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Dalnavie Drove Road

Start location: Dalnavie (NH 644 737)
End location: Kincardine (NH 605 894)
Geographical area: Ross and Cromarty
Path Type: Drove Road
Path distance: 23km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians

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Route Description

From the crossroads at Dalnavie, go generally north-west past Ardross along the narrow public road to its end at Breantra. Here, there is a choice of historic routes as northwest lies the through route to Glen Calvie. However, to instead follow this old route to Kincardine, take a path north through a pine wood then up the hillside to a prominent boulder. Pass a deer fence and gate to another prominent boulder beyond the crest of Creag Braigh an t-Sratha. From there climb to Clach Goil (a huge boulder) and descend gradually north towards the headwaters of the Wester Fearn Burn along a typically wide drove track, the line has sparser but greener vegetation. From the derelict Garbhairaidh bothy, a path leads downstream on the south-east side of the burn, with a slight climb across the lower slopes of Meall Doir a' Chuilinn before descending again to cross the Wester Fearn Burn by a footbridge at Garvary.
From there northwards for 2 or 3km the route becomes rougher and more difficult. After crossing the burn, go north up a forest ride, crossing two forest roads and the upper deer fence to reach Cnocan Ruigh Ruaidh (NH596868), Then head just east of north for 1km, the path at this point being almost lost in mossy waterlogged moorland, but it re-appears at NH597877. Follow it across the moorland between Church Hill and the Glas-choille plantation, and on down through open woods to join the minor road 0.5km south of Kincardine.
An obvious alternative to the above route from Garvary, is to go down the private road on the south bank of the Wester Fearn Burn to reach the A9 near Fearn Lodge.

OS Landranger 21

Heritage Information

This route is noted in ScotWays records as having been used by drovers. In Haldane's The Drove Roads of Scotland reference is made to local landowners confiscating cattle which strayed from the drove roads, particularly that part between Kincardine and Strathrusdale. Haldane speculates that drovers may have been using the hill road past Aultnamain Inn, or tracks further west - these latter tracks are likely to include this route. In any case, it was probably one of a number of tracks used by drovers when travelling from the north to the very popular Tryst at Muir of Ord.





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