© Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust. Produced by Ashworth Maps and Interpretation Ltd 2016. Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database rights 2016. OS 100016971. Use of this data is subject to terms and conditions.


One of Scotland’s Great Trails, the Cateran Trail is a fully waymarked, 64-mile / 103 km route through Perthshire and the Angus glens in the heart of Scotland.

The Trail is a circular route divided into five stages and can be comfortably walked in five days. The Trail has no official beginning or end and can be joined at any stage.

It follows old drove roads and ancient tracks across a varied terrain of farmland, forests and moors. Some of these routes follow the same ones used by the Caterans – fearsome cattle thieves who raided Strathardle, Glenshee and Glen Isla from the Middle Ages to the 17th century and for whom the Trail is named.

Multi-user gates are regularly being installed along the route to allow better access for all visitors to the Trail as well as for the landowners. Please leave any gate you come across as you found it, ie if it's closed, please close it behind you.


Check out and download the full Cateran Trail and its five stages: Hike old thieves' road in a forgotten part of Scotland - The Cateran Trail.

You can also download The Cateran Trail Bikepacking Route.

In the press

10 best long-distance walks with overnight stays in Britain by The Guardian

The Top 10 bikepacking routes in Scotland by Bikepacking Scotland on Komoot

2020 Cateran Trail leaflet front coverClick here to download the Cateran Trail leaflet

Take Care Cattle sign - livestock imageTAKE CARE: From April to January, you may find livestock unfenced in fields. Parent animals can be aggressive when protecting their young, so please keep as far away as possible and do not separate parents from their young. Please keep dogs on a short lead or under control. 

Bridge of Cally to Kirkmichael copyright Mike Bell

Stage 1 - Blairgowrie via Bridge of Cally to Kirkmichael - 15 ½ miles / 24.9 km

Your walk begins in the busy market town of Blairgowrie, which is at the centre of Perthshire’s soft fruit growing industry. After a gentle stroll along the river, the path climbs over Cochrage Muir. Admire the spectacular views on your descent to the tiny hamlet of Bridge of Cally.

From Bridge of Cally, the Trail passes through Blackcraig Forest and into peaceful Strathardle Glen, which has been farmed since the Bronze Age and offers stunning views of the area. The three villages of Ballintum, Enochdhu and Kirkmichael provide a good range of places to rest and eat.

Kirkmichael to Enochdhu copyright Mike Bell

Stage 2 - Kirkmichael via Enochdhu to Spittal of Glenshee - 8 ½ miles / 13.7 km

This stage is predominantly upland, following a wonderful moorland route to the Trail's highest point between Strathardle and Glenshee, offering spectacular views of glens and rugged peaks. Red deer and soaring eagles can sometimes be spotted.

Dirnanean Garden (open during the summer months) is on the route and well worth a visit if time permits, and Upper Lunch Hut, originally provided by the estate for shooting parties, offers an ideal resting place as it did for Queen Victoria in 1865.

Forter Castle to Kirkton of Glenisla copyright Mike Bell

Stage 3 - Spittal of Glenshee to Kirkton of Glenisla - 14 ½ miles / 23.5 km

The first five miles of this stage are through rough moorland as the Trail heads south following the Shee Water along minor a road past Dalnaglar and Forter Castles into the fertile farmlands of Glen Isla.

The Trail follows off road tracks and passes Auchintaple Loch and Loch Shandra. It is worth taking a short diversion through the trees to the banks of Auchintaple to witness the fantastic views of Mount Blair set in glorious tranquil scenery.

View from Glenisla © Mike Bell

Stage 4 - Kirkton of Glenisla to Alyth - 11 miles / 17.4 km

Enjoy the tranquility of Glen Isla as the Trail rises high above the river and fields to give way to fantastic open views over an idyllic pastoral scene. The route wind through Kilry Wood, between the Hills of Alyth and Loyal and through Alyth's town centre.

The area around Alyth has strong links to Arthurian legends as it is believed that Queen Guinevere was held captive by King Mordred at his fort on nearby Barry Hill.

Den of Alyth © Mike Bell

Stage 5 - Alyth via Bridge of Cally to Blairgowrie - 15 miles / 24.1 km

This stage passes over the Hill of Alyth, which offers stunning panoramic views of the area, descends into Bamff Estate and follows moorland and pleasant estate roads. The Trail runs close to the massive standing stones of Heatheryhaugh. The homeward trek into Bridge of Cally is mostly on quiet minor tarmac roads.

Take a detour out of Alyth to the Den of Alyth and its stunning path network.

Don't get lost!

Cateran Trail Footprint Map and Guidebook

Although the Cateran Trail is waymarked, you should not try to walk the route without a map or guidebook.  Every year a few walkers ignore this advice and end up getting lost.  We have worked in partnership with the publishers of the Rucksack Readers hillwalking guidebooks and Footprint hillwalking maps to create a guidebook and map for the Trail.  We check each new edition of these to make sure they are up to date and accurate.  If you are planning to walk the Cateran Trail and don't have a guidebook or map...

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Cateran Geotrail

Bronze geocoin Silver geocoin

For geocachers, there is also a Cateran GeoTrail with collectable silver and gold geocoins to be earned.