Glen Nevis - by road or forestry track
- Location: Glen Nevis
- Starting Point: Braveheart Car park; Glen Nevis Visitors Centre, both Glen Nevis
- Trail Length: 15 miles / 25 kilometres
- Time Required: 2.5 - half day ride
- Route Type:
- Cross Country
- O.S. Map: OS Explorer 392; OS Landranger 41
- Parking: At start/finish
Glen Nevis is famous as the setting for films such as The Highlander, Rob Roy and Braveheart so there is plenty of magical scenery to enjoy.
The main issue with this road route is the summer tourist traffic. Hybrid and mountain bikes will cope easily with the alternative forest track.
Start at the Ben Nevis Woollen Mill Visitor Centre located at the mini roundabout at the entrance to Glen Nevis. From the car park at the Visitor Centre take the third exit at the roundabout.
About ½ mile into the Glen take a look at the Roaring Mill Waterfalls as they crash over some of the oldest rock in the world.
For those on mountain bikes- shortly after the waterfalls- the sign for the Braveheart Car Park indicates a right hand turn onto the forest track. Once on the track go through the gate. After ¾ mile, at the next junction take the left hand fork. Continue on this track for a further 2 miles. At the junction take the left hand fork. The forest track now swoops downhill to join the tarmac road at Achriabhach.
Cycling on the road you pass the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre followed shortly by a restaurant and then a café. On to the cattle grid where a pause in the lay by to look across to the left at the slopes of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, as they tower above you, is a good idea.
After around 5 miles the road swings down to the left and crosses the River Nevis. Almost directly underneath the bridge are the spectacular Lower Falls.
From here the road becomes narrow and single track. Be prepared to pull over for your own safety and comfort to allow traffic to pass.
The road becomes lumpier and turns left on an uphill bend. Just around this bend is a track down to Paddy’s Bridge. A good place to stop for a picnic.
Starting out again take a minute to look down into the gorge where the river is carving out intricate rock formations.
The end of the road is not far now. The Top Car Park is the high point of the ride. Unfortunately the footpath going on through the gorge is unsuitable for cyclists. Although it is worthwhile if you can lock up your bike securely to walk through to look at Steall Waterfalls – Scotland’s second highest.
Now is the time to think about returning for a cup of tea to the café you passed earlier, and head back the way you came!