Walkers of the Great Glen Way will have to climb hundreds of extra feet on their hike as essential water works begin on the route.
Sections of the iconic walking trail between Fort Augustus and Glenmoriston will be closed off in phases over the next six months to allow for five miles of new water mains to be laid.
The works, which is part of a £21 million investment, will begin next week with the first phase of the development taking up to six weeks to complete. Workers will take a two week break over the festive period during which time all routes will be reopened.
Throughout the works, walkers will be diverted via the Allt na Criche trails, leading them on to the Great Glen Way higher route; reaching more than 1,000 feet and stretching for six miles between the two towns.
The new water main is a key part of a major project being delivered by Scottish Water’s Alliance Partner Efficient Service Delivery (ESD) to provide a single, improved water supply to around 1250 Scottish Water customers in both communities, as well as catering to significant seasonal demand from tourism.
ESD’s Project Manager Kelton Bennett said: “During the construction period we will be installing the new water main in an efficient and safe manner as a priority, returning the Great Glen Way to normal as quickly as we can. Our team on site will be working hard over the winter months in order to minimise disruption to the local community.”
The new water mains is the first in a line of improvements taking place in preparation for a new state of the art Water Treatment Works, south of Invermoriston, which is
Scottish Water Corporate Affairs Manager Gavin Steel said: “This investment will bring lasting benefits to the local community. The arrangements in place have been developed with input from the local community, Forestry Commission Scotland and the Highland Council. The feedback received has helped us to ensure local residents and visitors will be able to continue to use the Great Glen Way and enjoy the forest safely throughout our work.
“We will continue to work with local residents and businesses as work progresses to keep them informed and to listen to any further feedback.”