Ancient woodland and Atlantic salmon come together in this popular place

Falls of Shin

Walk where the waters run at Falls of Shin

Follow the winding road through Achany Glen to a forest clearing where salmon leap and children play. You've reached the Falls of Shin, a wonderful starting point for a range of trails through beautiful mixed woodland and along the rocky banks of the Shin. It's a great place to get out and enjoy the forest whatever your ability – there are natural play areas here and easy trails suitable for all users.

The car park, children's play area, forest trails and waterfalls are open all year round. The best time to see salmon leaping is in the summer months.

Our map guide to the forests of the Far North will help you explore Falls of Shin and other forest trails in Sutherland.

Parking Picnic area Play area Walking Viewpoint

Life's essentials

The Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust manage the café and toilets here at Falls of Shin. Please note that the café and toilets are closed until 13 March. Access to forest walks, salmon viewing platform and playpark is unaffected. You'll find public toilets and other places to eat in Bonar Bridge and Lairg.

Walking trails

Cycling trails

Mountain biking trails

Salmon leap through the forest

The forest to the west of the Falls of Shin is full of variety with impressive mature conifers towering over the trails. You'll also see small groves of native broadleaf trees like alder, downy birch, hazel and aspen, characteristic of the ancient woodlands which once cloaked the hills and glens of this area. Beautiful green mosses and lush woodland plants carpet the glades, speckled in spring and summer by flowering dog violets and golden primroses.

There's plenty of wildlife in the forest and down by the river. Listen for the hollow tapping of a great spotted woodpecker, or catch the flash of an otter's back in the water. You might even spot a sparrowhawk in the forest clearings. The star attractions, of course, are the wild Atlantic salmon, leaping up the thundering Shin falls to their spawning grounds in the hills. They make this epic journey anytime between May and November, but your best chance of seeing them is in late summer.

The Salmon Leap viewpoint is close to the car park and accessible down a short, steep flight of wide concrete steps. There's a barrier around the viewing area, but young children would benefit from adult supervision. (Please note: this trail is not on Forestry Commission Scotland land).

Contact: North Highland Forest District

Address: The Links, Golspie Business Park, Golspie

Postcode: KW10 6UB

Telephone: 0300 067 6850


How to get here

From Bonar Bridge take the A836 north west for 4 miles (6.4 km), turning left onto the A837 towards Lochinver. After ¾ mile (800 metres) turn right onto the B864; the car park is on your left after 1¼ miles (2 km).

From Lairg follow the A839 south west for ¾ mile (1.2 km) and turn left onto the B864. The Falls of Shin car park is on your right after 4 miles (6.4 km).

The car park is at grid reference NH 576 993.

Using SatNav?

IV27 4EE is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

An infrequent bus service between Tain and Lairg stops at the Falls of Shin. See Traveline Scotland for details.

Nearby places

Rosehall and gorgeous Raven's Rock are not far away and well worth a visit. If you're a mountain biker with energy to spare then head for the Kyle of Sutherland MTB trails at Balblair near Bonar Bridge, or for quiet woodland strolls choose Camore or Skelbo near Dornoch.

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For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.