This walk is a circular route leading all the way round Loch Affric. It’s an excellent way of seeing the loch and its woodland while getting a feel for the wild open moorland and high peaks above it. The further you get from the car park, the more secluded the loch feels. Simply by heading further up the glen, the majesty of the hills opens up to you.
From the car park at the western edge of Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin, follow the track west. Then take the track which keeps to the right hand side of Loch Affric. Passing Affric Lodge, the track rises and traverses the hillside beneath the towering peak of Sgùrr na Lapaich. This follows the rough line of the loch shore above the woods.
Crossing the Allt Coire Leachavie, the route then begins to reach the western end of Loch Affric. Pass beneath the waterfall of Spùtan Bàn and follow alongside the small Loch Coulavie. Shortly after this, at the crag of Cnoc Fada, you’ll reach a junction. Follow the left turn that leads onto the track running along the southern side of Loch Affric. If you are lucky, red deer will be visible down in the valleys, where they shelter from the worst of the winter.
After crossing a footbridge over the River Affric to Athnamulloch, the route again traverses under steep slopes. This time you’ll be passing under the long mountainous arm of Carn Glas lochdarach. The southern side of Loch Affric is more wooded. Before you are half way back along the loch there are woodlands on both sides. This creates a great contrast to the open country to the west of the route.
Follow the track all the way through the woods, over the footbridge across the Allt Garbh. Then take a final left turn at the junction just 100 metres before the bridge back to the car park. Even if you haven’t managed to see any of the local wildlife, this is a walk to savour, as you try to imagine Scotland thousands of years ago.