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Suspense and suspension at Rogie Falls

Suspense and suspension at Rogie Falls


Postby denfinella » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:56 pm

Route description: Rogie Falls circuit, near Contin

Date walked: 31/07/2013

Time taken: 1 hours

Distance: 1.5 km

Ascent: 50m

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It was day three of our holiday in Inverness and on our way up towards Strathpeffer we stopped for a wander at Rogie Falls. Like most days this week, the weather forecast was for a bright start followed by heavy showers moving in during the afternoon. The waterfalls are situated just outside the village of Contin, which always strikes me as being the place where the most dramatic parts of the Highlands really begin and the flat, fertile parts left behind.

The obvious path from the car park is the wrong one to take for the main routes to the falls - you should actually take the one without the wooden shelter - to the left rather than the back of the parking area. This is clearly a popular beauty spot, and was already fairly busy at 10 o'clock in the morning. The paths have recently recently improved and are suitable for some wheelchairs if the direct route is taken - indeed, a gentleman in a wheelchair at the waterfall later on had taken advantage of this.

Anyway, we soon turned off the main trail onto a much more interesting, undulating little path through mixed trees and vegetation. Under summer sunlight, the mix of landscapes was attractive and colourful, and no flies around.

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The path soon leads down to the Black Water, which is followed downstream towards the falls. The river is large although placid enough, with a few minutes' walk providing a little suspense as noise increases upon rounding a bend. A couple of side paths lead off to side views of the falls, giving a more close-up view.

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Rogie Falls may not be the biggest waterfall in the area in terms of height, but it's all the other things that make it impressive - especially the setting. A suspension footbridge (dramatic in itself) provides the perfect view from above (downstream).

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Quite a crowd on the bridge today:

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Another interesting aside is the noticeboards about salmon (and their various names during a salmon's lifecycle) - complete with an artificial salmon ladder which allows salmon, returning upriver to spawn, to negotiate the falls in times of low flow. Unfortunately we didn't notice any leaping going on today - probably not the best time to visit though given the dry midsummer.

From here, the easiest route back is via the direct path to the car park. However, we diverted off to the left (N.B. the following section was officially boarded off at the time of writing) and eventually up to another viewpoint, which appears to be in the process of being abandoned.

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From this point, returning by the outward route for a short distance before forking left and winding up through the trees eventually brought us to the carpark - this time via the wooden shelter.

This was a lovely short walk and a dramatic spot, and it's clear that the local / regional council has put in a lot of recent effort / money to make it accessible. As is often the case though, the quickest, most direct path misses out on part of the overall experience, so head off into the forest to make it more worthwhile.

Previous day: Tarbat Ness: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=35427
The afternoon: Knockfarrel Ridge: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=35662
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denfinella
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Joined: Mar 19, 2012
Location: Edinburgh

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