Relax in the shade of native trees
The perfect place for a peaceful lochside picnic and the start of some scenic trails through oak woodland on the fringes of the loch. Take a short easy stroll to a bench with panoramic views or wander amongst ancient oaks to the Garbh Eilean wildlife hide.
A place for everyone
The car park can hold seven cars. There is a picnic bench suitable for visitors with wheelchairs near the parking area, with easy access to it.
There is also a parking area at Garbh Eilean wildlife hide if you need easier access, and the short trail down to the hide from there is suitable for everyone.
You'll find public toilets, fuel, refreshments and shops at nearby Strontian.
A short stroll through regenerating native woodland to a fine viewpoint overlooking Loch Sunart.
Smooth gravel surface throughout, with some slightly uneven sections. Includes a number of short steep slopes.
¼ miles / 0.5 km Allow ¼ hour
Look out for vivid green ferns, mosses and lichens amongst the trees: they thrive in the clean air and moist coastal climate here.
Garbh Eilean Trail
This winding route through the vibrant oakwoods whets your appetite for the wonderful waterside wildlife at Garbh Eilean hide.
Wide, smooth gravel surface with some slightly uneven sections. Several steep slopes. One section of boardwalk.
1 miles / 1.6 km Allow ¾ hour
Go quietly down to the wildlife hide to spot basking seals, stately herons and perhaps an otter or a sea eagle.
Mountain biking trails
Meet the natives
Look closely and you’ll see many conifer stumps amongst the oak, birch and alder trees at Àrd-Àirigh. Forestry Commission Scotland felled the fast-growing Sitka spruces planted for their timber, and, thanks to natural regeneration, the native species that once grew here now grow in abundance once more.
What to look out for
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.
How to get here
From Strontian, take the A816 west for about 5 miles (8 km). Ardery car park is on the left at grid reference NM 746 618.
PH36 4HY is the nearest postcode.
There are buses from Fort William to Kilchoan via Strontian and Salen every day except Sunday, which pass Ardery. Find timetables at Traveline Scotland.
Enjoy more classic Highland views and wonderful wildlife at Ariundle, the forest beside Strontian. The trails here wind through iconic Atlantic Oakwoods and alongside a rushing river. Also on the edge of the village is Phemie's Walk. This trail winds up through giant conifers and rewards your effort with dramatic views over Strontian and Loch Sunart.
Alternatively, head over the hill to Polloch in Glen Hurich for some wonderfully scenic trails through the woods to peaceful Loch Shiel. Stop at the Loch Doilet View on the way to admire the view down to the loch.
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