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Ruthven Military Road

Start location: B970, Ruthven (NN 762 995)
End location: Etteridge (NN 686 925)
Geographical area: Cairngorms National Park
Path Type: Military Road
Path distance: 11km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians

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Route Description

Leave Kingussie by the B970 to Ruthven, turn right to Knappach, pass under the A9, but after 300m recross it (stile and gate) to a roadside parking place with a right of way sign. Follow the track southwest along the line of General Wade’s Military Road across the moor past Luibleathann bothy and Phones Lodge to Etteridge. Since the A9 was dualled, crossing hte road here has become an especially risky activity and can't be recommended. Transport Scotland has stated its commitment to installing an underpass, but although construction was proposed to commence in 2017, as of 2020 this has not yet happened.

OS Landranger 35  (Kingussie & Monadhliath Mountains)

Heritage Information

This is a part of General Wade's Road from Dunkeld to Inverness built 1728-30 and totalling 102 miles in length. Further sections of this lengthy Military Road which are described on the Heritage Paths website are the stretch via Old Blair, that via the Slochd and the Old Edinburgh Road from Moy to Inverness

There is an original bridge on the way and quite a few cross drains.  Wade doesn't seem to have built culverts, so his original drainage systems were cross drains paved with flat stones.  Sadly these don't tend to survive; as they're difficult for wheeled vehicles to use, they often get filled in.

Ruthven Barracks were built 1719-21, on a hill which was the site of the former stronghold of the Wolf of Badenoch. A guard house and stable were added in 1734; the latter could hold 28 horses for dragoons either acting as messengers on the network of military roads or as protection for the troops. The barracks were a major staging post of considerable strategic importance on the road to Inverness. 

There are also quite a few ruined townships on the way, which show that this road would once have passed many houses with people living and working there - its remoteness is relatively recent.



Copyright: Andrew Tyron

Copyright: Mark Thomas

Copyright: Richard Webb

Copyright: Richard Webb



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Copyright: Mark Thomas Copyright: Andrew Tyron Copyright: Richard Webb
Copyright: Kevin Philpott Copyright: Andrew Tyron Copyright: Richard Webb
Copyright: Richard Webb Copyright: Richard Webb Copyright: Richard Webb
Copyright: Richard Webb



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