoy, access and learn. Come to East Schiehallion and see it in practice.

How you can help

Becoming a member of the John Muir Trust is a great way to help take care of the wild places you love now and in the future. TGO readers can get a 25% discount when joining online by using the promotional code: TGOWILD. Find out more and sign up to help the UK’s leading conservation charity dedicated to the experience, protection & repair of wild places at www.johnmuirtrust.org/join.


Walk here

The summit of Schiehallion offers fabulous views across Loch Rannoch, the wilds of Rannoch Moor and the hills of the central Highlands as far as Glen Coe.

© Crown copyright 2019 Ordnance Survey. Media 051/19

Get the route

About the walk

  • Starting / finishing point:
  • Distance: 6.5 miles / 10.5km
  • Ascent: 736m / 2414ft
  • Route notes: Thanks to the work of the John Muir Trust, the path up the mountain from the Braes of Foss car park is a well-graded and maintained, and is a relatively straightforward walk, making Schiehallion one of the easiest Munros to walk. With more than 20,000 people climbing this path to the summit annually, ongoing maintenance is necessary to prevent erosion. Thanks to the generosity of its members and supporters, the John Muir Trust recently raised £60,000 to repair paths on Schiehallion this summer and to help minimise future erosion.

Directions

  1. Starting from the Braes of Foss car park (toilets) head south along the clear path until it begins to steepen.
  2. Continue west along the obvious ridgeline, following the maintained path to the summit.
  3. After enjoying the fabulous views from the top, retrace your steps and return the way you came.

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All images © Cat Burton courtesy of the JMT