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Wood sculpture at Weem © FCS

Weem Wood

The woodpecker gets most of its food – grubs and insects – by digging into rotten wood or bark.

Craigvinean and Pine Cone Point

Craigvinean – Gaelic for ‘crag of the goats’ – is one of Scotland’s oldest managed forests.

Information

People at the opening of Pine Cone Point © FCS

The forest was created by the 3rd Duke of Atholl in the 18th century with larch (Larix deciduas) seed brought from the Alps. The Duke allegedly used a canon to scatter the seeds onto inaccessible cliffs.

Historically, the lower slopes of Craigvinean were part of The Hermitage ‘pleasure grounds'. Today, the lower slopes have a mixed woodland of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and beech (Fagus sylvatica), while the upper slopes have mixed conifers including the third generation of larch.

The views from Pine Cone Point across the Tay to Dunkeld and to the mountains in the north are quite spectacular. A path designed for most abilities gently zigzags uphill through the forest, arriving at the new hand-built wooden sculpture in the shape of a pinecone. Hand crafted benches offer a handy resting place from which to enjoy the surrounding area.

The forest provides an alternative to the very popular walks in The Hermitage adjacent. The waymarked walks meander through the plantation, revealing follies and superb views over The Hermitage and Dunkeld to Craig a Barns. An off road cycle route allows cyclists to explore the woods at their own pace.

For those keen on wildlife, the forest has high conservation value with its healthy population of red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) and capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus). The more diligent and patient visitor may even catch a glimpse of the elusive pine marten (Martes martes).

The walks are moderate-going of around 1½ miles / 2.5 km. Off-road cyclists welcome.

Directions

1 mile / 1.5 km west of Dunkeld, on the A9. Access to the forest is through The Hermitage car park.

Facilities

The recently upgraded Craigvinean Quarry car park has space for 12 cars and is the ideal place to begin the walk to Pine Cone Point.

Toilet and refreshment facilities are available in Dunkeld & Birnam.

Opening Times

Visit any time of year.

Public Transport

Take the bus or train to Dunkeld & Birnam and walk from the station.

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