Although it could be undertaken at any time, this walk is intended for dry summers (like 2018) when water levels are low. The old road to Lochalsh and Skye did not follow the route of the present day A87 but instead, from Glen Garry, headed down to Tomdoun where it did a hairpin bend to the right, headed north across what is now Loch Loyne and over the hillside to emerge at the Cluanie Inn. In 1957 when the Cluanie hydro scheme was constructed, the glen in which Loch Loyne sits was flooded for the new reservoir. The original road then became submerged.
However, at times when water levels in the reservoir are low the road, like Brigadoon, surfaces above the water complete with an old bridge that once carried the road. The road and bridge can be reached from two directions; either from Tomdoun in the south or from the current A87 to the east. This route describes the walk in from the east.
- Distance: 9.7 km / 6 miles
- Ascent: 200m / 650 feet
- Terrain: Forest tracks plus a bit of path-less rough ground
- Start / finish: Forest track entrance at NH 186 045 on the A87, Glen Garry. Room to park a couple of cars
Start the walk at the end of the forest track on the A87 at NH 186 045 where there is room to park a couple of cars. Additional parking is available in a layby along the road. The walk in is straightforward along the forest track. After about 1.7km an old house is reached. Before reaching the house there are views to your right through the trees to Loch Loyne. Look for the island in the centre of the loch, this is where the old road crosses it.
After the house the track becomes a bit more winding as it heads downhill to reach the edge of the forest and a lochan. When you reach the lochan, leave the forest track down a steep bank to cross the rough ground south of the lochan. Keep the edge of the trees to your left to reach a large stile over a deer fence. Cross the fence and turn right on the track which is the old road and follow it to the edge of Loch Loyne. If water levels are low you will be able to cross the old bridge to the island. If water levels are high the track you are on will lead into the water and the bridge will be submerged. Sadly the bridge to the north of the island is no more so it is not possible to cross the loch on foot now.
Return by the same route. A stile to the north end of the lochan could be used to cross the deer fence rather than the southern one. However, this entails additional walking on the rough boggy ground around the lochan.