From the car park next to Cortachy School, head back to the road and turn left to go past the school and the entrance to Cortachy Castle (not open to the public). Cross the bridge and continue along the road to reach a gate on the left.
Go through the gate onto a grassy track through rhododendron and large pines. The path leads to the river South Esk and follows the river upstream. Care needs to be taken along here as there are steep drops in some places and the path can be muddy.
A ruined bridge linking an island is passed and further along another bridge is reached – Sawmills Bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the path up the other side.
Before reaching a wider farm track, take a path that forks to the left remaining by the river. The track remains high initially with steep drops before descending closer to the river.
The path turns away from the river across a boardwalk doing a zig-zag as it climbs a steep slope and passes between two fences. When the path leaves the fence follow the path through the trees to return to the car park.