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Loch Arkaig

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Latest forest information

Open water

  • This destination contains areas of open water which can be hazardous if you are not suitably prepared. Follow our water safety advice and take care.

About

Butterflies, waterfalls and a truly remote Highland loch

Loch Arkaig is a hidden gem, fringed with woodland and open hills and tucked away off the beaten track between Fort William and Inverness. You can enjoy a picnic beside the waterfall at Chia-aig, at the east end of the loch, then look for butterflies at the more remote Allt Mhuic reserve.

Walking trails

Walking

Allt Mhuic Butterfly Reserve

Climb up onto the open hillside to see the rare chequered skipper butterfly against the amazing backdrop of Loch Arkaig.

Rough grassy surface with some rocky and very wet sections. Long steep slopes for up to 500m. Includes a narrow gate and sections of boardwalk.

Strenuous trail grade icon
1 miles / 1.7 km

Allow
¾ hour

More information

This is a beautiful place even if there are no butterflies about. Listen for wood warblers singing among the birch trees, and look for grey wagtails and dippers along the burn.

Activities

Bring your bikes

The road alongside the shore at Loch Arkaig is narrow but quiet. On a pleasant day it may be more pleasant to park the car and continue on bike.

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Mountain access
Mountain access
Picnic area
Picnic area

The nearest public facilities, shops and cafés are in Spean Bridge.

Water safety

We want all our visitors to have a safe and enjoyable time at our forests. If you plan on venturing into the water here, please read our safety advice first.

Water safety

Car parking information

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.

More about parking

Getting here

From the Commando Memorial on the A82 at Spean Bridge, follow signs towards Gairlochy. At a fork in the road just after a bridge over the Caledonian Canal, veer right following the sign for 'Loch Arkaig (B8005)'. It's a rough and narrow road after this point, but worth the journey.

You'll reach Chia-aig waterfall first, 5 miles along the road. Allt Mhuic butterfly reserve is a further 4 miles along the road.

Using SatNav?

PH34 4EJ is the nearest postcode.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6650 (option 1)
More contact information

Nearby forests

Red toadstool in forest with bike wheel beyond

World class mountain biking trails at Nevis Range

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Cafe or refreshments
Cafe or refreshments
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Loch Arkaig': 8.61 miles
Heavily forested hillside with large bare mountain beyond with snow on top and a cloudy blue sky.

A nationally renowned hub of outdoor activities

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking icon
Parking
Treetop adventure
Treetop adventure
Cafe or refreshments
Cafe or refreshments
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Mountain access
Mountain access
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Loch Arkaig': 8.66 miles
A sail boat tied up in calm water with a forested hillside in the background.

A picnic spot right next to the water's edge

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Loch Arkaig': 8.81 miles