Round the Lochs - Loch Eil and Loch Linnhe
- Location: Lochaber
- Starting Point: One of the two long stay car parks at the west and east ends of the Fort William bypass.
- Trail Length: 64 kms 40 miles
- Time Required:
- Route Type:
- Grade: Easy
- O.S. Map: O.S. Explorer 399;391;392
- Parking: Metered parking in West End and North Road Car Parks.
Maggie takes you on a leg stretching loop through stunning scenery.
This 40 mile low level jaunt is an invigorating cycle outing. You are never far from sea breezes. Suitable as an all year round ride. It is just right to shake off the excesses of a hearty Scottish breakfast.
Head north out of Fort William on the A82 towards Inverness. Turn left onto the A830 for Mallaig. The route heads north west. You are soon away from the industry and sprinting along this good road for about 10 miles. Take a minute to stop and look back at the stunning views of Ben Nevis from this road.
A left turn at the sign for Lochaline/ Strontian takes you onto singletrack road. Once on this side of Loch Eil the road enters typical West Highland crofting landscape. The scattered crofting townships of Duisky, Blaich and Achaphubuil fringe the shore. Time to watch out for tractors and sheep!
The passenger only ferry is just over the cattle grid at Camusnagaul. The crew are helpful to cyclists and a good choice if you only have the time for a half day ride. Here you have the option to shorten the distance and take this form of transport across Loch Linnhe. (12.45 Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday only; 14.15 Monday, Thursday & Saturday only). The ferry passenger shelter is a good place on a showery day to sit for a break or lunch. Or in summer drop into the village hall right beside the road at Trislaig for home made cakes and tea.
This section from Trislaig is more wooded. A hunting ground for buzzards and other birds of prey. Several hectares of roadside woodland are managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust as a reserve.
Woodland is left behind and more open landscape and seascape is encountered as you near Ardgour. Here the ferry (free for cyclists) takes you across the loch. Perhaps you have time to visit the Hotel for some refreshment?
Leaving the ferry behind turn left onto what will be the busy A82. Eight miles of concentration on the traffic as you return to Fort William.