The Birks of Aberfeldy Walk
The Birks of Aberfeldy (‘birks’ from the Scots for birch trees or trees) is a 1.5 mile circular walk along the Moness Glen. There are a series of hanging waterfalls through mature mixed woodland. Located on the western outskirts of Aberfeldy. There is a pleasant walk from the town centre or you can drive and park the car park, one mile from the town centre.
One of Highland Perthshire’s most photographed sites. Made famous by Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, who was touring the area in 1787 with his friend William Nicol. Burns wrote the poem ‘The Birks o’Aberfeldie’.
Gifted to the community - The Lower and Upper Birks, together with the Moness burn, was gifted in 1968 to the community by Millicent Frances Haggart. The woodland was entrusted to the “Burgh of Aberfeldy and successors” to be maintained as “a public park to be used as a pleasure ground or place of public resort or recreation.”
The gorge with its hanging valleys where streams drop down its slopes. Designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its botanical plant life, believed to be untouched by man for over 8,000 years. The Birks is one of the sites included in the Perthshire Big Tree Country Heritage and Access project, which celebrates the Perthshire's spectacular natural heritage.
What is the best direction to walk the Birks?
The Birks Of Aberfeldy Walk is a well-defined circular path. In our opinion the clockwise direction gives the most spectacular views, while the steepest climbs going up many steps. The anti-clockwise we are told is kinder on the knees!
Leaflets giving details of the walk and some of the plants and birds can be obtained for the Visitor Information Centre in the Square, Aberfeldy.
The Birks of Aberfeldy Walk.
Allow 1.5 to 2 hours to complete the walk. The walk is 1.5 miles in length, with steep climbs. The quality of the path is good, but you will still require outdoor shoes.
The path begins just beyond the upper section of the Birks car park. If you are taking the clockwise walk, bear left to cross the large bridge over the Moness burn.
After approximately half a mile, you will find Robert Burns seated on a bench, note pad in hand. Shortly walk on, you will find a plaque recording the spot that Burns is reputed to have written his poem, ‘The Birks o’Aberfeldie’. This spot is sometimes referred to as Burn’s Cave.
The walk then gets a bit more arduous, with the first of the smaller hanging waterfalls. There are a series of wooden steps taking you up the side of the gorge. The gorge narrows as you climb, before opening up with a view of the Upper Falls of Moness. These falls are 380m in height and drop in 3 tiers.
The Birks of Aberfeldy are very rewarding, but you do need to be fit, taking it slowly and enjoy yourselves.