Ben Vrackie is a well known and much loved hill which forms a scenic backdrop to the bustling resort town of Pitlochry in Highland Perthshire.
Ben Vrackie translates as `speckled mountain` and comes from a time when white quartz rocks were scattered across its slopes. On a good clear day the view from the summit of 2,757 ft (841 m) is tremendous with the Beinn a Ghlo range to the north and the sweep of Strathtay and Strathtummel to the west. In exceptional conditions it is even possible to see Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.
The walk to the summit of Ben Vrackie (sometimes known as Ben y Vrackie) can be started in Pitlochry or, nearby in the village of Moulin, and is approximately 6 to 8 miles (10 to 13 km) there and back depending on the start point.
There is a small car park at Moulin, close to the path, but this soon becomes full at weekends and busy times of the year.
Thanks to the work of the Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust, the path is well-constructed for most of the route and offers a delightful walk by the Moulin Burn and then across heather moorland. Red grouse and red deer live on the hillside and even the shy mountain hare can sometimes be seen when a quick spring thaw leaves them conspicuous in their white winter coats.
For those wishing an alternative walk, the Bealach Walk follows a high moorland route of 10 miles (17 km) across the lower slopes of Ben Vrackie and onto Killiecrankie before returning to Pitlochry alongside a sheltered path by the River Garry. The route passes through the Bealach na Searmoin (pass of the sermon) and is easy to follow as it is fully waymarked. An excellent leaflet describing this and other waymarked walks in the Pitlochry area should be available from Pitlochry VisitScotland Information Centre.