Fersit to Fort William Section 1
- Location: Lochaber
- Starting Point: Fort William or Fersit
- Trail Length: 40mls/66klms
- Time Required: 12hrs
- Route Type:
- Cross Country
- Grade: Difficult
- O.S. Map: Explorer 392-385-393-401
- Parking: Fort William or Fersit
Fersit to Fort William: the longest continuous off-road ride in the UK?
If the purpose-built mountainbike trails at Laggan - only a twenty minute drive to the north-east from the start of this circuit – are too crowded for your tastes and an authentic highland adventure is what you are looking for then this could be the route for you. As one of the remotest mountainbike routes in the UK, it is necessary to take extra precautions before setting out on such a long trail: leave a route card with someone reliable, take sufficient food and water for what may turn out to be over 12 hours in the saddle, and take enough tools to cover most eventualities – there is unlikely to be anyone out there to help you and walking up to 20 miles to the nearest road would not be fun. This is also not a route to tackle on cold winter days, not only for the obvious reasons such as the lack of daylight hours, but also because the route could well be iced over. I know this from personal experience, for on a day when the temperature in Fort William was in the high single digits, much of the trail (from Loch Treig to Kinlochleven particularly) was heavily iced over and unrideable.
Following the A86 either north from Spean Bridge or south from Laggan, take the junction signposted ‘Fersit’, some 8 miles east of Spean Bridge. Following the single track road for a couple of miles brings you to the car park at grid ref. 349 781.
The route heads east from the car park, across the bridge over the River Treig and through the hamlet of Fersit, before swinging left through the forest gates into the Glen Spean forest. Cycling east through the forest, take the second turn to the right (approximately 3 miles from the forest entrance and at grid ref 407 806). The forest road now climbs gently south for approximately 4 miles, the first 2.5 miles of which is in the forest. Once out of the forest, Strath Ossian Lodge starts to come into view directly ahead with Loch Ghuilbinn a few hundred metres down below you to your left.
Continue south through Strath Ossian, following the high road that skirts around the lodge to the west. Approximately 3 miles south of Strath Ossian Lodge, the track meets the north east corner of Loch Ossian. Corrour Lodge is just to your left here, along the head of the loch. Instead of turning left to the lodge, take the fast forest road to the right which runs along the north bank of Loch Ossian for four miles. One mile past the end of the loch lies Corrour Station (on the Fort William – Glasgow line), where refreshments can be found.
Continued in section 2