Walk in the shadow of the red hill at Inverlael
As well as the most popular path up Ben Dearg, the red mountain, there are some pleasant routes in the forest, with superb views.
You may notice a small turbine house near the road and a weir across the river Lael close to where the hill path leaves the forest. They’re part of a ‘run of river’ hydro-electric scheme, which uses the natural fall of the stream to generate enough power for a town the size of Ullapool – all with very little impact on the environment.
You’ll find places to eat and public toilets in Ullapool.
A pleasant walk beneath the rocky slopes of Strone Nea to the impressive gorge of the River Lael.
Wide, firm gravel track throughout, but uneven and loose in places. Long moderate slopes for 500m. Includes two gates and a bridge.
2 ¾ miles / 4.4 km Allow 2 hours
Climb up the forested hillside for some great views of Ben Dearg (‘the red mountain’) and a chance to spot golden eagles soaring overhead.
Long moderate slopes for over half a mile with some slightly steeper sections. Wide, firm gravel track with uneven and loose parts. Includes two gates and a bridge.
3 ¾ miles / 6.1 km Allow 2½ hours
Mountain biking trails
If you’re heading for Beinn Dearg, check for advice on hill walking: this is open, wild country and you need to be confident at navigating and properly equipped. You’ll find details of the route on WalkHighlands and MunroMagic, as well as photographs to whet your appetite for the deep rocky corries that plunge down from the dome-shaped summit.
Wildlife in Siberia
Lael forest was first planted in the 1930s, when the forest workers found the weather so harsh they nicknamed it ‘Siberia’…
It’s now in its second rotation, meaning that the timber has been cropped and new trees are growing in their place. We've planted plenty of broadleaved trees such as oak, birch and rowan to improve the habitat and diversity of the forest. You may see red deer roaming the hillside, or even golden eagles soaring overhead.
How to get here
Inverlael is on the A835 between Ullapool and Garve, about 6 miles (9.6 km) south of Ullapool. A red telephone box makes a useful landmark next to the car park, which is at grid reference NH 182 852.
IV23 2RG is the nearest postcode.
Buses between Garve and Ullapool pass the forest. Check Traveline Scotland for details.
If you’re heading south, don't miss the spectacular waterfalls and trails at nearby Corrieshallach Gorge, a National Nature Reserve in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.
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