For anyone who has ever traveled down Scotland's A9 motorway, Craig Rossie is definitely a hill to be remembered. A nicely sculpted face makes it stand out from it's more gentler neighbors. It is truly the jewel of the Northern Ochil Hills.
This handsome hill makes it's rise from the fertile sweep of Strathearn, between the villages of Auchterader and Dunning. Craig Rossie is volcanic in nature. It is made up mostly of steep rolling hills with several landslips near it's northern scarp, caused during the retreat of the last Ice Age. The summit is a grassy plateau with commanding views of the Highland Boundary Fault to it's north and to the south over the entire Ochil Range.
Etymology and History
The name Craig Rossie is more than likely to be of Latin origins, implying to the reddish nature of it's basaltic rock. Archeologists have discovered a 1st century Roman settlement near the village of Dunning. The 140 acre camp was large enough to accommodate 20,000 troops. This would have made Craig Rossie of the up most importance for a strategic defense and for commencing military campaigns in the area.
This hill is a great introduction to the art of scrambling for the younger generation. Making your way up Craig Rossie is a very straightforward task. I would recommend scrambling up it's northern escarpment. The going is nice and easy with no real exposure. An elevation gain 1100 feet is achieved within less than a mile. For the fit, the round trip can be done in an hour with time for pictures and a snack.
The more traditional route starts at the Pairney Farm, where a distinguished path leads up Craig Rossie's gentler western side. This route allows the hiker to appreciate the enormity of the hill while taking in the beautiful scenery. Allow yourself two to three hours to complete this three mile round trip hike. For little extra effort, the neighboring satellite hill of Ben Effrey has the remnants of an old Iron Age fort.
Do leave your pets at home on this hill. You can turn these happy cows into protective mad cows in a split second.
The reasonably priced Kirkstyle Inn in Dunning is only a short walk from Craig Rossie
A harsh reminder of the cruel and dark potential of human nature. One mile from Craig Rossie lies the memorial for Maggie Wall. Although their are no records of her, she supposedly was the last witch of Scotland to be burnt at the stake.
From Perth on the A9 take exit A824. Turn left on B8062 and stay straight for 2 miles.