Glenmore Forest Trail TravelWithacouple
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Glenmore Forest Trails

The welcome and information board at Glenmore Forest Park visitor centre says ‘Ancient forests, high mountains and golden shores’. We had just returned from the not-so-high mountains (Cairngorms Trek) and was now looking forward to a forest trail walk.

Glenmore Forest Trail TravelWithacouple

Glenmore Forest Trail TravelWithacouple

Glenmore is one of the largest forests within the Cairngorms National Park. Forest parks are well maintained by the ‘Forestry and Land’ division of the Scotland government. And there are many trails for hikes and treks. Scotland, interestingly has the ‘Scottish Access Rights’, which gives the individuals the freedom to go anywhere and enjoy the outdoors in Scotland. This is completely different to the position of England and Wales. There are numerous walking/hiking/cycling trails across Scotland.

The various trails were marked on the board (as well as in the detailed brochure that is available for pickup). With distances, starting points, difficulty levels and the trail map itself. Our plan was either to do a trail and take the bus back or do a trail as well as walk all the way back to Aviemore.

Ambitious we were, so chose the 6-km Loch Morlich trail, which circles the dazzling Morlich lake (loch in Scottish), and then the 10.5-km Old Logging Way trail, all the way to Aviemore. With a bit of overlap, the total distance would be about 15 km.

Glenmore Forest Trail TravelWithacouple

Glenmore Forest Trail TravelWithacoupleFirst we went off to the sandy beach of Loch Morlich; didn’t walk in the inviting golden sand though, in deference to our wet shoes. The beach has water sports facilities, too.

Back into the meandering path through the woods, we took a wrong turn somewhere, ending up closer to the loch and going back towards our starting point. This was despite the clear trail markings! Blame it all on the enchanting atmosphere! The pine and birch trees with the shimmering loch glancing through the gaps must have addled us a bit!

Getting back to the trail, we crossed a bridge with a picture-postcard view and continued at a sedate pace, immersing ourselves in the beauty that surrounded us: Cairngorms mountains looking majestic on one side and the Loch Morlich on the other like a cool waterbody as it should be!

Glenmore Forest Trail TravelWithacouple

At one point, we turned to a narrow trail leading to the loch. The sky and mountains reflected in the water and the grass growing from the woods to the loch with no borders created a view that calms and energises you. Boosted, we ambled back to the trail and after an hour or so reached the caravan parking area, towards the end of the trail.

Glenmore Forest Trail TravelWithacouple

The energy didn’t sustain, so we rested, gazing at a beautiful rainbow and munching on the yummy gluten-free muffins that we had picked up from the café at the visitor center.Glenmore Forest Trail TravelWithacouple

As it was getting late, we pushed ourselves and got back to the trail that joined the Old Logging Way trail. The trail seemed endless. At many places, it runs parallel to the motorway.

Soon, the body started to complain (the lentil soup from the café at Cairngorm base, gluten-free cupcakes, and the delightful forest can only support for so long!). The 6-odd-km trek in the morning, damp socks, and intermittent rains—we realised that it is ambitious to walk all the way to Aviemore. The forest around didn’t even have a clearing for us to rest our butts for a few minutes! Finally, found a fallen tree and we sat there and shared an apple, trying to get the body moving. Then continued walking till Coylumbridge, where there’s a bus stop. By that time, we had walked close to 11 km at Glenmore. A couple was waiting at the bus stop , which meant the possibility of a bus arriving soon. The Stagecoach bus app confirmed that. We decided to wait and take the bus.

A trek and a trail walk of 16–17 km in a day, through a delightful landscape was an experience that we will cherish for a long time. The discomfort of damp socks seemed a very tiny price compared to what we got!


Other stories on Aviemore / Cairngorms:

Trekking at Cairngorms Mountains

The Flying Scotsman at Aviemore

Ravenscraig@Aviemore – A warm highland welcome awaits


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