Walk to The Fair Haired Lad’s Pass

Posted on Monday 24 April 2017 @ 17:50  •  Back to main blog

While there’s building work going on at home, the family and I are enjoying a few weeks stay at Loch Ness. The kids, Archie (9) and Grace (6), have had plenty fun in and around our log cabin in the forest at Loch Ness Self Catering but this weekend we ventured out to explore a bit more. Armed with our copy of the new South Loch Ness Access Map we headed off in search of a “mountain” for Grace to climb. We parked at Balnagarline which is a couple of miles off the B862 at Torness. There is very limited parking space and it is important not to obstruct access for forest operations. The views are great from the start and these only improve as you climb gently up the wide forest track. This route forms part of both the South Loch Ness Trail and Trail of the Seven Lochs so keep your eyes peeled for the waymarkers although there are few junctions where you could go wrong. The South Loch Ness Trail runs from Fort Augustus to Inverness and makes a good walking or cycling holiday on it’s own or as part of a complete Loch Ness 360 when combined with the Great Glen Way on the north side of Loch Ness.

 

Our walk today was much shorter and we soon emerged from the shade of a more densely forested section. The kids sensed that the “top” was getting close and raced to be the first to get there. The top of the Fair Haired Lads Pass is perched about a thousand feet above Loch Ness just opposite Urquhart Castle. The views extend far beyond to Glen Affric the Moray Firth and Black Isle. We stopped for a while to munch our cereal bars and for Grace to scramble about on the rocky outcrops of her “mountain”.

The path continues down to the Loch-side via steep and gravelly switch-backs but lunch was calling so we retraced our tracks to the car and headed back to the B862, then to Foyers and enjoyed some soup and hot chocolate at Cameron’s Tearoom.

Altogether it was just over three miles but with photo stops and little legs it took a good couple of hours. We spotted a couple of Buzzards and got a really close fly-by from some Red Kites.

 

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