Strath Vaich

Hugging the west shore of Loch Vaich this small pinewood holds some splendid mature pines and is undergoing restoration management in parts, to protect young trees.

From the main Inverness - Ullapool road a good surfaced route leads up through this quiet glen. On the low ground, farmland with herds of highland cattle grazing alongside the river gives way to steep moorland and crags. The track eventually reaches a stone dam at the end of Loch Vaich which was developed in the 1950’s to provide hydro electricity generation. In the peat around the loch, erosion has exposed the preserved roots and trunks of pine that grew here over 4000 years ago. This remote and high mountainous area is home to golden eagle and ptarmigan. A hill track leads up the east side of the loch on an ancient route to Glen Alladale and provides excellent views of the pinewood. The Aultguish Inn near the road end offers refreshment and there is a bus service from Inverness.

Content by Clifton Bain adapted from The Ancient Pinewoods of Scotland: A Traveller's Guide, Clifton Bain, Sandstone Press, RRP £24.99.

The Ancient Pinewoods of Scotland: A Traveller's Guide