Great Glen Way Day 3 and a military meander

I had had a fitful nights sleep.  The room was small, cramped and full.  Even with the window open it was stifling.  I rose at 0730 once I heard the breakfast table being set.  I had elected to pay for a small continental type breakfast as I knew that after Drumnadrochit there was not much chance to get any food.

The first mile or so was on road I then left the road, near the information board detailing the failed water speed record attempt by John Webb in 1952 and followed forest tracks which began to rise gently then got steeper and steeper till  it was time to hike a bike for approx a mile.  Behind there were views of the loch and castle but no sign of Nessie!

After reaching the plaque to the Canadian lumberjacks I joined a road which although steep was manageable with the hard core underneath.  Although still climbing the slope is not as steep and you soon reach the Abriachan plateau and the routes highest point 1250 feet marked by the standard blue pole.

After a few miles of gentle and sometimes not so gentle descent you come to an area developed by the Abriachan Forest Trust containing a toilet, forest school and a network of paths for runners and cyclists.
Continuing along the way you enter. A woodland with a well constructed although constricted path in the middle of which is the Abriachan Eco Cafe.  You can’t miss it!
You now follow a road for a short spell with the first sight of Inverness coming into view.  You are now descending get towards the city and although the castle isn’t yet in sight you soon come into contact with the Caledonian Canal once more but only for a short while as you head towards the Ness Islands and the castle.
Stats Distance 19.1 miles 1616 feet of climb in 2h 38 min.
I decided however that my day was not done and headed to the final fort on the GG fault.  Fort George is still a working military base. And like Edinburgh Castle a tourist attraction.

I took a slight detour on my return journey and visited the Culloden Battlefield .  This is the site of the last battle fought on British soil and was the final battle in Bonnie Prince Charles’s campaign.

Military meander stats:distance 28.4 miles with 922 feet of climb in 2h 30m.

If you have enjoyed reading about my GG trip why not book one with Scottish Bike Touring!!

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Author: Jim Taylor

I am a 58 year old Scottish endurance athlete. I run, bike, walk and race. I have taken outdoor qualifications and coach others. I am the owner of and guide for Scottish bike touring.

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