Glen Hurich (Polloch)
Sweeping views to stop you in your tracks
Deep and winding Glen Hurich (Gleann na h'Iubraich) is thickly wooded, and one of the most productive forests in the area. The woods, rivers and lochs here are full of wildlife – watch out for red deer, golden eagles and the rare black throated diver. Explore the quiet trails here for superb views of Loch Shiel, Loch Doilet and the River Polloch, and discover the fascinating ruined lead mines at Corrantee.
Exploring Glen Hurich
The Polloch car park is an excellent spot to start exploring the area. However, do be aware that there is usually forestry work going on in this area. For your own safety, please obey any signs.
You'll find public toilets, refreshments, shopping and information at nearby Strontian.
Follow the River Polloch to this birch-studded headland on the shore of Loch Shiel with great views into the mountains of Moidart.
Wide, firm gravel and grassy surface with uneven sections. Includes a number of steep slopes.
2 ¾ miles / 4.4 km Allow 1½ hours
Visit in the late afternoon for spectacular sunsets in the west. This is also a great time to watch out for wildlife – you might even spot the nocturnal residents of Badger Point!
Mountain biking trails
Oakwoods once grew all along the Atlantic coast from Norway to Spain. The woodland here at Glen Hurich is a rare surviving fragment of those ancient forests.
The woods in this area were once home to a thriving community producing charcoal, bark for leather tanning and timber for building. More recently the woods were planted with non-native coniferous species which stopped the oak wood species expanding. Now, with community support, the conifers are gradually being removed and the oakwood habitat restored.
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, follow the unclassified road over the hill to Polloch village. The car park is at the end of the public road, at grid reference NM 793 688.
PH37 4LX is the nearest postcode.
There are buses from Fort William to Strontian every day except Sunday. Find timetables at Traveline Scotland.
Enjoy more classic Highland views and wonderful wildlife at Ariundle, the forest near Strontian.
If you’re keen to find out more about Morvern’s remarkable history, follow the tranquil woodland trails at Aoineadh Mor. You’ll discover the atmospheric ruins of this abandoned crofting settlement and the story of the dramatic eviction of the families here in 1824.
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