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Home of ancient rituals, geology, and mountain views
There's plenty in Blackmuir Wood to bring you back again and again, from the old curling pond by the car park to Touchstone Maze, a fabulous collection of ancient Scottish rocks. You can run along the Cat's Back to the Iron Age hill fort of Knock Farril, or take it more gently on two well-surfaced trails. Either way, you'll enjoy great mountain views, and spectacular sunsets in summer.
Red Kite Trail
A short open loop with good views of Ben Wyvis and an opportunity to see kites and buzzards soaring above the edge of the forest.
Firm, largely wide gravel surface. Some uneven, loose and slightly grassy sections. Long moderate slopes for up to 700m with short slightly steeper ramps.
Allow ¾ hour
A short and easy circular route beside a pretty lochan and through an open area of regenerating woodland with summer wildflowers. Catch some spectacular views west to Strathconon, the Fannichs and Ben Wyvis and check the skies for a sharp-eyed red kite looking for prey below.
Touchstone Maze Trail
Climb up to a remarkable stone labyrinth and find some far-ranging views across the mountains of the north.
Firm gravel surface throughout, with uneven and loose parts. Long moderate slopes for 700m and some slightly steeper sections.
Allow 1½ hours
The Touchstone Maze is a fascinating representation of the variety of rock found across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. This route to it is a popular running route, and you can make it more demanding by adding the Cat's Back and the Iron Age fort at Knockfarrel.
Find out more detail about the rocks that make up the Touchstone Maze with our handy guides
Facilities & access
You'll find public toilets, shops and eating places in the centre of Strathpeffer, less than a mile (1.6 km) from the forest. You can also hire bikes there.
From Inverness follow the A9 north to the Tore roundabout. Take the second exit onto the A835 (for Ullapool and Dingwall). Stay on this road for 10 miles (16 km) turning right onto a minor road for Kinnahaird and then right onto the A834 for Strathpeffer. Just as you enter the village there's a large white building on the right and a tourist information sign on the left. Turn right after the building and follow signs to the car park at grid reference NH 478 573.
IV14 9BT is the nearest postcode.
There are buses from Inverness to Strathpeffer and the car park is less than a mile (1.6 km) from the village centre. You'll find timetables at Traveline Scotland.
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