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We have an extensive path network in our local area. There are many routes to choose from, with something for everyone. Enjoy the fresh air, the healthy exercise, the stunning scenery and the wonderful wildlife. Please be sure to follow the Scottish Outdoor Code.

A good portion of the path network is suitable for mountain bikes, but these routes are dual purpose so where the path is narrow please give way to walkers. It’s also possible to combine some of the off-road routes with the quiet back roads to make some wonderful circuits, although the gradients can be quite challenging.

Make someone aware of your plans and have appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather and the terrain. A small rucksack containing a local map, a mobile phone, some waterproofs, sun protection, a drink, a snack and a basic first aid kit is highly recommended.

The Walk Highlands website offers suggestions on short and easy or long and strenuous routes. They’re graded, have clear directions and offer a map that you can print out.

Forestry and Land Scotland have also produced a leaflet that covers some of the routes that can be found on the local path network.

On Balmacara Estate, the National Trust for Scotland looks after and maintains more than 16 miles of the local path network. We have coastal walks through crofting land that offer stunning views of Applecross and Skye, and routes that pass through woodland, moorland and open hillside. There’s a Celtic rainforest to explore and a coral beach to enjoy. Here are some of the highlights of our path network:

Walks here

The coastal walk from the Kyle of Lochalsh to Balmacara Square.

Kyle of Lochalsh to Balmacara Square

Difficulty
Strenuous
Distance
3 miles (5km)
Facilities
Car park; tearoom; toilets; dog friendly
See WalkHighlands for a route description heading in the opposite direction!
 Path in the Lochalsh woodland.

LOCHALSH WOODLAND WALKS

Difficulty
Moderate
Distance
½–1½ miles (600m–2km)
Facilities
Car park; dog friendly
View across the Coille Mhòr woodland at Balmacara.

Balmacara Square to Loch Achaidh na h-Inich

Difficulty
Strenuous
Distance
3 miles (4.8km)
Facilities
Car park; café at start; dog friendly
More information about this walk and the wild plants of the Coille Mhòr is available from the Plantlife website.
Balmacara coastal landscape

Crofting and Coastline circuit from Duirinish

Difficulty
Moderate (with one short strenuous section)
Distance
2 miles (3km)
Facilities
Car park; café near start; dog friendly
For more information, click here for the WalkHighlands description.
Coral beach at sunset in Balmacara

Coral beach

Difficulty
Moderate (double the distance for a return trip)
Distance
½ mile (600m)
Facilities
Car park; dog friendly
For more information, see the WalkHighlands description.

Lochalsh Woodland Walks: The sheltered Lochalsh woodland by the shores of Loch Alsh is where exotic and native plants come together. Bamboo, rhododendrons and ferns grow beside oak, pine and rowan. There’s a variety of routes, loops and trails within the woodland walks, which are signposted from the A87. The steep ground between the gravel paths and the main drive is linked by a series of steps offering shorter and longer circuits for the more able.

Kyle of Lochalsh to Balmacara Square: This route provides striking views over Skye and Loch Alsh and crosses through a variety of habitats that include woodland, moorland and the open hill. Although the path never climbs above 200m, it does in places have the feel of a remote upland walk. The terrain is undulating and the path can be narrow, steep, rough and rocky in places. There are options to extend the walk through to Plockton or Kirkton. With some advance planning, it’s possible to catch the train from Plockton to Kyle (or vice versa) and return by foot or on bike using the local path network.

Balmacara Square to Loch Achaidh na h-Inich: This linear route, a patchwork of moorland, loch and Celtic rainforest, takes you into the heart of the Coille Mhòr. This woodland is a classic temperate Celtic rainforest, rich and diverse in plant and lichen species. The path crosses undulating ground and in places is rather steep and narrow. This route can be turned into a circuit or combined with other routes in the path network to walk or cycle from Plockton to Kyle (or vice versa).

Duirinish Station – Port an Eorna – Drumbuie circuit: Enjoy spectacular sea views, traditional crofting landscapes and species-rich meadows, hear vibrant birdsong and possibly even spot an otter off the shore. The majority of this route is on narrow gravel paths or minor roads, with a short grassy section that can be muddy after rain. There’s one rough section where a short scramble and a keen sense of balance are required to cross the rocky shore and ascend onto the headland.

Coral beach: This is a short walk to a beautiful and secluded coral beach, a great location for a paddle and a picnic. The start of the route follows a croft access track, which can be muddy and wet after rain. After passing through the field gate, the gravel and stone path curves gently and continues slightly downhill, emerging at a final rocky descent to the beach itself.

Walking in Scotland

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