|Track length:||1.99 km|
|Total ascent:||43 m|
|Total descent:||176 m|
|Difficulty Level:||3/5 - Medium|
Affric Top Carpark to Allt Garbh Short Walk with some of the best views in the Scottish Highlands
It is widely regarded to be one of Scotland's most beautiful glens, spanning 30 miles from Kintail to Cannich in Strathglass and including a wide range of landscapes. Allt a Chmhlain and Allt Cam-bàn are two significant streams that merge in Glen Shiel's north side and Beinn Fhada, respectively, at their confluence. The Abhainn Deabhag and the Affric meet to form the River Glass, which runs through two major lochs before reaching Fasnakyle in Strathglass.
Trees are the star of Glen Affric's famed environment, which includes a glittering lake and rugged hillside amid a natural forest. This scene influenced several Victorian artists, most notably Landseer, who included it in his painting "Monarch of the Glen." If you've already seen Dog Falls, you may want to check out Loch Beinn a' Mheadhoin, which is well-known for its trout fishing. They may then take a stroll around Loch Affric, admiring the breathtaking scenery of the Highlands.
From the 15th century until the middle of the 19th, Glen Affric was owned by the Clan Chisholm. Families that relied mostly on subsistence farming would have had a tough time making ends meet given the soil's poor state. Beginning in the 1780s, several Highland glens were forcibly evacuated by their own Clan chiefs because the introduction of sheep was seen as a more economically practical use of the land. Many people from the Highlands, including members of the Clan Chisholm, were severely injured and scattered over the world. Some of the little communities that formerly thrived in the Glen may still be found today, if you look hard enough.
The pine forest was injured by the introduction of sheep and the increase in the number of deer, both of which were contributing factors. When large sports estates were built in the Victorian era, the local deer population grew. Affric Lodge, erected in 1857, is a fine example of the kind of shooting lodges that were popular at the time. As an example of the scope of the activity, in 1750, Roderick Chisholm erected a sawmill in the Glen Affric area. Throughout the Industrial Revolution, Glen Affric wood was utilised for shipbuilding and iron smelting. In addition to the damage caused by sheep and deer grazing, the native woodlands were harmed by this. Deer fences have been more popular in recent years as a means of reducing deer populations and limiting their freedom of movement. As a consequence of these efforts, there have been clashes with neighbouring hunting estates, which rely on a robust deer population. Strathglass farmers used to bring their sheep and cattle to Glen Affric for summer grazing, but since the 1980s, the animals have been evacuated from the area.
The old Caledonian Pine Forest, which formerly covered most of the Highlands, may still be found at Glen Affric. Yet, in spite of decreasing forests, this region continues to thrive. In 1951, the Forestry Commission bought a significant portion of Valley Affric after realising the glen's significance to the country. The National Trust for Scotland or a variety of sports estates own the rest of the Glen (NTS). Restoration work was first carried out by Forestry Commission staff under the direction of former District Officer Findlay MacRae MBE.
Non-profit Trees For Life has played a significant role in conservation efforts during the last several years. Over the course of the year, TFL arranges volunteer workweeks. Those who want to help in the restoration effort may participate in these volunteer workweeks, no matter where they are located in the world. Working in different sites and staying at Plodda Lodge near Tomich and Athnamullach bothy, which is located at the westernmost extremity of loch Afar, is the norm for most of the time.
There is no trace of the former Athnamulloch hamlet in Glen Affric after it was demolished.
At various points in its history, Glen Affric has been recognised as a National Scenic Area, a Caledonian Forest Reserve, and most recently as a fully designated National Nature Reserve (NNR). Despite decades of conservation efforts, the pinewood is still just a fraction of its original size. Despite this, it offers a wide variety of habitats for a diverse population of plants, animals, mammal species, insect species, and bird species.
Glen Affric is a well-known tourist destination that receives a large influx of visitors each and every year. In spite of this, maintaining a delicate balance between the demands of tourists and the natural fragility of the area may be a challenge. Thus, despite a wide choice of tourist attractions, Forestry Commission has at times been reluctant to promote the Glen. Glen Affric is only accessible by a single-lane road that begins at Cannich. Parking is accessible at the River Affric at Dog Falls, Loch Beinn a' Mheadhoin, and the River Affric, where the 16-kilometer trail finishes.
Dog Falls is surrounded by a number of well-marked hikes, one of which leads to a viewpoint with a good view of the hydroelectric dam at Loch Beinn a' Mheadhoin's easternmost tip. If you drive to the River Affric parking lot, you may walk to the Am Meallan overlook by crossing the river. In the parking areas, you'll find picnic tables and interesting information panels on the surrounding fauna and other topics. Both Dog Falls and River Affric parking sites include public restrooms that may be used by the general public.