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Get on a high along circuit of Loch Ness

By John Davidson

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Runners on the Loch Ness 360.
Runners on the Loch Ness 360.

The Loch Ness 360 combines two fantastic off-road trails to make a complete circuit of this wonderful waterway.

It offers people the chance to explore hidden corners of the area, whether that’s along the South Loch Ness Trail that takes in the curious Fair Haired Lad’s Pass, or on the north side where the high-level Great Glen Way route offers unparalleled views along the 23-mile stretch of water.

You can walk, mountain bike or ride the whole 80-mile circuit – but there are also plenty of options for shorter walks and circuits.

Starting at Inverness Castle, the route follows the Great Glen Way over the Ness Islands and up behind the forested Dunain Hill to follow a wonderful old drovers’ route towards Abriachan, where there are a series of forest walks.

The LN360 then drops into Drumnadrochit before climbing again, soon following excellent new paths that head into wild country high above Loch Ness. It also visits Invermoriston before reaching Fort Augustus at the southern end of the loch.

The newest stretch of path rises from the popular village to the peaceful shores of Loch Tarff, itself a short climb from the magnificent Suidhe viewpoint.

Looking over the military road back down to Fort Augustus from the South Loch Ness Trail path.
Looking over the military road back down to Fort Augustus from the South Loch Ness Trail path.

From here the trail heads through Whitebridge to Foyers before reaching Inverfarigaig and climbing over the Fair Haired Lad’s Pass on the way to Dores.

The last section connects Dores with Inverness via a track through the moors and forest with great views ahead to the city and the Moray Firth.

All the villages along the route offer access points to the trail, with many having information panels with local walks suggested.

Autumn is a lovely time of year to get out on the trail and explore this beautiful part of the Highlands.

Find out more about the trail at lochness360.com

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