Nestled on the banks of beautiful Loch Sunart, a cosy and restful haven with abundant wildlife
A lovely walk along the southern shores of Loch Arkaig to the mountain bothy on the banks of the River Mallie. The walk takes in Chia-aig waterfalls with a deep plunge pool which has been liken to a Witch's cauldron. The Chia-aig falls featured in the Hollywood film, Rob Roy. The walk affords some stunning views of Loch Arkaig on route which is variously clad in mixed woodland, pine forest, conifer plantation and open moorland and heath.
The walk starts with a short section on a minor road, skirted with mixed woodland and open pasture, with views of Beinn Bhan. The mixed woodland consists of ash, oak, rowan, sycamore and blackthorn, with an understorey of dog's mercury, lesser celandine, bluebell, primrose and meadow sweet according to local edpahic conditions. The walk also passes through a short section of alder carr dominated by alder and willow at the eastern edge of Loch Arkaig.
The southern shores of the loch are skirted with mixed riparian woodland, with alder, willow, beech, birch, holly, ash, hazel and Scot's pine, with an understorey of wood anemone, wood sorrel, bilberry, heather and violets. There are some fine specimen trees along the route including old oaks clad with polypody and lichens. Towards the end of the walk, the path crosses wet grassland, dotted with lousewort, marsh violet and bog myrtle.
The end destination is a bothy at Invermallie run by the Mountain Bothy Association adjacent to the River Mallie; a lovely place for a picnic or an overnight stay.
Look out for a variety of dabbling ducks, sawbills, black throated and red throated divers, osprey and white-tailed eagle on the loch and sandpipers and green shank on the shores. Listen out for the trills of siskins in the alder woodland and tits, tree creepers and other woodland birds in the mixed woodland. Look out for dipper and otter along the river. Scan the hills for golden eagle, buzzard and other raptors as well as the majestic red deer.
You can also take a short detour to the Clan Cameron Museum which is signposted on route. It is open in the afternoon.
A stunning walk along the shores of Loch Arkaig leading to a delightful bothy by a river at Invermallie.
- Park at the forestry car park for Chia-aig waterfalls at eastern edge of Loch Arkaig, near the end of the B8005. Turn right and head west, walking initially along a small path by the side of the road towards the waterfall, Witches Pool and picnic area as signposted. Take time admire the stunning waterfalls before continuing on the road.
- Turn left onto the track signposted Locheil Estate- Private Road which skirts around the eastern end of Loch Arkaig.
- Cross a wooden bridge over the River Arkaig, affording fine views of river with its impressive shingle deposits. Turn right at the end of the bridge onto an undulating rough track which skirts the loch. There are some fine views of Loch Arkaig on route through gaps in the trees.
- Pass by a wood-clad cottage with a tin roof on the left and then cross a small stream on a small bridge by a house.
- Cross another stream to emerge into open grassland. Take a small faint path on the right approximately 100 yards beyond the stream crossing. The path which heads through wet grassland leaving the main track which continues up into Glen Mallie. The path heads towards a stone cottage (mountain bothy at Invermallie), passing through a small copse, affording fine views of the loch and the surrounding hills. This section can be rather boggy.
- Take time to relax by the river or have a picnic at the bothy before returning by the same route.
starting grid ref:
- there and back