The Story of the South Loch Ness Trail....
Two years in the making, the story of the South Loch Ness Trail all began over a cup of coffee, a map of the area and wondering what Destination Loch Ness could do to encourage and enable more people to enjoy outdoor activity in the area. Looking at the map, it occurred to us that we could create a trail the length of the south side by simply linking up existing trails and constructing a few short sections of new trail. A feasibility study confirmed that this was possible, and in the summer of 2009 we set about gaining funding for the project.
Six months later we had over £200K of funding in place through the financial support of The Highland Leader Programme, Highland Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, The South Loch Ness Tourist Group, Stratherrick & Foyers Community Trust and ourselves, Destination Loch Ness.
The reasons why the trail gained such widespread support were three fold:
1. The simplicity of the trail - 85% is on existing trails and paths
2. The potential of the trail to bring much needed economic benefit to the south side of Loch Ness
3. The potential in the long term to link the trail up with the Great Glen Way on the north side and thus create one continuous 360 degree trail around Loch Ness
Project Manager Phil Thompson was appointed in March 2010 and shortly thereafter Mark Hedderwick of Hitrak Ltd, Beauly, Inverness shire as the contractor responsible for the construction of new trail along the route. However, before construction could start it was important that we also had the support of the local communities along the trail and, most importantly, the landowners over whose land new trail was to be constructed or over whose land we wished to use existing paths trails. Fortunately the support was forthcoming and we thank the following for their co operation – Forestry Commission Scotland, Glendoe Estate, Dell Estate, Scaniport Estate and Dr R Campbell, Ardochy, Whitebridge.
Trail construction started in September 2010 and it was completed in July 2011 along with all interpretation and maps. The map design was completed by Helen Stirling. The maintenance of the trail is the responsibility of Destination Loch Ness and is funded by contributions from sponsors of the trail and donations received from visitors through the Destination Loch Ness Voluntary Payback Scheme
We are very proud of the South Loch Ness Trail. It opens up the opportunity for more people to experience the 'wild' side of the loch and we very much see it as the first phase of a trail which will eventually encompass the whole of Loch Ness.
Destination Loch Ness Ltd.
Buy Harveys XT40 South Loch Ness Trail map:
You can now purchase online a map of the trail which also details the Trail of 7 Lochs the newly produced map is strong durable and 100% waterproof making it ideal for walkers and riders on either of the South Loch Ness Trails BUY ONLINE MAP HERE
Download and print maps of the trail here:
Accommodation Providers along the trail