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Explore this attractive mixed woodland above Drumnadrochit, with spectacular views over Urquhart Bay from the crag named after a Viking Prince

Craigmonie

Climb through the trees at Craigmonie

The trails at Craigmonie lead you amongst a whole variety of trees, from colourful birchwoods to conifers of all ages. Some of the conifers are splendid specimens, planted 200 years ago by a former estate owner. Look out for two towering Wellingtonias (redwoods) at the entrance to the woodland – how many of you will it take to give each one a hug?

We manage this well-loved community wood with invaluable help from our partners, Craigmonie Woodland Association. The Association has helped develop a great network of trails that link Craigmonie with Balmacaan Wood next door, which is owned by Woodland Trust Scotland.

Take a look at our guide map to the Great Glen (PDF 5.8MB) to explore Craigmonie and other forests in this stunning area.


Walking Wildlife hide Viewpoint

Parking for Craigmonie

There is no car parking at the start of the woodland trails here. We recommend that you park in the centre of Drumnadrochit – from here it’s just a short walk of ¼ mile (500 metres) up to the start of the trails. Look out for waymarkers to ‘Craigmonie Woodland Trails’.

Life’s essentials

You’ll find parking, toilets and places to eat, drink and shop in the village of Drumnadrochit.

Walking trails


Cycling trails


Mountain biking trails


Watch wildlife

The bluebells and dog’s mercury that bloom here in spring tell us that these woods are ancient, and there’s plenty of wildlife too. Spot roe deer and red squirrels amongst the trees, and great spotted woodpeckers and crossbills in the canopy of branches. You may find clues that secretive badgers and pine martens also live here.

More trails from Craigmonie

You can explore more of the woods here along a network of trails that link Craigmonie with Balmacaan Wood beside it. The wood is owned by Woodland Trust Scotland.

The Great Glen Way

Drumnadrochit, just next door to the forest, is in the heart of the Great Glen. A great way to explore the glen is on the long distance trail, which stretches 79 miles (127 km) between Fort William and Inverness. It’s a rewarding walk or cycle, mainly following towpaths and woodland tracks. You can also travel the glen by boat, canoe or kayak.

What’s in a name?

Craigmonie takes its name from Prince Monie, a legendary son of the King of Scandanavia. The story goes that Monie landed in Argyll in the 11th century with a band of Viking raiders, and the Scots took up arms against him. They pursued him across the country until Monie finally reached this prominent rocky crag above Loch Ness. Though he and his men fought bravely, they were eventually defeated and killed, and the crag was named after him.

Balmacaan Estate

Craigmonie was once part of the grounds of grand Balmacaan House, refurbished in Victorian times and at its heyday in the early 20th century. Many of the towering specimen trees you can see at Craigmonie were planted at this time.

Find out more about the history of Craigmonie and Balmacaan at the Craigmonie Centre, the community centre in Drumnadrochit.

Contact: Inverness, Ross and Skye Forest District

Address: Tower Road, Smithton, Inverness

Postcode: IV2 7NL

Telephone: 0300 067 6100

Email: invernessrossskye@forestry.gsi.gov.uk


How to get here

Craigmonie lies just to the west of the village of Drumnadrochit, off the A82 on the western shore of Loch Ness.

There is no car parking at the start of the woodland trails here. We recommend that you park at the Visitor Information Centre car park in the centre of Drumnadrochit – from here it’s just a short walk of ¼ mile (500 metres) up to the start of the trails. Look out for waymarkers to ‘Craigmonie Woodland Trails’.

The start point for the trails is at grid reference NH 503 294.

Using SatNav?

IV63 6TX is the nearest postcode for the Visitor Information Centre car park.

Public transport

The bus service between Inverness and Fort Augustus stops at Drumnadrochit. You’ll find details at Traveline Scotland.

Nearby places

Drumnadrochit stands on the western shore of beautiful Loch Ness. The largest loch in Scotland by volume, it holds more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales put together. Its dark peaty waters are also said to be home to Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Keep watch for her as you explore!

Just 4 miles (6.5km) from Drumnadrochit, visit Balnain to enjoy a fairly long but easy ramble around picturesque Loch Meikle.

Head for remote and beautiful Glen Affric for a taste of wilderness, panoramic views, stunning waterfalls and cathedrals of trees.


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