Great Glen Way

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El Vino
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:16 pm

Great Glen Way

Post by El Vino » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:19 pm

Posting this in case any of you are interested in a route that is a perfect introduction to bikepacking. We cheated a little in that we carried our kit but stayed in a hostel and camping pod rather than carry a tent but the route is perfect for wild camping with a number of designated spots along the way if you want to.

My youngest (11 yrs) is very keen on micro adventures so last week when she was on Half Term we decided to get the sleeper to Fort William and cycle the Great Glen Way, Initially when I had the idea I thought it would be pretty flat as I had kayaked it a few years ago and assumed it would all be canal towpath and lakeside trail - I was half right!
Route and a few photos on strava - https://www.strava.com/activities/2414227633

Day 1 we arrived in Fort William at 10 am, Sleeper Train is a great way to travel only slight downside is we had to move our bikes in Edinburgh at 4am. Scenery for the last hour is stunning and made me think sleeper train is a great option for accessing more extreme rides.

Day 1 was Fort William to Fort Augustus, pretty flat on great surfaces. the most challenging section was along the north shore of Loch Lochy where we stopped at a wild camping site to crank up stove and cook lunch. The remainder of the day was pretty flat along the south side of Loch Oich and then the Caledonian Canal but with superb views. We covered 35 miles and in anticipation of not having had a great nights sleep on the train booked Morag's Hostel.

Day 2
We started with a steep climb out of Fort Augustus and followed forestry tracks Invermoriston, views here were stunning across Loch Ness, There were waterfalls at the side of the track and the terrain was perfect for a hardtail mtb or gravel bike. There are a couple of options on Day 2 for high level or low level routes we stuck to low level for both options but we still had excellent views and plenty of climbing (walking). We finished the day in Drumnadrochit and stayed in the excellent Loch Ness Glamping pods about 2 miles outside the town.

Day 3 - started with a massive elevation gain on steep rocky wet rooty track. We walked uphill pushing the bikes for almost an hour. However once we got to the top we again had amazing views and brilliant surfaces including a couple of miles of singletrack road. Thiup for its was the best section of the ride for me and the final descent down to canal level was the icing on the cake. The last section through Inverness was a little tedious but we were on a high finishing which made up for it. We got the train back from Inverness - again the first few hours on the train to Edinburgh through the Cairngorms is stunning.

Rasta
Posts: 288
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:33 am
Location: Sussex & France.

Re: Great Glen Way

Post by Rasta » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:09 pm

:-bd
Canoed and walked the GGW. Never cycled, but it's on the list.
A great trail for interacting with the wildlife. One morning, on the hike, I woke up with about 50 ticks crawling all over me.
And lochside camping with the canoe was midge heaven. Horse hair worms and Ospreys. Loved it.

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ScotRoutes
Posts: 5573
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:56 am
Location: Cairngorms
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Re: Great Glen Way

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:20 pm

Linking it with the South Loch Ness Trail gives a good loop of Loch Ness. Best ridden anti-clockwise.

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Escape Goat
Posts: 1111
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:41 pm
Location: Not nearly close enough to Scotland...

Re: Great Glen Way

Post by Escape Goat » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:26 pm

Great trip! Thanks for the write up...It's on the list of to do things...

:-bd
Bikepacking & Bourbon Biscuits

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