The Lochcarron district has a wealth of walking opportunities for all tastes and abilities. There are charming woodland and riverside strolls, old hill paths, forest trails and demanding hill-walks to our local summits. The selection in this guide covers this full range. Written by Martin Moran.
Here we show extracts from the walking section of the guide, full details are included in the publication.
Many shorter routes are community Core Paths designated and maintained by the local Council. These routes are usually marked and signposted. Other walks use old Rights of Way that provided vital links between communities before the advent of car travel. The upland routes often follow stalking paths, built in the 19th century to provide access for deer shooting and retrieval by horse. Some sections are rough and pathless. Nearly all routes described are circular to facilitate car users. More experienced hill-walkers can go beyond the bounds of these walks to enjoy the magnificent mountains of the area. We have nine Munros (peaks over 3,000 feet high) and eight Corbetts (hills over 2,500 feet high) within a 10 mile radius of Lochcarron. Before using this guide please carefully read the User Information. Accept responsibility for your own safety and remember the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Enjoy your walking!
GRADES OF WALK Four levels of walk are described in the text and maps.
- GRADE 1 GREEN Easy strolls on good trails and roads with low gradients.
- GRADE 2 BLUE Low level walks on good paths with some steeper sections.
- GRADE 3 RED Rough walks, sometimes pathless, with steep or wet sections.
- GRADE 4 BLACK Hill routes above 300m altitude, exposed to the weather and often pathless.
Many Grade I and Grade 2 walks are signed and waymarked. The walk maps use colour codings for each section.
ACCESSIBILITY Walks or sections of walks suitable for Wheelchair access are denoted (W) in the text and routes suitable for off-road biking are denoted (B).
DISTANCES AND TIMES
Distance (Km), amount of climbing (in metres) and estimated times are given for each walk. The times assume a walking speed of 3 to 4 km/hr according to terrain, with addition of 10 minutes for each 100m of ascent, and provision for rest stops.
EQUIPMENT AND PRECAUTIONS Walkers must take clothing and footwear appropriate to the level of walk plus drink and snacks. On all Grade 3 and Grade 4 routes boots with ankle protection are recommended plus a map and compass (and the ability to use them!). Ordnance Survey 1:25000 Explorer sheets nos. 428 and 429 and 1:50000 Landranger sheets nos. 24 and 25 cover the area of this guide.
BE AWARE OF SEVERAL SPECIFIC HAZARDS
- attempting to cross swollen streams after heavy rain can be highly dangerous
- grazing cattle should not be disturbed, especially cows with young calves
- many paths become slippery and treacherous after wet weather
SCOTTISH OUTDOOR ACCESS CODE Public access to the land is defined in law by the 2003 Land Reform (Scotland) Act on condition of “responsible behaviour” as specified in the Access Code:-
- act with courtesy and consideration to the privacy and peace of others
- do not hinder those who earn a living from the land
- care for wildlife, historic and cultural features
- accept responsibility for one’s own actions and safety
SOME SPECIFIC GUIDELINES
1) Keep dogs on lead in all sheep and cattle grazing areas
2) Park cars responsibly without blocking access
3) Do not start fires (or drop lit matches or cigarettes)
4) Do not leave litter and close all gates that you open
5) Restrict cycling to surfaced trails and roads; protect fragile upland paths
6) Beware of forest operations (obey signs and stay clear of machinery)
7) During the deer stalking season (mid-Aug to mid-Oct) contact local estates to check on access to avoid disturbance of deer (low-level routes are not affected).
The information contained on this page is also available in the Lochcarron Out and About guide available locally in Lochcarron or by post.