Skip to main content

We look forward to welcoming you to Scotland's forests. To enjoy your visit safely please plan ahead, follow local signage and park considerately.

River Affric

Where we are

COVID-19 update

Enjoy your visit safely:

  • Read our COVID-19 Information in advance of your visit.
  • Most of our forests and facilities are open, but use our website to check before you travel.
  • Do not light campfires or use disposable barbecues.
  • Park considerately, taking care not to park on verges or block gates or roads.
  • Take care on or around open water. Find out more on our Water Safety page.

Latest forest information

The approach road to River Affric car park will be closed for essential road maintenance on Wednesday, 22 September 2021. Please use the old quarry near Chisholm Bridge for parking. You will be able to walk or cycle to River Affric and the trails beyond. We aim to reopen on 23 September. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience.

About

A rushing river, the gateway to Glen Affric

Here, at the end of the public road, Glen Affric opens up and you are surrounded by the mountains. The wild land is home to golden eagles, mountain hares and red deer.

Autumn and winter are the best times to see deer, when they come down from the hills to find shelter and feed on bark and young saplings. In the past, wolves helped to keep the delicate balance between deer and trees. Now we fence some areas of forest to keep the deer out, and control their numbers so both trees and deer stay healthy.

Guide map to Glen Affric (PDF 4.6MB)

Walking trails (2)

Walking

Am Meallan Viewpoint Trail

A brisk climb through the bracken and birch trees reveals a magnificent viewpoint looking across Loch Affric to the mountains beyond.

Firm gravel path with uneven rocky sections. Steep slopes and several sets of rocky steps. Includes a road crossing.

Moderate trail grade icon
¼ miles / 0.6 km

Allow
¼ hour

More information

From the viewpoint there’s a grand panorama of the mountains at the head of the glen. Drovers used to bring herds of cattle through the mountain passes, driving them from the small farming communities in the west of Scotland to market in Inverness.

Panorama of a snow-covered woodland trail with a loch and mountains in the background
Walking

River Affric Trail

Descend to the banks of the River Affric, where the peaty waters surge powerfully between Loch Affric and Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhain.

Uneven gravel path with rocky sections and exposed tree roots. Some steep slopes and several sets of uneven stone steps. Optional rough and narrow rocky section.

Moderate trail grade icon
½ miles / 0.9 km

Allow
½ hour

More information

The river is spectacular after rain, as it rushes through the pinewood. Look for the swirling patterns in the rocks by the river’s edge, and keep a watch for deer in autumn and winter. You’ll need sharp eyes to spot their reddish coats among the trees and bracken.

Activities

Off the beaten path

If you’re feeling adventurous, this is the starting point for some superb longer routes in superb mountain scenery. Remember that there are no signposts once you leave the waymarked trails from the car parks, and there is no mobile phone signal so it is difficult to call for help if you get into difficulties. You need to be fit, confident at map-reading and navigation, and well equipped with clothing and food. Check our advice on hill walking before you set off.

The circuit around Loch Affric itself will give you a real flavour of the mountains that separate east and west Scotland. It’s about 11 miles (18 km) and fairly level. It’s easy to find your way, but on the north side of the loch you have to cross burns that have no bridges. This can be tricky after heavy rain, and you may need to go some way up or down the burn to find a safe place to cross. You’ll find more details of the route, together with reports from people who’ve done it, on the Walk Highlands website.

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Easy-access facilities
Easy-access facilities
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area

Be prepared

Much of the road through the glen is single track, like many Highland roads. Drive slowly, and pull over to let other cars pass at the passing places.

Be warned that there is no mobile phone reception in the glen, so you won’t be able to use electronic maps that rely on a network connection.

There are toilets here, open in the summer months.

A bite to eat

You’ll find places to eat in Cannich or Tomich and a shop in Cannich. There are no cafés or shops in Glen Affric itself.

Car parking information

The charges to park at River Affric are:

Payment options: Coin only

  • £1 for up to 1 hour
  • £1.50 for up to 3 hours
  • £2 for all day
  • £8 for minibus all day 
  • This car park is not suitable for coaches
  • Still have time left on your ticket? Tickets purchased at River Affric are also valid at Dog Falls, so make the most of your trip and visit the neighbouring forest.

Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates. Nearby car parks with free parking can be found in our local forest list without the £ symbol. 

Annual parking pass available:

Blue badge holders park free. Please display your Blue Badge clearly.

More parking info

Getting here

From Inverness or Fort William, follow the A82 along Loch Ness to Drumnadrochit. Turn onto the A831, signposted for Canaich (Cannich). In Cannich village, turn left onto the minor road signposted for Glen Affric. River Affric is about 10 miles (16 km) along this road.

Using SatNav?

IV4 7LN is the postcode for the centre of Cannich village. Follow the directions above from there.

Public transport

Buses run from Inverness to Tomich and Cannich throughout the year. For details visit Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Nearby forests

PEople having a picnic by a loch

A lochside picnic spot with gentle woodland paths

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'River Affric': 2.46 miles
Two young women, one with orange woollen hat, other with blue striped woollen hat, look up from wooden viewing platform to high point of Plodda Falls waterfall as it roars down rockface, Glen Affric

One of Scotland’s most spectacular waterfalls

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'River Affric': 3.08 miles
Flowing stream at Dog Falls

Picnic by rushing rapids, with glorious woodland walks

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'River Affric': 4.49 miles

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6100 (option 1)
More contact information

Find out more

Share your experience

Our website uses cookies.
We use cookies that are essential for the site to work. We also use non-essential cookies to help us improve our website. Any data collected is anonymised. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about cookies and the options available.