Old Track to Lochinver
Start location: Lochinver (NC 095 223)
End location: A835 (NC 230 122)
Geographical area: Sutherland
Path Type: Rural Path
Path distance: 20km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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This is one of the best long distance walks in Assynt, taking a direct line through Glen Canisp between the splendid peaks of Suilven and Canisp, and following a good path for most of the way. Leave Lochinver by the private road to Glencanisp Lodge and continue along the road past the lodge and up Glen Canisp by a fine path past Suileag bothy (MBA), along the north side of Loch na Gainimh, and through the narrow defile of Ghlinne Dhorcha. Cross the burn at the outflow of Lochan Fada and climb gradually along the bare stony ridge on its south side. Less than 1km beyond the head of the loch, the path turns south along a low ridge and drops to Cam Loch. Finally follow the path southeast along the lochside to reach the A835, 2km from Elphin.
Unfortunately, the linked Heritage Paths mapped line (see below) for this route is way out, though it does at least take you to Assynt. We're working on getting that fixed, but in the meantime, find Lochinver on the map and follow the route description above.
This path appears in the 1st edition OS 6 inch to the mile maps, which were surveyed in the mid 19th century. It is also marked in John Home's Survey of Assynt in 1774 as Road from Inver to Ledbeg. In John Home's survey, a large number of shielings are marked, so it was likely have been used bi-annually by people at the shielings in addition to people travelling between Lochinver and Ledmore or beyond.
Since 2004, this old route has crossed land owned by The Assynt Foundation, a community land-owning body which works in partnership with the John Muir Trust. As part of the Coigach - Assynt Living Landscape partnership, the two organisations have launched the Suilven Path Appeal, a project to restore two sections of path on the approach to Suilven including the part beginning at Glencanisp.