Development of the Affric Kintail Way
The Affric Kintail Way developed over a number of years - even having a name change along the way. The idea behind the creation of the AKW was to promote an area of outstanding natural beauty to a wider visitors market by extending the already popular trek through Glen Affric to the west via existing forest paths along Glen Urquhart to Drumnadrochit by Loch Ness. The close proximity of the Great Glen Way gives the traveller the added option of extending the AKW to/from either Inverness or even Fort William. The route follows a wilder landscape than the Great Glen Way and invites a stop over at Scotland's most remote Youth Hostel at Alltbeithe in Glen Affric.
The Affric Kintail Way is mainly over land owned by Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) and the National Trust for Scotland (NTS). The lead for developing the route was taken by the Strathglass Marketing Group (SMG) with support from FCS, NTS and Glen Urquhart Community Council. Walking and cycling are becoming an ever more popular way of keeping fit and enjoying the great outdoors with the market expanding exponentially. Walkers and cyclists are looking for new and innovative routes which the Affric Kintail Way provides with the additional benefit of bringing some more tourism income into the area thus ensuring that a local fragile economy is better supported.
It is also anticipated that travellers on the AKW will take time out to enjoy some of the other interesting features and activities to be found within this area of outstanding natural beauty.