Section 5 - Foyers to Dores
22 km or 13.5 miles
For this fifth part of the Loch Ness 360° walk, which takes you from Foyers to Dores, you will follow the South Loch Ness Trail (SLNT). Look for the blue signage with a squirrel along the route.
Step by Step Guide
In Foyers, walk along the main road towards Inverness. When you see the sign for Foyers Primary School on your right, turn right here. After a few metres you will see a signpost for the walking route to Inverfarigaig and Boleskine on your right. Take this track on your right and start walking uphill through woodland until you see a blue marker and some tree stumps made into seats on your left. Turn left here and join a rough walking track.
The path becomes quite rough here as you climb up for a while through woodland, until you reach a large boulder with a chain on your right. After this point, you start to drop down again through a wooded section. Again, the path can be rough and wet underfoot here. The path then becomes wider and eventually drops down to a forestry track when you see a large boulder on your right. Turn right here and follow the track through woodland.
You will start to see markers for other local paths here, but please ignore them. The track leads you through mature woodland of beautiful tall trees and you descend towards Inverfarigaig. You will see a wooden bridge and path going off to the right, but please carry on straight ahead here. Soon you will arrive at a car park and toilet facilities at Inverfarigaig – these are open all year round. At the car park, turn left onto a small road, which leads you back to the main road after a few metres. Turn right when you reach the main road.
Walk along the road here for a short while crossing a bridge (note the historic bridge on the right hand side!), then turn right at the blue marker and follow a minor road known locally as the “corkscrew”. This road leads you steeply uphill along a series of zig-zag bends and eventually turns into a farm track. Enjoy great views of Loch Ness when you glance back towards Inverfarigaig!
Keep following the farm track that now turns away from the Loch and inland towards Balchraggan, where the view opens up with farmland and fields on both sides. Cattle and sheep roam around here freely, so take care and keep dogs on leads. The track now widens again (forestry vehicles operate here, please be careful!) and you will see an area of felled trees on your left. When you come to a junction, take the track going uphill to your left.
Follow the track further uphill, ascending towards one of the best viewpoints of the South Loch Ness Trail, the “Fair Haired Lad’s Pass”. You will come to another junction, again you follow the track uphill to your left. The track becomes smaller now and passes through another woodland area before you emerge at the Fair Haired Lad’s Pass and amazing views of Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle across the water.
You now descend steeply from the pass towards the shores of Loch Ness. The path can be quite rough and again, you walk through woodland here with steep cliffs on your right as the path becomes wider.
Follow the forestry track downhill through an area of felled trees until you drop down to the main road. Follow the track here that takes you away from the road to the right and along a pleasant woodland track.
Follow the woodland track. Over the next mile or so you will cross a number of small streams, but all are very easy to cross, mostly with nothing more than a big step! The path drops down to the main road and you cross over to the opposite side and pick up the path there, running parallel to the road. You will pass the entrance to a fish farm, where you briefly have to go back up to the road until you reach the village of Dores.
In Dores you will find a restaurant, public toilets, a small number of guesthouses and a small post office.