Stay at home
Scotland is under national lockdown. People are asked to stay at home except for essential purposes.
Click for details
Abriachan Trails & Carn na Leitire
by BlackPanther » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:53 pm
Route description: Abriachan Trails
Date walked: 19/09/2012
Time taken: 3 hours
Distance: 8.7 km
Ascent: 346m6 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).
I've lived in Inverness-shire for 7 years but only this autumn I found out about this fantastic forest & hill trail - only a 15 min drive away from home! I don't know why I overlooked it before, maybe I was too busy eyeing bigger, higher, more difficult mountains
I must recommend this lovely walk to anybody who lives in, or happens to visit, Inverness or Drumnadrochit. The forest belongs to Abriachan Forest Community Trust and there are many attractions here: tree houses, wildlife hideouts, huts for kids to play, carved benches, bike trails... Did I forget anything? O yes, the longer moorland walk to the wee summit of Carn na Leitire will provide you with excellent views plus some more wood-carved attractions, plus the whole walk is oozing with wildlife - even in late September A superb walk, it would be lots of fun for both kids and adults! So here it goes...
To get there, we turned off A833 to Foxhole, passed the village and drove along the narrow road all the way to Loch Laide. Just before the loch there is a signposted track south, the car park is hidden in the forest.
A large chunk of forest opposite the trails has been recently removed and when we visited Abriachan Trails, we couldn't explore all of it due to some construction work taking place on site. There was a big crane a a large group of workers busy erecting a wooden structure. Also, warning signs announced that the bike trail was closed from August to October due to timber harvesting. The main walk was still available though so we just made sure we stayed away from the working area.
We walked past the busy workers, a short distance along the main track, and soon located a forest path:
It took us to a reconstruction of an iron age hut, where we spent a few minutes hiding away
Inside the hut:
Welcome home, honey! Dinner not served yet... unless you brought a few mammoth steaks
The path continues in SE direction and uphill, through lovely woodland:
The day was nice so far (though quite windy) and I embraced the opportunity to run uphill
After a few minutes of walking up the path, we came across a nice, carved bench:
We were now just above the trees and the views suddenly appeared:
What a viewpoint!
sadly, wherever we go, there is always a windfarm or two in sight
Panoramas extended all the way south towards Affric hills:
Some bad, cloudy weather over there, but we still bathed in sunshine!
Higher up, we took a short break on the second carved bench:
The first sprinkle of snow visible on high mountains:
We were so lucky with the good weather spell!
The path continues across the moorland to the summit plateau of Carn na Leitire:
Just before the summit, we stopped again to investigate an intriguing pole-based sculpture:
Three poles and a Pole
Looking back along the path from near the summit of the hill, the strange pole-sculpture in the middle of the photo:
The round-shaped hill in this photo is Meall Fuar-mhonaidh, known also as The Loch Ness Graham, another great viewpoint - one of my first mountains climbed a long time ago, now I'd like to repeat it in winter conditions, maybe we'll get a chance this winter...
But at the moment we were heading towards more modest summit...
...yet the views are just as good, I must say:
The summit of Carn na Leitire (434m):
It was quite windy on the top of the hill but we still enjoyed our exploration and we were nowhere near the end of the trail!
The path continues...
...and a few turns later we came across another set of poles (should I feel like back in the old country???)
Lovely, carved cones and acorns decorated these structures:
They were designed to provide some climbing challenges for kids, well, I'm far past the right age for fun like that but I tried nevertheless:
I gave up when I found a splinter in my hand, but to my surprise, Kevin turned into a little kid for a few minutes... OK, I let him play I know he likes poles (or the Pole???).
In the meantime, I concentrated on my favourite subject - mushrooms
I managed to chase my husband off the climbing challenge and we returned to the path. Another km or so further, we noticed another instruction:
I tried to follow the dancing instructions but I have two left feet so it looked rather ridiculous:
The dancing refers to a set of carved stones on the path:
Hmm... I much prefer simple walking...
As the path began to descend the opposite side of the hill, we discovered another hut:
it's a reconstructed shieling and it can be used to hide from bad weather:
Past the hut, excellent views down to Loch Ness:
We ignored the instruction and walked rather than run down the hill
The path meets a forest track eventually and we turned west here, to make a circuit:
We took a short detour to visit the reconstruction of a whisky still. It is not easy to find!
the path is overgrown here and the still is well hidden in the vegetation!
Would you see it?
Inside the still, but such a shame we didn't find any whisky...
...but just outside the hidden still, we had another, much more interesting encounter... details here:
We climbed back to the main track:
We continued walking, admiring the views down to Loch Ness:
The track circles the base of the hill and eventually it joins another one, heading straight north and back to the car park. Just before we returned to the car, I found an excellent example of mushroom - not one to pick though...
What a day! What else can I say? It proves that even a small hill can provide lots of fun and games
The next chapter of my September explorations will take us to a certain duo of Grahams - climbing is now getting more serious! Meow!
by 147cjl » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:01 pm
by rocket-ron » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:17 pm
by ChrisW » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:22 pm
by Raven » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:10 pm
There is another one hidden away in the forest not too far away from there at the other side
Walkhighlands community forum is advert free
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?