This is possibly the hardest leg of the entire trail, and passes the highest point. Initially it follows the main road towards Loch Ness towards Temple Pier before starting a climb uphill. The trail enters a forest as the ascent steepens, although fortunately the ascent eventually slackens.
It joins a track that leads through the woodland with occasional views available over Loch Ness far below. It turns away from the loch and heads out of the forest to cross moorland at Corryfoyness. The moorland soon ends and the trail dives back into another forest, following tracks through the trees and passing the summit of the entire trail.
A gentle descent soon starts as the track curves to take a more northerly course. It crosses a public road, the first encountered since Temple Pier, and continues on through more forestry past Caiplich Farm. It soon meets another public road; the Caiplich Prehistoric Settlement is a short distance down the road to the right.
4 hours 3 minutes
Map of the leg
Maps courtesy of Google Maps. Route for indicative purposes only, and may have been plotted after the walk. Please let me have comments on what you think of this new format.
This walk starts off at the car park and visitor centre in Drumnadrochit at NH508298. Leave the car park and turn left to follow the A82(T) northwards for a sixth of a mile; it crosses a bridge high above the River Enrick and curves to the right, passing a junction with the A831 on the left. Turn right to follow the A82(T) eastwards for 1.2 miles; there is a good pavement on the left-hand side of the road as it passes the Loch Ness Visitors Centre and a hotel.
Just before Temple Pier is reached on the right, a path leads off to the left at NH527300. It climbs uphill along a surfaced track; after about twenty yards it turns left up a path through a wooden gate. Head on up the path; it follows a fence on the right, with a house on the other side of the path. Once past the house the path turns to the right to head downhill back towards the road. It does not join the road and instead turns to the left to parallel the road.
It goes through another gate and curves to the left to start heading uphill, going through a third gate to enter some woodland. Follow the path as it heads through the woodland, going through a gate and curving downhill to cross a rough track. It continues on, keeping the track above and to the left. When the path reaches a field gate ahead, turn left through a gate. The path immediately crosses a rough track and continues uphill. It goes through a second gate and continues on, with the main track still above and to the left.
The path crests a little hill as the track ziagzags up the hillside to the left; the path leaves the woodland and descends to go through two clapper gates in quick succession. The path passes a field on either side before reaching a deer gate that leads into a forested area and then descends to reach a footbridge over a stream. The path starts to climb, and after a fifth of a mile curves sharply to the left to head uphill. Shortly after this it curves to the right to continue climbing steeply northeastwards.
The path meets a narrow track; turn right along the track, passing a viewpoint before starting to descend slightly to cross a stream on some stepping stones. On the other side of the stream the track starts to climb once more before joining a better-quality track at NH541310. Turn right to start following this track northeastwards through the woodland.
2.3 miles after entering the forest, the track leaves the trees through a deer gate at NH551327 and follows the track northwards across moorland. It passes the house at Corryfoyness to the right; ignore the track that leads off towards the house and instead continue northwards. The track crosses the Allt Coire Shalachaidh and goes through a field gate to enter some more forest.
A good track leads through the forest, soon turning to the left to head westwards before curving to the right to take a more northwesterly course. At NH541340 it passes the highest point on the entire trail and then starts to descend. It goes through a clapper gate and continues to the right of a barn. At a junction with another track at NH536344 beside the barn, turn right down a better-quality track. Follow this track northwards for 0.8 miles, passing a car park hidden in the trees on the right before the track ends at a T-junction with a road at NH541356.
Cross the road and go through a clapper gate to continue northwards along a path, following signs for a campsite and a cafe. It passes through a pretty scrubland area; the path is obvious and easy to follow. After three-quarters of a mile it curves to the right and goes through a clapper gate to reach a road at NH548368.
Places of interest
Lewiston and Drumnadrochit
The two villages of Lewiston and Drumnadrochit are situated about half a mile apart on the northern bank of Loch Ness. When combined, they are the largest settlement on the Great Glen Way between Fort Augustus and Inverness, and have several pubs, hotels and a large shop. Drumnadrochit also has a large car park beside the visitor's centre, and a couple of Loch Ness-monster themed attractions.
location UID #319
John Cobb and the water speed record
A beehive-shaped stone monument sits beside the A82 between Drumnadrochit and Inverness. It is a memorial to John Cobb, a racing driver who died whilst attempting to break the water speed record on Loch Ness in 1952. Before this he won the land speed record twice, in 1939 and 1947, on the latter occasion taking a car to 394 MPH. Unlike the more famous Malcolm and Donald Campbell, Cobb was a quiet man who did not seem to like publicity.
The Caiplich Prehistoric Settlement is a collection of prehistoric hut rings situated just off the Great Glen Way. There is little to see aside from bumps and lumps in the heather; there is a lay-by on the adjacent road where you can park.
location UID #322
Drumnadrochithas a bus stop on the A82(T), from where several bus services operate each day on the Citylink 919 route lead between Inverness and Fort William.
However Caiplich is situated at the end of a long road that has no public transport links. The only sensible way to get to public transport will be to link this leg with the next ones that lead into Inverness, from where bus services can be caught back to Drumnadrochit.
As usual, Traveline Scotland is an excellent resource for planning public transport journeys.