A Highland estate is under pressure to immediately remove locked gates, which are blocking the route of the Speyside Way, also known as the Whisky Trail.
Three electronic gates have recently been installed at the Kinrara Estate, south of Aviemore, causing outrage among walkers.
Thousands of people use the Speyside Way each year, but some could now face long detours to join the walking route.
Cairngorms National Park Authority said the locked gates had been “reported to us and we are currently investigating”.
The authority could use legal powers to remove them, although such a process would be likely to prove expensive and lengthy.
Brendan Paddy, director of Ramblers Scotland, said: “We fully support the Cairngorms National Park Authority in their efforts to tackle these gates, which should never have appeared in the first place.
“It’s extremely disappointing that a public body is having to spend time and money on such an avoidable problem, and that access remains blocked during the peak summer season.
“We call upon Kinrara Estate to remove the gates now, so that tourists and residents can once again exercise their access rights, join the Speyside Way and enjoy the natural beauty of the Cairngorms National Park.”
The Speyside Way links the heart of the Cairngorms with the Moray coast and has been designated as one of Scotland’s Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage.
For more than a decade, Kinrara Estate opposed the construction of an extension of the Speyside Way across its land, on what is the most natural route between Aviemore and Newtonmore.
In 2012, the Cairngorms National Park Authority served a Path Order to ensure the extension could go ahead – the first time this legal measure was ever used in Scotland.
The estate owners could not be contacted last night, but have reportedly denied knowledge of the dispute, and said the gates were on a part of the estate which was in other ownership.
The factors Savill’s have also reportedly said it is “looking into the situation” and had not received any correspondence from the national park authority.