Moncreiffe Hill Wood is a beautiful mixed woodland covering a hill, just 3 miles south of Perth.
Visitors will find lots of opportunities for recreation with over 7 miles (12 km) of marked trails ideal for walking, running or orienteering. There are also many spectacular viewpoints overlooking the Perthshire landscape and quiet corners for birdwatching.
A map of the area dated 1783 shows the hill with sparse woodland on the top. By the end of the 19th century however, woods established by the lairds of the Moncreiffe Estate covered the entire hill.
The name derives from the Gaelic `Monadh Craiobh` which means hill of the tree. Not surprisingly trees are one of the biggest highlights and the three circular routes take the walker through woodland of towering Douglas fir (amongst the tallest trees in Britain), European larch, majestic Scots pine and a rich autumnal tapestry of oak, ash, birch and sycamore.
The wood contains two Iron Age Hill forts, and more than 100 species of flora and fauna have been identified including red squirrels, green and great spotted woodpeckers, sparrow hawks and roe deer. Tawny owls emerge to hunt and feed around dusk.
Those reaching the hill summit on a clear day will enjoy one of the most breathtaking views over Perth, the River Tay and its estuary, the River Earn, south to Fife and the Lomond Hills, far west to the major peaks of Ben More and Stob Binnean and north and east with rolling hills and mountains.
Ancient Picts chose this commanding spot to build a hill fort, a excellent stronghold from which to detect enemy approaching by land or water. Moncreiffe was also conveniently situated between Abernethy Abbey and the ancient royal palace at Forteviot. The earthworks and foundations of Moredun Hill Fort can still be seen today.
This spectacular 333-acre wood is owned and managed by the Woodland Trust Scotland. A free leaflet detailing the walking routes and natural heritage is available from Perth VisitScotland Information Centre.