Glenmoriston footprints: a supernatural mystery | Loch Ness 360°

The Highlands of Scotland, when the low mist settles and an evening light filters through the clouds, can be a mystical, almost celestial place. If you are looking for a supernatural Scotland story, then we’ve got one for you here. This is the strange tale of the Glenmoriston footprints. 

Take yourself back to 1827, under a tree near the village of Glenmoriston on the south west side of Loch Ness. A preacher is spreading the word of God to a group of unconvinced folk, and things are not going as planned…

Rev. Munro's footprints as seen today in the ground.
Rev. Munro’s footprints

“…these footprints will remain forever.”

Rev. Finlay Munro was an unkempt man who had previously drawn the ire of the ministry for his interpretations of the Evangelical Gospel. He was known to travel the small towns and villages of the Highlands spreading the word. Often, he would be met with respect and listened to politely, often by large congregations.

That was not the case when he came to Glenmoriston.

This was a time when preachers would not have a bible or anything else to help them in their task. Instead, they would use the world around them. At Torgyle, near Glenmoriston, The Rev. Munro took a local birch tree as his example. The tree had three branches, which he used to explain the Holy Trinity to the gathered folk. 

To this, there was much heckling and scoffing. His preaching wasn’t going down well, and he began to get angry. Soon, he erupted, telling those gathered that none of them would die a natural death. And it is said that, eventually, none of them did.

Furthermore, Rev. Munro decided to show how certain he was that what he spoke was the truth. He said, “To show a testimony that I am speaking the truth, these footprints will remain forever.”. Remember, this was two hundred years ago and remarkably, the footsteps can still be seen to this day!

A closeup of the Glenmoriston footprints.

Even weirder, in 1907 there was a terrific storm in the area. The storm would normally be expected to rip trees up from the roots, but the beech tree that Finlay Munro used only had it’s top blown off. This was unusual, but it is said that if the whole tree had been blown away – roots and all – it would have taken the footsteps with it. This is taken as further proof that the footsteps are, somehow, protected. 

Visit on your Loch Ness 360° walk

The story doesn’t end there! The footsteps are today protected by a small cairn – a collection of stones. This is because in 1976, they were stolen. Tourists are the suspected culprits. However, the footsteps at some point reappeared, reaffirming their indelicate mark on the ground. 

The cairn around Glenmoriston footprints.
The cairn built around the Glenmoriston footprints.

You can visit them on your walk on the Loch Ness 360° trail. It’s something you can do any time of the year – even winter. To get there, cross Torgoyle bridge if you are heading east. Around a quarter of a mile further on you will find a little parking area on the right hand side of the road as you approach from the bridge. There will be a gate to the left. The cairn and footsteps are visible almost as soon as you are through the gate.

Visiting the Glenmoriston footprints on your Highland holidays is a great excursion. Remember to let us see your photos via our social media!