The South Loch Ness Trail is a 58km waymarked trail stretching from Fort Augustus, to Torbreck woods on the edge of Inverness. The trail passes through the villages of Whitebridge, Foyers, Inverfarigaig and Dores. The trail is signposted by the blue markers with the little silver squirrels.
Starting from Fort Augustus, the trail rises sharply for 10km on high quality trail to beautiful Loch Tarff and then on to the second highest point at Suidhe Viewpoint (393m). From here you can see not only Loch Ness but Loch Knockie, Loch Mhor and Loch nan Eun. Descending from Suidhe, the trail follows a mixture of constructed trail, forest track and minor road before reaching the junction of the B862. Crossing the B862, the trail continues to the bridge at Ardochy before it follows another minor road to Whitebridge. The Whitebridge Hotel is open all year and is a great place for some light refreshment! Just after the Whitebridge hotel you will see one of the finest surviing examples of a single span General Wade Bridge built in 1732.
The next section of the trail is from Whitebridge to Foyers. This section roughly follows the line of the old Wade Road past Dell Farm and skirting the River Foyers. The trail enters the village of Foyers at the Upper Falls. In the middle of the village, make sure that you walk down to the Falls of Foyers (known as the Lower Falls), very spectacular after heavy rain. Then, after the short steep climb up from the Falls, you may wish to pop into the Waterfall Cafe, or Cameron’s Tearoom before continuing on the next section to Inverfarigaig. There is also a small shop in Foyers for general groceries.
On leaving Foyers the trail follows the B852 for a short distance before branching off to the right and climbing up approximately 100m to the highest point between Foyers and Inverfarigaig. From here you get great views of the wonderful expanse of the Monaliath Mountains to the south. The trail then descends down to Inverfarigaig where there are toilets and a lovely spot with picnic benches for you to relax.
Just before the white houses in Inverfarigaig the trail turns sharply right and then follows a very minor road known locally as the ‘Corkskrew’. This is a beautiful section of the trail which passes through open farmland for just over 5km rising steadily all the time, before turning left on to a forest felling road and on up to the the highest point on the trail, the Fair Hair Lad’s Pass. From here there are fantastic views down across Loch Ness and across to Urquhart Castle and Drumnadrochit.
From the Fair Haired Lad’s Pass the trail drops down steeply towards the loch and on to a forestry access road. Don’t be put off by this, as you walk along this road you get more great views over Loch Ness. After 5km you briefly meet the B852 again before heading off in to
mixed woodland until the final approach to the village of Dores at the north end of Loch Ness. Wander for a little way along Dores Beach and get the best views down the length of Loch Ness. The Dores Inn is very popular, especially in summer.
From Dores the trail follows the B862 to Aldourie School before heading up hill again on a minor road to join a well established track which affords more great views of the surrounding countryside. Finally, after Cullaird farm you will pass through Torbreck Woods and reach the end of the trail.
Further information on the South Loch Ness Trail is available on the Visitinvernesslochness website including maps and trail notes which you can download.
See our other local walks near Loch Ness page