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COVID-19 and Forestry and Land Scotland

FLS has reduced its operations to felling that is contributing to essential business requirements to help keep Scotland ticking over. Our staff are working from home where possible; staff who are working continue to practise social distancing rigorously following Government and NHS guidance to keep safe.

Fresh air and being outdoors benefits physical and mental health and well-being, and for local visitors the majority of walking trails on Scotland’s national forests and land remain open. Be aware that staff cannot maintain our standard checks and maintenance. All our mountain biking trails and all car parks are closed.

All visitors are reminded to maintain social distance at all times.

Latest on COVID-19

Cow Hill

Where we are

A wee hill with great of views of Ben Nevis and the Mamores

Fort William's 'Outdoor Capital of the UK' status begins at Cow Hill, a mere 15 minute stroll from the town centre. Depending on where you are on the circuit around the top of the hill, you'll have wide open views of Loch Eil, Loch Linnhe, Glen Nevis and its surrounding mountains. The northern end of the route also acts as a picturesque, road-free walk from Fort William directly into Glen Nevis.

As the name suggests, crofters used to graze their beasts on the slopes of Cow Hill. You might see some Highland cattle here now; the way they crop the grass is just right for some wildflowers and butterflies, so we’ve introduced a herd to help with our conservation work.

Guide map to forests around Fort William (PDF 6.9MB)

Walking trails


Cow Hill Circuit

A loop all the way round Cow Hill, the wee hill with big views. There's also an option to branch off the circuit to visit the top of the hill. Great views of lochs, Ben Nevis and the Mamores.

Mostly wide, firm path although some short sections can be narrow, loose or rough.

4 miles / 6.5 km

2¾ hours

More information

The section of trail on the south of the hill is known as the ‘Peat Track’ – local crofters used it on their way back from cutting peat for fuel, and it has the best views of Ben Nevis. The trail is popular with mountain bikers as well as walkers: on blind corners, be aware there might be a biker just round the bend.

Facilities & access


You may be able to use the toilets in Lochaber Leisure Centre. Head back into Fort William for more toilets, shops and places to eat and drink.

Getting here

There are three ways up onto Cow Hill. A path begins from the rear car park of Lochaber Leisure Centre on Fort William's Belford Road. Alternatively, head ¾ mile into Glen Nevis and begin your walk from our Braveheart car park. There is also a track onto the hill from the south end of Lundavra Road, just after the turn-off to Lochview Estate.

Using SatNav?

PH33 6BU is the postcode for the Lochaber Leisure Centre.

Public transport

Local bus services stop directly outside Lochaber Leisure Centre. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

0300 067 6650 (option 1)
More contact information

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