Read other users walk reports for the long distance trails - and add your own.

NB. This board is for reports on multi-day long distance routes - reports on simply long walks should be added to the standard boards.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

East Higland Way on Horseback/Walking starting Aviemore

East Higland Way on Horseback/Walking starting Aviemore

Postby Metal Free » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:13 am

Route description: East Highland Way

Date walked: 03/06/2016

Time taken: 9 days

Distance: 190 km

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Although this is a walking site I do everything on horse back or walk next to my horse. Everything I do is relevant and possibly useful to walkers so I thought I'd post my finding of my trek along the East Highland Way. Which I found on this site and very much enjoyed.

We decided to start the opposite way around in Aviemore and down to Fort William. The reason for this was the weekend we chose to start there was a large mountain bike convention on at Fort William and possible too busy for the horses.

We also extended the walk and if you have time I highly recommend it. We started from the car Park at Rothiemuthus estate café (Inverdruie) exploring the woodlands around Loch an Eilein then into Inchriach Forest then across into Uath Lochans wood, where there is fantastic view points of the wee lochs they call the Bear Paw. From there we came out the woods along the road and crossed over Feshie Bridge turning immediately left which takes you towards Glen Tromi where you can double back into Kingussie. From here cross the high street in Kingussie and you follow the woodland trail that takes you through the Golf course and upto the hills that then joins the start of the East Highland Way. I haven't detailed all this as its not the east highland way but if you would like to know more just ask on the forum. There are no locked gates or cattle grids that don't have side access. Suitable for walkers of all abilities, mountain bikers but only the main trails are suitable for wheelchairs although there are some exposed tree roots and muddy puddles in rain and some rough stony areas.

The east Highland way - We took 5 days on this section but did take quite a few detours to get views and explore side trails. We wild camped all of they way. Happy to report the small shop in Laggan is open again and the Spar in Spean brideg still exists but the small shop in Roy bridge is now a café. We replenshied or water at houses on route - as it was vey hot so thanks to all.

The first night we camped at the top Glen Banchor Car park before setting out the river is lovely for a dip but be warned this is a poplar stretch so you are not alone.
The route itself has no way markers and difficult to find in places so you are better using the larger scale OS map along with the East Highland Way map and if exploring the side trails a compass never goes wrong. From the car park at the Head of Glen Banchor you head up the road and onto the track you then go through a deer gate but be warned this ground is very boggy in bad weather. This is the first time I had been across it in good weather and it was pleasantly dry. You do have to cross the river x 3 and be wary of where you cross, don't cross to early as its very boggy on the other side. You will eventually see a little bothy ahead (which hides behind a little hillock) next to the main track, this is a great place to stop for lunch and a fantastic view point.
After Glen Banchor/Laggan you head along a single track road which is very quiet and eventually onto a track you must take the right at the old pointing wooden sign do not go straight ahead this will not take you to Fergour!! If you are unsure stop and check the map.
We stopped the night at Fergour wild camping but did ask the permission of the landowner very midgey and not the best spot but there was limited choice. It had been 26degrees but we did encounter a very bad thunderstorm so we were soaked but warm!!

The next day we headed along long Loch Laggan, amazing views at the head of the Lochs but here forestry work is on-going so its difficult to find the correct route, but we headed as low as possible along the very quiet estate tarmac road (Tip toed past the estate house) then onto the tracks again. We stopped the night in a farmers field (permission from the Laggan estate) again next to a nice river where again a dip was taken, the temps were in excess of 24 degrees!

After a bit of a slow start we headed up the higher route into the Corrour state again a lot of forestry work and some Hydro/water instillation on-going but this didn't spoil anything with reduced tree canopy the views were spectacular. Be warned though, the estate has renewed all their roads and track with the larger sized chuckies (Stones) so a bit hard going on the feet/ankles even the horses struggled a bit. Over time these will settle and become easier to walk on. I'm pleased they have maintained all the tracks as previously it was deteriorating very muddy and full of holes.

We camped the night at the head of a small loch at Fersit which is just a few hundred yards down the tarmac road from the main car park, the best view ever!! and a swim in the loch.

We then joined the next day the advertised route on the East Highland Way heading to Spean Bridge, the path here is difficult to find when you come out the woodland and you end up on an old over grown mine railway line. All the wooden bridges are not safe some marked danger some not. Be aware you have a few deep bogs to cross and includes a couple of drops over wee streams so give yourself some time and be prepared for wet feet. Even on a nice day gaitors are recommended. We then stopped just before Spean Bridge just as you go onto the tarmac road there is a scout camp called Inch Scout camp site, this is not open to the public but if you call the number they may allow you to use it if the scouts are not their, we gave a donation through the huts post box. Thanks they even let the horses stay!! But of course you cold continue into Spean bridge and have some comfort.

Sadly our final day was along the East Highland Way and down into Fort William, again we found the trail difficult to find and without an OS map would have got lost. Again amazing views with wide open well maintained tracks. As you finish there is a cattle grid with no side access behind the smelter works at Fort William, we thank goodness managed to find some planks lying loosely in the old industrial park so did manage to get the horses across but if you don't or can't cross a cattle grid cut back along and down the side of the distillery.

Other than that one we only found one other locked gate just before Laggan of which we managed to lift off it hinges and replace.

All in all a fantastic journey with some spectacular views, not too hilly for those who don't like Munroe's but yet even the hardened bagger would enjoy the tranquillity, scenery and still challenging in places. In 7 days on the East Highland Way we only met about 6 serious walkers ,2 cyclists and 2 dog walkers until the outskirts of Fort William.

A highly recommended route from me, my chums and the horses who enjoyed no ridges or sheer drops but a few lovely streams on the way to slurp from. My highlight was the view from Loch Laggan beach towards Ben Nevis - brought a tear to my eye. Amazing!!! But the whole trip was the best I've ever enjoyed, weather, views friendliness of landowners towards our horses I couldn't really fault anything.
Metal Free
Hill Bagger
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 18, 2016

3 people think this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Can you help support Walkhighlands?

Our forum is free from adverts - your generosity keeps it running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and this community by donating by direct debit?

Return to Walk reports - Long Distance routes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests