Open throughout the year. High Route trails can be closed due to weather conditions; other trail sections can be closed periodically for maintenance.
Need to Know
It is hilly! A mountain bike is ideal, but a hybrid or rugged road bike would be ok with high volume grippy tires and low gears. The High Route paths are steep, narrow, and loose-surfaced, but well worth the effort.
Weather here can change quickly, so carry good waterproofs and warm clothes (it rains here regularly, and can be windy). In warm, calm weather there are likely to be problems with midges; they are less of a problem in early Spring and late Autumn.
For our trip, we left our car in Inverness and used the 'bike-taxi' from an Inverness-based company Ticket to Ride
to carry us and our bikes from Fort William back to Inverness after the ride. Very effective, and well priced. They also offer baggage transfer, if you're prepared to pay to ride lighter.
Inverness to Drumnadrochit (24 miles, 1,956 feet climbing):
Climb for a few miles on steep paths up from River Ness in Inverness to Glen View, for the first high-level views of Inverness and the Scottish Highlands. Explore singletrack through ancient woods and mossy dry-stone walls, then a quiet graveled lane over moorland which is exposed and tough if there's a prevailing headwind.
Mile 12: Turn off the road to Abriachan Eco Cafe for big cakes and strong coffee. Carry on down the path towards Loch Laide, managed by the Abriachan Woodland Trust.
Mile 13: Follow the boardwalks over moss and water to birdwatching hides by the loch. Continue climbing on forestry tracks through the woods.
Mile 16/17: Amazing views of Loch Ness through the trees. This is a place to savor! Continue on gravel forestry roads and then a switchback singletrack descent through the woods, crossing several streams.
Mile 21: Stop at Cafe Eighty 2 in Drumnadrochit for homemade soup, toasted sandwiches, and a fantastic selection of cakes. Continue two miles on the cycle path to Urquhart Castle, one of Scotland's largest castles. It's open throughout the year, although opening hours vary; entrance fees charged.
Shared By: Tim Swinburn