Laggan to Fort Augustus

Wood on edge of Loch Oich

Way on the east side of Loch Oich

Resume the walk just to the south of the Laggan Swing Bridge taking to the east side of Loch Oich past the Great Glen Water Park.

Loch Oich is the shortest of the three Great Glen Lochs at just over 4 miles, but it is the highest at just over 100 feet above sea level. This initial part of the section does not have any gradients and the walk stays close to the lochside.

The pathway along the Loch is on the old track of the Spean Bridge to Fort Augustus railway. This is long since disused and the way is remembered for the Leiterfearn Nature Reserve and the trees lining the shores of the loch.

The Loch narrows at the point where the way passes through a high fence into the Aberchalder Estate. Across the Loch past the small islands is Invergarry.

Invergarry on Loch Oich

Looking across Loch Oich towards Invergarry

Bridge of Oich

Bridge of Oich at Aberchalder

Shortly the Way reaches the A82 road at Aberchalder, the point where Loch Oich flows north into the River Oich and along the Caledonian Canal.

The Bridge of Oich is a cantilever bridge which was used for traffic up until 1932. This crosses the River Oich, but the A82 now passses over a replacement bridge and the canal swing bridge, which are adjacent.

Almost immediately north is the first lock on the canals descent towards the Moray Firth and the North Sea. The first lock is Cullochy.

The route is by way of the towpath that is between the River Oich and the Canal on the eastern side. At times the towpath is almost all that separates the two strips of water. You will also note at points that there are weirs on the towpath to let the canal water level overflow into the river that is a number of feet below.


Cullochy Lock


Kytra Lock

About half way along this section of the canal and just following a natural widening of the canal into what looks like a small Loch, the path reaches Kytra Lock.

Kytra Lock is beautifully maintained and surrounded by Scots Pines. To the west is the ruined castle of Torr Dhuin.

The path now becomes more of a track and soon the houses and golf course of Fort Augustus are on the right side of the canal. This is followed by holiday homes and parks on the left before the canal bears to the right and enters the Fort Augustus locks.

Although not as large as the Nepturn's Staircase this set of five locks drops the level by over 40 feet. The setting of the locks with the houses, shops and pubs on either side and the view out over Loch Ness makes this a location to remember.

In Fort Augustus there are ample shops, restaurants, hotels and accommodation to meet all needs. There are also several exhibitions open, and boat trips onto Loch Ness making this an ideal stop over point on the Way.

Fort Augustus

The Locks - Fort Augustus

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