Farragon Hill

Meall Tairneachan and Farragon Hill

Hillwalking route from Loch Tummel up the Corbetts Meall Tairneachan and Farragon Hill

Overgrown trails following old walks make for an interesting approach from Loch Tummel towards the Corbett pair of Meall Tairneachan and Farragon Hill.

Route outline


Meall Tairneachan, 

Farragon Hill

Ascent 1100m (3600ft)
Distance 17km (11m)
Time 6:10hr
Start/finish Frenich Wood
Grid Ref : NN826589
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

I'd guess that most hillwalkers will bag Meall Tairneachan and Farragon Hill from the Foss Mine track - but that's a there-and-back route ! This circular route is admittably rougher, but far more enjoyable.

A fair amount of the route is on pathless terrain, though there are tracks around Meall Tairneachan and some old walls to follow. Some unexpected rocky tops are met and the descent from Farragon Hill makes for a wonderful downhill run.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to Frenich Wood on Loch Tummel

Frenich forest

Frenich forest

The route starts and finishes from the gated entrance to Frenich Wood which is around halfway along the southern shore of Loch Tummel.

An unclassified road travels the length of the loch, and is accessed from the east by a junction on the A9 marked for Clunie and Foss, just west of Pitlochry. The road is accessed from the west by a junction marked "Foss" on the B846, just south of Tummel Bridge.

The road is narrow with passing places and now categorised a 'clearway' - parking is therefore very limited (I parked around 1km west of Frenich).

2. Meall Tairneachan

Out of forest, looking to Doire Leathan

Out of forest, looking to Doire Leathan

At the entrance to Frenich Wood, head through the gate and up the track. The track veers right and travels south-eastwards for 1.5km to junction . Keeping right, continue onwards on the track for a further 1km to arrive at the track's end by a turning circle .

At the southern edge of the turning circle, an overgrown track climbs south-west through trees. Follow this as it twists and turns climbing uphill out of forest. Over moorland, the track follows a dilapidated old wall as it climbs gently while aiming south-east.

Further on, a padlocked gate in a high deer-fence crosses the track. There's no stile or side gate, so needs to be clambered over !

Beyond the gate, the track travels a bit, then veers eastwards - leave it at this point, cross some soggy moorland and rejoin the old wall to follow it as it continues uphill. Another deer fence is met , again with a padlocked gate and lacking in stile or side-gate.

Having clambered over the gate, follow the remains of the wall south for another 500m or so to its end by a small cairn . Now on on a wide plateau, head south-west over heather and grass for around 1km to the weird rocky top of Ciochan a' Chop .

Downhill with more bounding over grass and heather followed by a short climb, reaches the track which travels to Foss Mine. Follow this track for a few metres until a small cairn is met by at a corner, then leave the track and head directly up the hillside ahead.

Meall Tairneachan from cairn on north-western edge of Doire Leathan

Meall Tairneachan from cairn on north-western edge of Doire Leathan

There is a faint worn path to follow which leads up to Meall Tairneachan's summit where a lonely trig point made out of rock stands, from where fine views are to be had.

Meall Tairneachan from cairn on north-western edge of Doire Leathan

Meall Tairneachan from cairn on north-western edge of Doire Leathan

3. Farragon Hill

Farragon Hill from Meall Tairneachan

Farragon Hill from Meall Tairneachan

From the cairn on Meall Tairneachan's summit, turn north-east and bound down a steep grass-covered slope to re-join the mine track around 250m south-east from where it was left earlier on.

Follow the track for 2.5km, past the ugly scars and untidy mess of Foss mine to the track's end , due north of Lochan Lairig Laoigh. In clear conditions, the summit of Farragon Hill is in view directly ahead, standing above heather and grass-covered moorland.

Having dropped from the end of the track to cross the burn coming out of Lochan Lairig Laoigh, head north-east and cross grass-covered and occasionally soggy ground, following the course of a little stream. Turning eastwards, a path gradually forms as height is gained making a direct approach up Farragon Hill's western face.

Approaching Farragon Hill

Approaching Farragon Hill

Nearing Farragon Hill's summit, ascent steepens with terrain becoming slightly rocky. A small cairn sits on the knobbly top surrounded by grass.

Approaching Farragon Hill

Approaching Farragon Hill

4. Return

Farragon Hill's cairn and view over Meall Tairneachan to Schiehallion

Farragon Hill's cairn and view over Meall Tairneachan to Schiehallion

Having hiked on this route to Farragon Hill and admiring the views around, it's such a pleasant thought not having to re-trace steps through the mess of the mine !

From the cairn on Farragon Hill, return a few metres down the steep part of its western face, then as ground levels out, turn north-west. Follow a grassy break on the otherwise heather-clad hillside for around 2km. There's no path and there are some sections of deep heather to cross, but terrain is for the most part a delight underfoot and there are some deer-trods to help through the undergrowth.

A turning circle at the head of an estate track is reached. Follow this track as it travels downhill and northwards above Fennich Burn. Over moorland, through woodland, then grazing fields, the roadside by Lick is met, leaving a short distance to return to the entrance to Frenich Woods.

5. Personal notes

Mucky track from the north-west to Meall Tairneachan

Mucky track from the north-west to Meall Tairneachan

Way back in 2008, birthday treat for me and dog was to head up Meall Tairneachan and Farragon Hill from the Foss Mine track. Oh, this was just horrible ! There has been a fair bit of freeze-melt and my feet sunk into the track like a sponge making for harder effort than expected. A Highland Safari land-rover passed - if I'd not been with dog, they might have taken pity on me and offered a lift.

From the Foss Mine track, it's a there and back over Meall Tairneachan to Farragon Hill, so not only was the mess of the mine re-visited, the return was back down that track - I don't think I've ever been so mucky before or since !

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