This flattish walk has been called the finest short walk in Scotland by no less than W H Murray, a great hero of mine – a top climber and Himalayan mountaineer who was involved in one of the Everest reconnaissance expeditions which assisted Hillary in summiting; writer of famed works on Scotland and beyond, a beautiful writer at that.The walk is just over 1.5km each way.
The walk begins at the end of the single track road car-park at the head of Glen Nevis, a beautiful glen and a million miles in feel from the dull, somewhat depressing small town of Fort William.It’s a fine drive up to the car park.
There is an information board and rather alarming warning sign – ‘Danger of Death’ – but unless you really were kamikaze or incredibly careless, it is fine. It is there because it is such a popular walk and people who do not usually venture onto rocky paths, need to be warned about the underfoot conditions. Nevertheless, care is needed in a couple of places if it is wet as there are uneven slabs and drops; there is no fence protection. Small children should be kept under tight control at all times! (I was appalled at some very young children being allowed to just make their own way along the path; quite disturbing to watch.) The walk follows the line of the Nevis gorge. One section which requires some negotiation over uneven rock slabs, has a handrail to assist.
It is a very short walk and if you are doing it briskly, as I did one spring, the beautiful glen at the end of the walk is reached in 15-20 minutes.There is no ascent as such (not sure why it is listed as having a 220m ascent in walkhighlands. It is virtually flat.)
At the head of the glen is a beautiful waterfall, the third highest in Scotland at over 100m.The glen is a flat, gentle grassy area with rocky hills all around and a fine sun trap in summer.
A picnic by the rushing river is a good idea.This area is the starting point for longer walks up into some of the mountains hereabouts – though access requires the crossing of a daunting looking wire rope bridge!