This is a brief guide to some of our more popular low-level walks.
1) Nevis Gorge and Steall Falls – This area is worth every effort involved to enjoy its astounding scenic beauty. Steall attracts many visitors and was used as a movie location for Harry Potter. This walk follows a rocky path on the side of a steep sided gorge. It becomes very slippery when wet and should not be attempted without suitable footwear. About 40 minutes after leaving the car park at the end of the road the path opens out onto Steall Meadows and your first dramatic view of the waterfall where you will find the ‘cross if you dare’ wire rope bridge and the remains of an old settlement. Keep your eyes peeled as this area is often visited by Golden Eagles!
2) Dun Deardil – This is a slightly longer walk, using part of the West Highland Way (and is well sign-posted for this reason). The trail visits the site of an iron age vitrified fort which still sparks mystery to this day as the process used to make such structures has never been successfully recreated! This walk is mainly through forest although much has been cleared allowing wonderful views acrossthe glen to Ben Nevis and south to the Mamores. Views from Dun Deardil are very hard to beat!
3) Cow Hill – A circular walk that includes a steep ascent to the summit from where you can enjoy a spectacular 360 degree view of Fort William, The Glen and The Ben, Loch Linnhe to the south and The Great Glen to the north. There are plenty of opportunities to see varied wildlife and there is a herd of Highland cattle that hides itself on the hill somewhere!
4) Wishing Stone – A shorter walk suitable for people who don’t want long distances and for families with young children. The trail boasts nice wide paths but be aware that it leads along the pavement next to the road for a short distance. Remember to get the kids to run around the stone 3 times, make their wish, then the Glen fairies will take care of the rest!
5) Achriabach Forest Walks and Lower Falls Riverside Walk – Starting from The Lower Falls car park the trails take you away into the forest following the many tracks found there. Then walk down the road to see the falls. From there, through the gate, follow the riverside path to Paddy’s Bridge. Cross the bridge and walk back along the road or turn round and head back the way you came beside the river.
6) Riverside Walk – The long version is a 6 mile circuit from the footbridge at The Visitor Centre. Cross the bridge and the walk upstream will take you past many in interesting features. About half way along lies the ancient Cameron graveyard, surrounded by giant beech trees and an old tumble down wall. This is the cemetry which was used for the funeral scenes in the film Braveheart. When you reach Lower Falls head back along the road for 5 minutes to the Forest Walks sign then follow a wide, easy walking, forest track back down the Glen.
The short version begins the same way but after about a mile cross a second bridge by The Youth Hostel and walk back down the Glen past (or calling in at) Cafe Beag and Glen Nevis Restaurant. Then take the road behind Glen Nevis Restaurant and join the forest track back along to the Visitor Centre.
7) Mountain Taster – This is a short circuit of about 90 minutes that includes a steep descent (or ascent depending on which direction you go). Crossing the bridge at the Visitor Centre follow signs to the Ben Nevis path which you follow until you come to the Youth Hostel turn-off on the right. A steep zig-zag descent takes you down to the bridge then back along the riverside to The Visitor Centre. Alternatively take the anti-clockwise route which means a steeper climb but does offer the bonus of the pub near the finish! The Ben Nevis Inn serves excellent food and drink, the perfect end to your walk.