Let Contin capture your imagination
Contin has something for everyone who comes here. From a lovely flat, short trail and picnic benches under tall pines, to tough uphill climbs and long views over Strathconon. You can ride a forest road to Rogie Falls, or go foraging in quiet groves of native birch and oak. The forest stretches on for miles and is home to roe and red deer, red squirrels, butterflies and birds.
Our map guide to the Forests of Ross and Cromarty will help you discover Contin and the surrounding woodlands.
There are toilets in the car park during the summer months, and a small shop less than a mile (1.6 km) away in Contin. You'll find other toilets, shops and places to eat in nearby Strathpeffer, where there's also an excellent bike shop.
Black Water Trail
Soak up the sounds of the forest and the Black Water river on this gentle stroll through the pines.
Mostly flat, wide and smooth gravel surface. Includes a few short gentle slopes.
½ miles / 0.7 km Allow ¼ hour
This short trail is ideal if you have limited time. Small children love spotting red squirrels and gathering pine cones, dogs like the dark mysterious conifer groves and exotic smells. It's definitely one for the whole family to enjoy.
View Rock Trail
Climb through classic pine and heather woodland to reach a rocky viewpoint with lovely views over Strathconon.
Long steep slopes for up to half a mile. Firm gravel surface throughout. Short optional section to viewpoint is rough and rocky.
2 ¾ miles / 4.5 km Allow 2 hours
You'll pass through different areas of forest including mature oak and birch groves, pine woods where red squirrels scamper and open heather where blaeberries hide in the undergrowth.
Mountain biking trails
Cycling or walking through the forest from Contin to Rogie Falls is very popular but you can also make up your own mountain bike route using the network of forest roads and informal paths. You'll come across slippery tree roots, lumpy rocks and some lovely twisting singletrack.
Go wild in winter
If you delight in attempting the impossible on a bike then the Strathpuffer 24 is right up your street. It's probably the only 24 hour mountain bike endurance event where you'll need studs for your tyres and a spare headtorch. Why? Because it takes place in January, when there are fewer than 8 hours of daylight and the trails can be thick with snow.
A forest full of food
Contin is on the edge of Torrachilty forest, a very large woodland which stretches from Strathpeffer to Rogie Falls and beyond. The forest has been planted with spruce and pine, and also contains some beautiful pockets of native ash, oak and birch woodland, as well as mature exotic conifers, including Californian redwood.
It's great habitat for red squirrels and pine martens, which do best in extensive areas of native and coniferous woodland, and for the rarely seen Scottish wildcat. If you're very lucky you might spot an otter swimming in one of the forest lochans or an osprey circling above. In summer the forest floor is full of food for animals and human foragers - watch out for wild blaeberries and raspberries, as well as chanterelle mushrooms in autumn.
How to get here
From Inverness, follow the A9 north to the Tore roundabout. Take the second exit onto the A835 (for Ullapool and Dingwall) and stay on this road for 11 ¾ miles (18 km). On the far side of Contin you'll see the forest signs on your right. Turn here and follow the road through buildings to the car park at grid reference NH 451 570.
IV14 9EF is the nearest postcode.
There's a regular bus service between Inverness and Contin village, about ¼ mile (1.2 km) from the forest. You'll find timetables at Traveline Scotland.
There's lots to see in and do in this small area of Ross-shire. Visit the sensational Rogie Falls, explore the forest trails in Blackmuir Wood and walk between bridges on a gorgeous riverside loop from Little Garve to Silverbridge. For lazy summer weekends by the water, there are two secluded picnic sites at Loch Achilty and Grudie.
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