PINE CONE POINT
Pine Cone Point sits within the Craigvinean Forest – Gaelic for ‘crag of the goats’ – is one of Scotland’s oldest managed forests.
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 are 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 most abilities path gently zigzags 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.
Craigvinean Forest provides an alternative to the very popular walks in the adjacent Hermitage. The way marked walks meander through the plantation, revealing follies and superb views over The Hermitage and Dunkeld to Craig a Barns.
The forest is home to many species of wildlife and has a high conservation value with its healthy population of red squirrels and capercaillie. The more diligent and patient visitor may even catch a glimpse of the elusive pine marten. Roe Deer can often be seen grazing in the woodland, whilst Osprey can be seen in the skies above – residents of the nearby Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Centre.
Craigvinean Quarry car park has parking space for 12 cars and is the ideal place to begin the walk to Pine Cone Point.