Old Road to Forres
Start location: Milton of Moy (NH 796 320)
End location: Dulsie (NH 932 419)
Geographical area: Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey
Path Type: Rural Path
Path distance: 19.8km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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Our route survey heads away from Forres:
From the road junction just north of Dulsie, take the minor road for 9km up the Findhorn valley to Drynachan Lodge and Daless. Take the track which rises SW from Daless farm and go on to the ruins at Kincraig (not shown on the OS Landranger map). From there minor paths are followed along the river bank, becoming steep and narrow with a short scrambly section 1km below Shenachie. Easy ground follows and the route joins the track leading to Ruthven. Then continue by a minor road to join the A9 road 2km north of the Freeburn Hotel, Tomatin.
An alternative route from Daless is to follow a vehicular track across to the south bank of the River Findhorn by an easy ford at map ref 860 381 and continue upstream to Ballachronin, and then by a path to a point opposite Shenachie. The rope and pulley system used to cross the river there is kept locked, and the option to wade across at a ford is only possible if the river is low. If the river is forded near Shenachie, continue up the north bank by the track to Ruthven. If the River Findhorn cannot be safely waded, it is preferable to follow its north bank for the whole way.
OS Landranger 27 (Nairn & Forres, River Findhorn)
The majority of this route is depicted in Roy's Military Survey 1747-55. It crosses the river upstream of Shenachie and follows the south bank until just west of Ballachrochin then crosses again to rejoin the north bank track.
Interestingly the route that is shown is the section that is no longer in the modern road network. The reason for this could be that the military road between Coupar Angus and Fort George was being constructed at the same time as Roy's Survey. Following the building of this military road through Dulsie, the track to Dulsie and thence onwards to Forres is likely to have got busier and perhaps only then have been well used enough to be mapped. Another reason for only part of the route being depicted may relate to the break in Roy's Survey at that point.
A former local resident, born in 1922 in the glen, reports that although current maps mark Shenachie on the west bank of the river, the ruin was known as Polochaig and it is the grass covered ruins directly opposite over the river that are Shenachie. He says that Shenachie was once occupied by MacQueen, credited with killing the last wolf in the area.
Polochaig is the name that appears on Roy's Survey and the OS 1" first and second edition maps. Shenachie doesn't appear on the OS mapping until it replaces Polochaig on the 1" third edition map surveyed in 1908-9.