Plans for new path to finish walking trail between Inverness and Fort Augustus

Fort Augustus
Fort Augustus

Tourism leaders have revealed plans to create a walking trail for visitors to the south side of Loch Ness.

The new pathway would be built between Glendoe and Loch Tarff near Fort Augustus.

It would tie into the South Loch Ness Trail which links Loch Tarff and Inverness along the length of the world-famous loch.

The path would fill a missing link between the existing trail, which ends at Loch Tarff, and a newly-constructed path at Glendoe which leads into Fort Augustus at the southern end of the loch.

The project is being developed by Visit Inverness Loch Ness, the tourism development agency for the area.

A planning application, seeking permission to build the path, has now been submitted to Highland Council.

The aim of the new path is to keep walkers off the B862 Inverness to Fort Augustus road, which is steep, narrow and very busy with sightseers every summer.

In a statement lodged with the planning application, the developers explained the need for the path.

They said: “The landscape in this area is one of the most stunning in the Highlands and this coincides with high volumes of visitors, particularly in the summer.

“The busy B862 is a barrier to walkers and cyclists exploring the area and prevents active travel between the rural villages of Foyers and Fort Augustus, both of which have a range of facilities such as pubs and cafes.

“Encouraging visitors and residents to use the South Loch Ness Trail promotes outdoor activity and harnesses the sense of adventure that is associated with the area.

“The distance from the newly-constructed path at Glendoe to the existing South Loch Ness trail at Loch Tarff, along the existing road is approximately 4km (2.4miles).

“Whilst a new section of two-way road has been constructed, adjacent to Loch Tarff, the majority of the road is of single width only and is clearly a potential danger to pedestrians walking adjacent to the road.

“On this basis, it is preferable any route from Glendoe to Loch Tarff is kept distant from the existing road.”

The trail will primarily be around 6ft 5in in width, though in some places it will be narrower.

It will be finished in grey whin.

The proposed route has been agreed by the developer and landowner, though a number of alternative options are available.