S: Mountain ferns, Ben Vrackie, Pitlochry
August 5, 2017 @ 10:00 am - January 19, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
A return trip to this rich site for alpine flora, including some interesting ferns and even more interesting fern allies. Last year we got waylaid by clubmosses, moonwort and various other delights, and never made it as far as the summit and beyond, where mountain bladder fern and holly fern are reputed to be found. Straight to the top this time!
Interesting ferns are at various locations as much as 1km or more from the main path. We may also divert off the main path on the way down, in the hope of seeing variegated horsetail.
Meet at 10am in the large car park at the tourist information centre on N side of the main Atholl Road (A924), grid ref. NN 9415 5805. We can then combine into fewer cars and drive up to the car park beyond Moulin (NN 9435 5952).
From here there is a path to the top of Ben Vrackie (NN 951 632), a distance of about 4.5km. Further info on the route is available here
Allowing for ferny meanderings, we can expect a total round trip of up to 15km (9miles). We should be back to the car park by 6pm at the latest.
The path will be steep in places and the terrain generally difficult, especially as we leave the path to search crags. Be prepared for potentially typical Scottish mountain conditions, i.e. wet, windy and cold, even in August! In other words, good hiking boots, waterproofs and warm clothing are essential and hat and gloves are advised. Also sun cream, because miracles do happen. Bring a packed lunch and flask. Binoculars are very useful for inspecting crags without risking life and limb. Various scarce non-ferny plants are also known from this site, so don’t ignore the flowers.