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The forestry parking area at Craig, map ref 039494, is often a midge trap in season so the start may be the briskest part of the traverse. Nevertheless, take care in crossing the A890, then the railway line by the barrier gates.
After crossing the River Carron comes the only climb of the day; 200m through the partly de-forested area on the north side of the Allt a’Chonais, eased by the good forestry track. The track levels off below the buttress of Ceannaichean and the obvious gully then curves past Pollan Buidhe (old maps show Luban Buidhe, yellowish bend) and so to the watershed. With only 5 miles of the 15-mile walk covered so far, it is obvious that the Gleann Fhiodhaig descent to Loch Beannacharain at 150m is going to be a long and gentle affair. Strathconon incidentally is the longest strath in Scotland.
It is one mile to Glenuaig Lodge, luxury self-catering accommodation (contact Glencarron and Glenuaig Estate) though not available for much of September and October, the height of the stag season. However, walkers are welcome to take shelter at the well-equipped small wooden hut erected by the estate, adjacent to the lodge. A short distance beyond the lodge is the stalkers’ path which zigzags northwards giving an easy approach to Moruisg, and to the south is the mighty bulk of Maoile Lunndaidh – but not for today.
Some may find Gleann Fhiodhaig to be long and featureless but in following the north bank of the mostly meandering River Meig, albeit there are some waterfalls along the way, the rest of the world seems a long way away. Hemmed in by steep slopes, the path/track is of variable quality, broadening and narrowing almost at will. There are grassy sections, some parts can be wet and, with a number of side streams, the walk will be more enjoyable if undertaken during a dry spell. Sensible walking boots would be advised.
At map ref 191504 a narrow estate track (although still mapped as a path) leaves the river and heads north-east to the Allt Coire a’Bhuic, later crossed by a narrow footbridge to reach Corrievuic. Ignore the large bridge over the Meig – this goes to Corriefeol – and continue on the now broad gravel estate track to Scardroy Lodge. Then pass a Right of Way signposted junction (north-west to Achnasheen via Inver, 8 miles) and so to the road end large car park/turning area by Loch Beannacharain, known locally as Loch Scardroy.
Map Ordnance Survey map 25, Glen Carron & Glen Affric
Distance 15 miles
Terrain Estate track and path/track of variable quality
Start point Craig car park, map ref 039494, off the A890
Time 6 to 8 hours
Nearest villages Achnasheen and Muir of Ord
Recommended refreshment spot The Priory Hotel, Beauly
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 22 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North