The area is rich in natural and cultural history on top of the rather gorgeous scenery and offers a lifetime of exploration! Looking north east along Loch Ericht, Ben Alder with its head in the clouds. From here the gradient eases although its rough going. My only comment is that you pass the magic 500m mark a few times on the routes described here. I got to Culra Bothy around 7 and it was raining torrentially, hence me ignoring the closed signs and spending the night in the main room. However doing it as a there and back again would be an excellent use of about 3 - 4 hours or so. Supplies are available at Dalwhinnie from the petrol station and a small cafe that operates out of the old hotel. This defile sits around 100m higher than Loch Lagan - more glaciation. This (roughish) track goes for about 2k before it climbs up into the hills. In August it was very damp and I've done it since when its been nigh on bone dry. Corrievarkie Lodge Bridge of Gaur Rannoch The next challenge was to cross the Allt Cam which was a shoes and socks off job. 01796 481568 Thereafter is a similarly steady but long descent down to the Allt Eigheach. Walking here is not like walking on a city road. Many parts of the WLA are of high scenic valueiii, recognised by being within the Ben Nevis and Glen Coe National Scenic Area (NSA), the northern edge of the Loch Rannoch and Glen Lyon NSA, the Ben Alder, Laggan and Glen Banchor Special Landscape Area (SLA), and overlapping with the Cairngorms National Park in the far east. Turn right, 3 miles to Kinloch Rannoch. The trick here is to ignore this as the old path it leads too is no longer used. Follow this to the Loch end but bear right when the track starts to descend in earnest. There are a couple of bits that have washed into the loch and have been re-aligned but a couple of bits haven't. I'm not about to bang on about safety or navigation or kit choice as per normal guides because as far as I'm concerned its up to you to sort this out. The path on the west side of Loch Pattack does go but its pretty overgrown. Take either of two left turns to take you all the way up Strath Ossian to Corrour Shooting Lodge (this is all obvious on the map). I'd trudged along there when you rescued me near Corrour.The only one you haven't mentioned is the one to the NW of Loch Pattack, might be the only option if the dodgy bridge goes and the river is high.What's the track like on the south shore of Loch Ericht? Away from winter (which runs from October to May!) There are a few that have bigger gaps but my view is that as we are in the mountains, get over it and get that front (and back) wheel airborne. You've either got to do the above, do the equally hard Ben Alder tour or include it in one of two epic circuits (more later!) I'd intended to do a ride around Ben Alder but the weather looked foul so instead kept going to Loch Lagan and the car park at Feagour. For that reason I'm not going to try to post up maps or detailed route finding notes. On a good day the views towards the mountains of Glen Coe and the Black Mount to the west, Schiehallion in the east, Ben Alder Forest in the north and Rannoch Forest in the south are breathtaking. Blair Trekking Centre Set in the grounds of Atholl Castle. The beach looked tempting but I had a quicksand incident here previously so stayed clear..... From Ben Alder Cottage you start on 10 miles of divine single track. It was actually drier than when I passed through here in August and presented no problems for the ICT. 01540 670000. The trail then improves and you descend down to loch Beithe where the trail improves again, finally descending back down to culra on another fab built path. There is a wee patch of woodland alongside the second of the lochs which is a good stopping point. All the trails are on Open Street maps too. This was one of those fat bike 'moments' as a normal bike would have been hopelessly bogged down through this stuff whereas the fatty rolled through the lot. This is a bit overgrown in places so keep an eye on your GPS as I managed to lose it at one point and stumbled around for a bit to find it again. Its not too bad and I did once do this on a Salsa Fargo so don't be put off as its only 1.5k. For the adventurous there are a number of biking opportunities in this area and some truly classic through routes. Bear right again heading for the Coille Doir-ath. If you are doing it as a there and back again stop just before the burn when you can see the kissing gate into the dodgy section. Hopefully this will serve to help people get out there and enjoy the great outdoors as seen from a bike seat. Most of the rest, by accident or the design of a mountain biking upland path designer, have enough of a kick from the rocks either side of the gap to enable an easy jump over them. There are great views across Loch Rannoch towards Ben Alder. Anyway your now on a long, long climb to Corrour old lodge. Don't quite reach the road but turn left back on yourself on the smooth motorway standard track which takes you into the forest. It should still be possible, but so far has defeated me! I've been planning to do a ride in the vast, largely uninhabited area around Ben Alder for some time. At one point there is a highly dubious looking suspension bridge which takes you over the Allt Chaoil Rheide (more of this river later), (2020 Edit - there was a sign near Culra indicating this bridge was 'Out of Order'. I'd thought about just doing a lap of the Lochan Earba / Loch Lagan double track but on reaching the bottom of the Bealach Leamhain trail decided to give it a go. Beyond this the track deteriorates somewhat and about 1k of it is rather boggy. The item Rannoch Moor & Ben Alder : Loch Rannoch : the essential map for outdoor activities represents a specific, individual, material embodiment of a distinct intellectual or artistic creation found in Rannoch Moor & Ben Alder : Loch Rannoch : the essential map for outdoor activities represents a specific, individual, material embodiment of a This was my first time south to north of the Bealach dubh trail. OS maps show the end of the double track here but it continues to 494655. Of course I'm talking from the perspective of a rider of rigid bikes. Newtonmore Riding Centre Riding, trekking and instruction available. A fine evening in 2018 looking west to the Glencoe hills. Its all pretty easy excepting the crossing of the Alllt Chamhlain. If I'm going to carry my bike up to 840m I want to have a view off the top. If you look at an OS 1:50k map of the area you'll figure it all out easy enough. The trail starts right at the bothy and its immediately good - a narrow gravel path winding up alongside the Allt Chaoil Rheide. Despite the rain the previous evening (and a generally wet summer) it was dry and stony. Loch Eighaech and snow-capped mountains south of Rannoch Forest In other words follow the now familiar (and as used in the Highland Trail) track up and over to Loch Ericht, bog hop to Ben Alder Cottage, over the pass to Culra and then back out to Dalwhinnie. I bivvied here in 2018 doing this circuit as an overnighter. Water is, however, in plentiful supply. You are now in the middle of the area and able to contemplate all of the views around you. You ride down by Loch Ericht on a motorway standard track, up past the posh lodge and over a low moor to Loch Pattack. Follow the obvious singletrack through the woods above the lodge, its sundry buildings and the underground heli pad (I kid you not!). Top of the climb looking west over to Blackwater Reservoir (the furthest away one) and the Glencoe hills. Being a path nerd I know more than is good for me but its always interesting to compare construction styles across Scotland. It was in that it didn't involve waist deep river crossings but it was hard going. The plan had been to ride over Bealach Leamhain to Loch Pattack, then out to Dalwhinnie, thence to Newtonmore by NCN 7. I was heading through this area on the way back to where I'd left my car from Aviemore. Theoretically you can avoid this burn crossing and stick to the north side of the loch but this is a very rough and little used path, so will likely be a push. Glaciers, we salute you. This view was in fact one of my motivations for choosing Ben Alder on this summer’s day. It will also help me remember where I've been over the years! This is a top view point and should be enjoyed! Not exactly fat bike terrain but I've become quite proficient at dealing with headwind pavement climbs on the beast - just sit back and relax and don't try to pedal too hard. The approach to the Bothy, Ben Alder Cottage involved a 14km cycle ride, from the lonely Loch Rannoch, then a few KMs hiking across a bog. If you are doing this circuit as an overnighter then this is an obvious choice for a stopping point and there are plenty of good camping spots nearby if the bothy is busy. Ben Alder Estate Dalwhinnie Inverness-shire PH19 1AE. the reverse of the first route described in this post) and then down along the lochs to their end. Abandon ones conveyance at a small layby 100m east of the Rannoch power station. Cheers BobThe path along the south shore is very boggy apparently - a mate has taken a D of E group along here and won't do it again. This was the warm up for all of the horrible storms late '15 early '16. As the slope you are crossing steepens things get more interesting but its all rideable with a modest amount of technical skill. In clear weather the views to Ben Alder and Loch Rannoch are worth every pedal stroke. Not all of this is a walk, especially if your on a fat bike, so its worth it if things are reasonably dry. As she is a filly out of a Grade B shire, she can be registered as a … 2014 had been dry all the way through Autumn so this day it was fine. I’d long wanted to visit Ben Alder Cottage. In 2018 I did it as an evening / morning overnighter which was equally entertaining. Other than that its a peach. (this bit is my favourite section on the descent) Its one of those trails that you expect to peter out round every bend but just keeps going. BEN ALDER is a particularly beautiful and attractive mountain. If its been very wet, don't bother as the levels will be too high. After a leisurely drive to Loch Rannoch I abandoned the car and headed north through the woods near the head of the loch towards Loch Ericht This is the first iffy bit. The sporting lodge, forming part of the surrounding Ben Alder Estate, has been refurbished to a very high standard throughout and has been running as a luxury holiday let for the last 6 years or more. Head west along the road to the obvious right turn into the forestry at 507577. One dismal November day I'd driven up from home on the way up to see friends in Aviemore. There is a new cafe in the closed hotel which provided toasties, scone and coffee (sat outside in the sun!) Nice one Phil! Anyway following the path is well worth it and it makes for a very nice easy descent on the way back. Its shown on OS maps as a single track and used to be hard going in all but the driest of weather but was upgraded in 2016/17 as part of one of many micro hydro schemes that the estate has implemented hereabouts. For a bit more adventure there are two trails that are effectively dead ends (unless you are feeling really adventurous!) I can confirm that the "path" by the Uisge Laibhair isn't worth doing, all but unrideable. At the end of the loch just opposite the YH turn left on a new (in 2017) track which climbs back eastwards away from the loch. Lower section of the trail. As well as great scenery there are some fabulous trails offering the full range of riding experiences. Look to your right (i.e west) and you should see the West Highland rail line crossing the desolation of Rannoch moor. AbeBooks.com: Rannoch Moor and Ben Alder: Loch Rannoch (Explorer Maps) (9780319133620) by Ordnance Survey and a great selection of similar New, Used and … Around Ben Alder. This is the Old Road to the Isles and part of an ancient right of way from central Scotland to Fort William and beyond. The last time I tried it was sunny but a late fall of snow would have made it a schlep. Mostly wide, firm but uneven gravel surface. Covering some 68000 acres stretching from Loch Rannoch to Dalwhinnie. If your planning on doing this circuit as a 2 dayer and want to stop here, best book in advance. I've never actually stayed here but its a belter. Above 500m seems to be the point that you go from wet slushy crappy snow to full on mountain winter conditions. If your familiar with the principals of Upland path management you'll know these terms and what they mean. From Rannoch station, he set off on the 10-mile trek to Ben Alder, at 4,000ft one of the highest mountains in the central Highlands. My first close encounter with these hills was in 2003 when me and two pals rode from Fort William to Newtonmore in one (for those days) long day. You then pop out on a big track which is an easy pedal to a bridge over a small burn. Hopefully this will serve to help people get out there and enjoy the great outdoors as seen from a bike seat. If packrafting you could do the shoreline path, that one then the track up and over to Coire Bachdaidh Lodge and then paddle back across the loch.Bob. Approaching Loch Ossian, with the huge bulk of Ben Alder in the distance: At the back of the Lodge take the path (NN413697) along the Uisge Labhair. Around Loch Ericht. This used to be rideable (I rode it on this day blind) but Storm Desmond in 2016 wrecked it. Its a bit run down being none MBA but makes for a good bivvy spot if you are doing this circuit in two days. Carie lies around 3.5 miles west of Kinloch Rannoch on the south side of Loch Rannoch. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Rannoch Moor and Ben Alder (OS Explorer Map Series): Loch Rannoch A1 Edition by Ordnance Surve published by Ordnance Survey (2007) at Amazon.com. So be warned and take the right kit. This was originally an estate lodge but then became a hospital for TB sufferers on the basis that they needed isolation and lots of fresh air. Avoid the track heading up the hill heading for the Munros as you really want the one down by the river. From here take the track on the east side of Loch Ossian. First up is the path shown on the OS that goes up the Allt Cam. If you do decide to push through, its around 4k of difficult going. The main path keeps climbing until it passes below a crag at its high point of just over 750m. Track at the end of Lochan Earba under water. Steep rock slabs, big steps and two annoying kissing gates are the challenge. Above was the most snow recorded in a generation but only a skier or mountaineer would have realised this. The final descent was a bit more engaging and did require an iffy river crossing but its all fairly short and soon enough your back to the Lochan Earba track. That said incorporating it into a circuit is tricky. The descent to the bridge is a free for all, see a line, ride the line. South to north is probably marginally better as the climb is all rideable and the descent seems longer (its not, in fact Culra bothy is about 50m higher than BA cottage). One last climb followed by a gentle descent back to Loch Rannoch overlooked by Schiehallion. Dry and narrow with only the odd burn crossing to interupt progress and provide a wee technical challenge. As relative newcomers to off-road bikepacking, our aim is fairly conservative although thrillingly off-grid. So that's all for lecturing, onto the riding! The last 2k as shown on the map is a lot rougher and not really worth it unless you want to push right through the missing bit to link up with a track that takes you round to the Lochan Earba track. A rougher but dryer path is to the right. As it was we were too knackered to contemplate a big climb over a trail of unknown provenance so rode out to Ardvericke and followed the road to Newtonmore instead. Also remember to smirk at all the suckers driving on the A9..... At Dalnaspidal lodge turn right down a double track to Loch Garry. If you are determined to push through then be warned the next two hundred metres are tricky. The descent is a bit marginal but a hoot on a fatbike in 6" of freshies. Carry on to Loch Ericht and along the west shore. The Autumn colours were in full bloom - stunning. Technically its harder this way but all good stuff and there are no significant challenges. I'll not bother describing them as the above covers all of the bits and a GPX of the HT550 is freely available. From there, Loch Ericht can be seen almost in its entirety. Follow the double track north west until you leave the forestry and climb up to nigh on 450m. Head up on the Loch Pattack track and look for a left turn (signed to Loch Ericht) about 100 metres past the lodge. I've not actually got many pics of this route, simply because I'm usually enjoying myself too much to take photos! Next up is the Bealach dubh trail, then roll out alongside Loch Ericht to Dalwhinnie. the trail was a good one. Camusericht Lodge is situated in an elevated and private position off the main road, with southerly views over Loch Rannoch and beyond to Glen Lyon. The magnificent Ben Alder Estate is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Ben Alder - Routes If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. "Ordnance Survey Explorer Map #385: Rannoch Moor and Ben Alder" covers that portion of the Scottish Highlands inbetween the scenic but civilized environs of Perth and the towns along the A9, and Glen Coe and the dramatic scenery of the West Highlands. This is a bit harder than the Allt Cam path but its well worth it for the views alone. Note that its not a hugely popular walking route as most munro baggers go up the direct route to Ben Alder. Keep right for maximum chance of dry feet. If you've read (and ridden) this far you've already done all but one of the trails in this route. Getting onto the Lochside trail involves a diversion away from the Lodge. The hot tip is to stick to the middle as although this looks the worst, there is a firm base under the gloop whereas either side its bottomless. Rannoch Moor and Ben Alder (OS Explorer Map Series): Loch Rannoch by Ordnance Surve A1 edition (2007) Lochan Earba is to the right of the small hill just off centre. Technical challenges come in the form of various burn crossings and assorted random rock features. The old lodge is also a top bivvy spot, I'm here on a tour north. The route starts out easy - down Loch Ericht over and across to Culra, over the Bealach Dubh / Cumhain to Ben Alder Cottage. I had to cash in on the unseasonably good weather so decided to head for my latest playground - the Ben Alder area. Some grassy sections with exposed tree roots and … Cairn 15m E at NN 49633 71847 may be as high The summit, looking down to Loch Ossian (This was taken on a trip I did in May 2016). Rannoch Station is connected by road to Kinloch Rannoch. As well as the above there are two through routes (well one and a half as they both start at the same point) either on the Highland Trail 550 route to Lagan or else as a means of getting into the Cairngorms via Dalwhinnie. Over small bridge, 300m Camusericht Lodge is on your right up a short drive. As usual the last mile to Ben Alder Cottage was the hardest as we struggled through the black quagmire with bikes over the shoulder. The other main approach to Ben Alder - though it lacks the drama of the Leachas ridges - is … It would also make a good camp spot although annoyingly there is a fire site here. As above there is a through route option if you are willing to risk a rather drastic hike-a-bike section. It’s a remote bothy by the standards of the Central Highlands, concealed beneath the bulk of Ben Alder on the shores of Loch Ericht. After a short while I passed through wet snow then deeper and dryer snow overlaying some seriously wet ground. Instead, go downstream a bit and look for the track on the far bank, not shown on the map. With Scotland’s 10th largest loch, Loch Ericht, five Munros and some of Scotland’s most pristine scenery, Ben Alder Estate’s luxury lodges are an ideal setting for truly memorable holidays. Follow road through the village and along the north shore of Loch Rannoch then 9 miles along the loch side to Bridge of Ericht. Where the glen widens out there is a good camp / bivvy spot. Covering some 68000 acres stretching from Loch Rannoch to Dalwhinnie. Thereafter its a good doubletrack descent back to the road and your start point. 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