Permanent Orienteering Courses
Our Woodland Challenge maps and courses are currently unusable due to storm damage and forestry operations.
We will be updating them but until further notice we do not recommend their use.
In the meantime, please see our Events Page for other Orienteering opportunities in the Tayside area.
Update: 28 August 2015 PLEASE SEE ARCHIVED INFORMATION BELOW ABOUT OUR WOODLAND CHALLENGE - PLEASE NOTE THAT THE COURSES ARE NOT CURRENTLY USABLE OWING TO STORM DAMAGE AND FORESTRY OPERATIONS.
We've been busy putting in permanent orienteering posts at four of our best and most accessible woodland areas, and we invite you to try them out and explore some of the most beautiful parts of Perthshire into the bargain.The Woodland Challenge is our way of helping you experience orienteering at your own convenience in four of our favourite woodlands. We've installed permanent markers for you to find, and the maps are available to buy from local shops, so you don't have to wait for the club to organise a competition in order to participate. Whether you're new to orienteering and want to try it out, or you're a more experienced orienteer looking for some training opportunities while you're in Tayside, we hope the Woodland Challenge will be helpful.
We've suggested three courses for each area - Trail, Discovery and Challenge - you choose the most appropriate one, based on length and difficulty. Because the markers are always there, you can try out the courses whenever you like - it's a great way to try out orienteering without the pressure of a competition.
For more experienced orienteers, the Woodland Challenge courses can be used as the basis of a training exercise - do as many courses as you want to build up the physical and technical challenge.
Woodland Challenge - Status Update March 2014
Before you read further, please note that a relaunch of our Woodland Challenge courses is being worked on. In the meantime, you shoudl also be aware of the following restrictions, relating to the current condition of the forests and the permanent markers:
- Kinnoull Hill: the Trail and Discovery routes are still usable though felling and windblow have altered the terrain and an updated map will soon be made available. With the Challenge course, the effects of windblow are rather more dramatic. The area around D4 has suffered windblow (though the marker is still there); the trees north of D12 have all been blown over; the trees south of D10 are difficult to get through in places; D2 seems to have become part of a bonfire (as though there is a shortage of wood around) and the area around D1 has changed due to mountain-bike tracks.
- Saint Magdelene's Hill: some new ponds have appeared, but the routes are usable. Control E5 is missing.
- The Hermitage: this are is not at present usable owing to the effects of massive windblown trees, but new routes are being worked on.
- Knock of Crieff: the area to the east and north of the east top has been impacted by felling. So markers M9, D6, D8, D9, D12 are not usable.
What to do?
It's easy! Firstly, download a copy of:
- Choose which of the areas (see below) you'd like to visit.
- Buy a map and instruction sheet (from a list of local establishments - see below).
- Go to the area of your choice (directions are on this page).
- Choose which course you'd like to follow (you could do more than one!)
- Have fun!
- Check all the marker codes you find against the master list of codes.
- Tell us how you got on - send an email to sloan758 @ gmail.com with your name, the area you visited, course you completed and time, and we'll display your result on this page.
- And if you have any comments, want to know more about orienteering, or would like to join Tayside orienteering club, contact Angela Dixon adixon @ watt64.freeserve.co.uk
1. Kinnoull Hill, Perth
Directions: From the old bridge in Perth go uphill, bearing right at the first junction. For the main start (S1) continue straight on to the Jubilee car park. For the start S2 take the second turn right where the houses end and continue to the car park.
2. St Magdalene Hill, Perth
Directions: The area is above Craigie on the South side of Perth. From the Glasgow Road, turn onto Needless Road, then Darnhall Drive, going uphill to the top of Glenlochay Road and the car park. From the Edinburgh Road, travelling out of Perth, just past Tesco turn right into Gleneagles Road, then left into Glendevon Road to its top.
3. The Hermitage, Dunkeld
Update March 2014: After a series of high winds, there are a number of fallen trees at the Hermitage that are blocking forest paths and tracks, and as a result, use of the course at Hermitage is not recommended. The Forestry Commission have indicated they will be clearing away these fallen trees in the next few weeks, so we will update this web page when we know this has happened. However, this has been a long and slow process.
Directions: Turn off the A9, 1 mile North of Dunkeld, (signed 'The Hermitage'). Turn immediately right up a forest road and follow it to a car park in a small quarry just before a locked gate (for start S1) Or use the lower National Trust for Scotland car park (for start S2).
4. Knock of Crieff, Crieff
Directions: At the Crieff Hydro Hotel, go past the Stables and up the hill, passing the lodges on your left. Start S1 is the small car park on your right. For Start S2, after a further 150m branch right on an unmade road to the car park.
NB: Only Trail and Discovery courses are available at the Knock at the moment. We're working on having the Challenge course ready soon...
Map pack stockists
You can buy map packs at the following places:
St Magdalene Hill and Kinnoull Hill:
Perth Tourist Office in West Mill St, Craigdon Mountain Sports, Banks of Perth.
Birnam Institute, Station Rd, Birnam and The Ell Shop, the Cross, Dunkeld.
Knock of Crieff
Crieff Hydro Hotel, Activity Centre; Strathearn Community Campus; Macrosty Park Pavilion
Map packs cost £2 for Kinnoull Hill and .50 for the other areas.
Click the image for a larger version.