Cannich Village to River Affric
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- STAGE 2 ROUTE DATA
- Start: Cannich Village (57.346602,-4.764508)
- Finish: River Affric (57.264982, -4.984857)
- OS Landranger Map: 25 (Glen Carron & Glen Affric)/26 (Inverness & Loch Ness)
- Total Distance: 12.1miles/19.5km
- Max Altitiude: 1069ft/326m
- Min Altitude: 226ft/69m
- % of Ascent: 47%
- Total Ascent: 1912ft/583m
- Total Ascent Distance: 4.7miles/7.6km
- % of Descent: 39%
- Total Descent Distance: 5.7miles/9.3km
- Total Descent: -1364ft/-416m
Stage 2 of the Affric Kintail Way is a stretch of just over 12 miles from the village of Cannich to the River Affric. Here the Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) Car Park is an ideal location for those who have made a pickup/drop off arrangement with accommodation providers. There is a local bus service between River Affric and Cannich from July to September - Ross's Minibuses Timetable.
This section starts at the junction of the A831 and the village main street and climbs up Mullardoch Road behind the sadly derelict old Glen Affric Hotel before turning left (signposted) into the forestry road above Comar Wood. Recent tree felling has opened up the views on this part of the trail and while some parts can be wet underfoot in general it is a very good surface for those on foot and mountain bike.
After some 3 miles the route leaves the forest road on the left (signposted) and heads downhill on a narrower, rougher track and zig-zags to the gate on the public road at Dog Falls. Crossing the road takes you into the FCS car park - an ideal spot for a break with picnic tables and toilets, open Easter - October. Here you might like to spend a bit of time exploring the waymarked walks around Dog Falls and Coire Loch. You should be able to pick up a copy of the Glen Affric Guide from the dispenser at the information board but you can download a copy: FCS Glen Affric Guide.
The route continues from the car park via the wooden bridge over the River Affric and heads steeply uphill through woodland having some excellent specimens of Scots Pine. At the junction, turning right and after a short distance you arrive at the Glen Affric Viewpoint. Situated above the Beinn a' Mheadhoin Dam it gives superb views along Glen Affric to Mam Sodhail and Carn Eighe, the highest mountains north of the Great Glen, and onwards to the mountains of Kintal.
Continuing south-east on the forest road note the 'islands' in Loch Beinn a' Mheadhoin created by the raising of the water levels during the construction of the hydro schemes of the early 1950s. While the loch side is quite wooded there plenty of opportunities for taking in the spectacular scenery en route including outstanding views of Sgurr na Lapaich and Tom a' Choinich across the loch. There are several suitable places en route to enjoy a refreshment break while admiring the scenery.
Shortly after passing the end of the loch you arrive at another junction. For those finishing their days walk here you turn right and after a short distance pass through a gate and cross the bridge before heading uphill to the recently extended River Affric car park where again there are toilets, open Easter-October, and a number of picnic tables. Those who might want to carry on turn left at the junction and continue onto Stage 3.
The FCS Glen Affric Guide mentioned above has two interesting waymarked walks from the car park that are well worth investigating. The Am Meallan viewpoint offers another perspective on the views along Glen Affric and the Kintail mountains while the River Affric trail allows you to get close to the surging waters that are particularly spectacular when the river is in spate.
The car park is an ideal spot for those who are following the route section by section and have arranged transport to meet them.
Please note that parking charges apply at both Dog Falls and River Affric car parks, the proceeds of which go towards the work that FCS does in maintaining and improving the facilities in Glen Affric. The current charge is £2 per day and covers both car parks thus only one purchase is necessary.