Thursday, 21 September 2023
Deep and winding Glen Hurich (Gleann na h'Iubraich) is thickly wooded, and one of the most productive forests in the area. The woods, rivers and lochs here are full of wildlife – watch out for red deer, golden eagles and the rare black throated diver.
Explore the quiet trails here for superb views of Loch Shiel, Loch Doilet and the River Polloch, and discover the fascinating ruined lead mines at Corrantee.
Oakwoods once grew all along the Atlantic coast from Norway to Spain; the woodland here at Glen Hurich is a rare surviving fragment of those ancient forests. There was once a much larger population here producing charcoal, bark for leather tanning and timber for building. More recently the woods were planted with non-native coniferous species which stopped the oak wood species expanding. Now, with local community support, the conifers are gradually being removed and the oakwood habitat restored.
These semi-natural woodlands are home to some of the best collections of lower plants (plants which do not flower) in the whole of Europe. The clean air, moist climate and long continuity of woodland cover have combined to produce ideal conditions for lichens, mosses and liverworts. On the edges of the Sunart oakwoods in early summer, you might also be lucky enough to spot the rare chequered skipper butterfly.
The Polloch car park is an excellent spot to start exploring the area. However, do be aware that there is usually forestry work going on in this area. For your own safety, please obey any signs.
Please note, beyond the carpark there is a private road, no unauthorised vehicles are allowed beyond this point.
You'll find public toilets, refreshments, shopping and information at nearby Strontian.
There is no charge to park in this car park. Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates.
From Strontian, follow the unclassified road over the hill to Polloch village. The car park is at the end of the public road.
PH37 4LX is the nearest postcode.
There are buses from Fort William to Strontian every day except Sunday. Find timetables at Traveline Scotland.
A breathtaking Atlantic oakwood, peaceful and serene
An atmospheric walk with stunning views of Loch Sunart