Exploring Farigaig Forest: a short walk by Loch Ness

Farigaig Forest is on the south side of Loch Ness, near Foyers. In all honesty, this was one of the less inspiring walks of those we have done around Loch Ness. The upper reaches of the forest have recently been felled, and the landscape is rather desolate. There is one viewpoint over Loch Ness, and this is rather obscured. The Lochan Torr an Tuill, the destination of the walk, feels rather barren and lonely now that the surrounding trees are gone. My favourite part of the walk was the minor road back down to the Pass of Inverfarigaig.

Distance: Our ‘unofficial’ route was 3 miles / 4.8km. The suggested Lochan Tòrr an Tuill Trail with red waymarkers is 1.75 miles / 2.9km.

Parking: Coming south on the B852, the road climbs up into Inverfarigaig. Go past some white cottages, and continue a little way. You will see a green Forestry Scotland sign. Cross the bridge, and turn left at the next green sign to reach a small carpark.

Dun Deardail viewed from the Inverfarigaig car park

Amenities: There are toilets at the car park, though these were closed at the time of our visit (February 2023)

Bike/buggy-friendly? The slope up from the car park is extremely steep and also rocky. We did take an off-road pushchair with us, but I really wouldn’t recommend it. The rest of the route was on wide forestry tracks of reasonable quality, though quite steep in places.

Farigaig: the route

We took the first part of the red waymarked Lochan Tòrr an Tuill Trail, but then diverted at the lochan to continue along the Trail of the Seven Lochs. This track joins a minor (and very quiet) road running beside the Allt Chearc burn, and we followed this back to the carpark.

1. From the carpark, follow the path uphill into the trees, beyond the white building.

2. At the junction, follow the red waymarker, taking a sharp left onto a vehicle track with switchbacks up the hillside.

3. There are quite a number of red waymarked posts suggesting routes off to the side, but we stuck to the main track!

4. At another switchback we came to the only view of Loch Ness, which was… rather disappointing. This photograph was taken balancing precariously on a rock to get the best view!

5. Just before the lochan the trees entered, and we entered a rather desolate felled wasteland. A signpost promised picnic benches by the lochan, but these had gone too, with only stumps left. We met some walkers who told us that last time they came this way, there had been mature trees framing the lochan and it was a lovely spot.

6. For variety, we decided to return a different way, and continued on the landrover track past the lochan, all the way to the road. The land here is all felled forestry.

7. At the road, we turned left and followed it alongside the burn to a junction at a bridge, where we turned left again back to Inverfarigaig. I actually quite enjoyed this road walking, the burn and glen were very pleasant.

8. Shortly before reaching Inverfarigaig we passed this memorial to James Bryce (1806-1877), a geologist who was killed whilst climbing on the rocks here. I was intrigued by this description, as he was in his seventies, though evidently dedicated and quite nimble. The obituary in the Edinburgh Geological Society records suggests that he disturbed a rockfall whilst hammering. He was clearly greatly admired and appreciated by fellow geologists, who put up this monument in his honour.

Farigaig: what is the terrain like?

The initial pull up from the car park is quite steep and bumpy. It really wasn’t suitable for an off-road pushchair (we tried!) and I wouldn’t have wanted to take the pushchair back that way, as generally descents are harder.

The initial stretch from the car park is steeply uphill

Most of the route after that was on broad forestry tracks through the woods, as far as Lochan Torr an Tuill, and then on to join the minor road.

We returned to the car park on the minor road, which was pleasant walking, we saw six cars, and the visibility was good.

You might be interested in these other short walks around Loch Ness.

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