The Great Glen Way – Anyone ridden it?

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  • The Great Glen Way – Anyone ridden it?
  • Dr_Bakes
    Member

    What is the surface of the Great Glen Way like? The Fort William end looks to follow the tow path and a dismantled railway so I'd imagine this is fairly wide and even, but what about the Inverness end, at least that which isn't road?

    The reason I ask is I'm contemplating an trip with family this summer but Dr Bakes Jnr is only 7 months and would be transported in a trailer.

    The trailer in question is a Chariot CX1 and more than capable for double track and fireroad duty, but would it's width (66cm) cause problems on this route? It seems the cycle path is less well maintained than it once was and information is a little hard to come by. Any first hand information would be greatly received?

    ton
    Member

    ideal for a trailer
    also suitable for a touring bike/slicked up mtb.

    Dr_Bakes
    Member

    Cheers Ton, I'll be taking a full suss with off road tyres as, and don't tell the missus, I'm planning on taking in the Fort Bill red route at some point!

    ton
    Member

    it is a very nice route.
    some tough climbs on it, but some cracking views.

    Rockplough
    Member

    I've done it a couple of times via the walking route which is pretty good fun in parts but not with a trailer. As ton says there are some decent climbs.

    Seem to remember some big lumpy roots sort of mid-way between fort augustus and fort william, i was knackered when i rode it though so they may only have been big and lumpy because i was riding a bit, well, lumpy.

    the section 13monk mentions is horrifically rooty, hundreds of meters of 1 to 6 inch high roots all at a slight angle to the trail. Absolute misery on our tourers.

    We went up the hill to the south of fort augustus to get to inverness, it's a monster of a climb

    Dr_Bakes
    Member

    Given the proximity of the road much of the way, I'm thinking if the going gets too tough for the trailer we can always resort to tarmac. I've ordered the Harvey's Route Map to get a better look but thanks for the comments so far.

    numbnuts
    Member

    Im doing this route at the end of may with a group of outdoor students we are canoeing from fort bill to fort augustus and then cycling back any information sent this way will also be greatly received Dr bakes where have you ordered the harveys map from? We are also looking at using a mixture of panniers and trailers to carry our kit the rooty bit people talk about is that after fort augustus?

    Laggan Bridge to Aberchalder was the bad bit

    I think there are tracks on the other side of the loch but they were closed when we were up there

    Dr_Bakes
    Member

    It's available direct from Harveys but I actually picked a copy up a bit cheaper off the 'bay.

    I'm not planning on doing this until June myself.

    Vader
    Member

    Stay off the tarmac unless you enjoy taking your life in your hands, it is a total nightmare between easter and october and scary. If you really want to get off the ggw then the back road between FA and inverness is an option although the intial climb out of FA is 'testing'. But it will get you back right along the shore of loch ness so worth the effort IMO. You also get to visit the falls of foyers, the dores inn and the views are classic lokking back down the loch

    Otherwise tere are a few options around Invergarry/loch oich, all of which are great

    druidh
    Member

    As Vader says, DO NOT cycle the main FW-Inverness road.

    Dr_Bakes
    Member

    The one down the east shore of L.Ness Vader?

    I can imagine the A82 would be a complete nightmare given the tourist nature of the area.

    I'm looking at the options of getting back to Fort Bill from Inverness with two bikes, trailer and infant now. I think the cycling will be the easiest bit of the trip but a one way car hire is looking the best option at the moment. I'd be up for riding back the same way but I don't think the wife would be as keen.

    Th east side of loch ness is beautiful, the first monster challenge thingy takes you along that road for one stage of the cycling, excellent climb which would be an even better descent if you're headed southwards.

    Vader
    Member

    Yeah thats the one.

    I live at the end of the ggw overlooking inverness. If you want to stash your bikes im my back garden while heading back to the fort youre welcome.

    MikeT-23
    Member

    How long might one expect to complete that distance of ride?

    Dr_Bakes
    Member

    Vader that's a great offer. Cheers, I might just take you up on that as it'd make the journey a hell of a lot easier!

    It's 75 odd miles so I was looking at two days with the second (nearer Inverness) being the harder of the two. Stop over at Fort Augustus.

    Vader
    Member

    No worries, give me a shout whenever. tjh02athotmail.com

    we did fort bill to inverness on fully loaded tourers in a day, it was a tough day (67 miles i think) but not unpleasant apart form the bit mentioned above

    The 1st 4 miles out of Drumnadrochit will be extemely tough with a trailer !

    just found the history file for it, training centre doesn't translate to google maps too well but you get the idea

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=http:%2F%2Fwww.mrmichaelwright.co.uk%2FFB%2520to%2520Inv.kmz&ie=UTF8&ll=57.313174,-3.578796&spn=0.735716,2.469177&t=h&z=9

    67 miles, 5800ft of climbing

    Dr_Bakes
    Member

    Highlandlogger – tough due to the gradient, due to the trail conditions, due to the width or a combination of all three?!

    Mrmichaelwright – so you went on the eastern road after Fort Augustus? Perhaps that'll be our best option rather than the off road hills or the suicidal A82?

    it was for us, apart from the monster climb, we named it the Loch Ness Monster

    TheBrick
    Member

    I did it after doing a modified WHW route as a bail out. I was planning on heading north for another week or so but twisted my knee on a scrambling route Nr Fort William so took it as a bail out route that would allow me to see how bad my knee was without leaving my self in the middle of nowhere.

    The great glen way is not technical at all, my setup was two small panniers and a rucksack on a rear rack that I would put on for rough sections (such as coming into Kinlochleven on the WHW), I did not have to put the rucksack on once for the GGW. I took the walking route and there where a few non technical single track section but all doable with the a trailer IMO. I personally found the scenery boring and repetitive I would have hated to have walked it, it was very wet though and hence misty. I left FW at 12:00 and arrived at Inverness at about 15-15:30 the next day traveling at a very slow pace with several pub stops and one pannier still full of food!

    Write up and photos of GGW section here.http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=RrzKj&page_id=128419&v=2q

    I can imagine the A82 would be a complete nightmare given the tourist nature of the area.

    Tourists are only half the problem on the A82.

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