YOU'RE ALWAYS AT HOME AT MONIACK
REELIG GLEN FOREST WALKS
Just a 10 minute walk away from our chalets you'll find magical Reelig Glen - stroll amongst some of Britain's tallest trees along the banks of Moniack Burn...great for explorers of all ages and dog walkers alike!
Now managed by Forestry and Land Scotland, this steep-sided gorge holds a mixture of broadleaved trees, towering conifers and plantation and includes a glorious stand of Douglas Fir trees, planted in the 1800s when Reelig's James Baillie Fraser and family designed the grottos and early walking routes, each named for a member of their family.
Lower Reelig Glen Tall Trees Trail
The one-mile long, circular Lower Reelig walking route (green marker posts) takes you through a variety of moss and lichen-covered trees and rocks along Moniack Burn on a mostly wide forest path, which narrows and becomes more uneven as it heads into the gorge and on approach to a fabulous stone grotto, waterfalls and stone bridges that cross the burn - stay a while on the bridge to see if you can spot well-disguised fish in the deep water or have a game of Pooh-pinecones!
This is a great family route where you should look out for the ten new interpretation posts, with a quiz and information about the the various trees and features along the route. Look out for fairies here too!
Determined explorers will discover a ford and steppingstones crossing the burn and the remains of an old millrace, along with the less-trodden and somewhat hidden narrow, winding paths (not way-marked) - some of which are the remnants of the Fraser family's routes of the past - which take you uphill, away from the main route, crossing streams and bridges and ducking under leaning and twisting trees.
Upper Reelig and Community Woodland Route
The slightly longer Upper Reelig Woodland circular (blue route) takes you uphill from the car park on some narrower and uneven paths above the glen, through pine and fir woodland and a stand of magnificent beech trees, where the ground below is carpeted with leaves, known locally as The Cathedral - site of local weddings, gatherings, scouting activities and den-building.
Here, also, you'll find the home of our local Upper Reelig Community Woodland group, a log hut where the woodland management volunteers meet, a giant wooden xylophone, built in 2016, and a more recently constructed Balance Trail, on which to test your balancing skills!
Look out for wildlife!
Red squirrels are often spotted racing across Reelig's woodland paths and scurrying up trees and across branches! Along with squirrels, pine martens frequent the bird feeders in the chalet gardens and may be seen slinking around the glen on a quiet evening.
Spend a little time sitting beside the water and you might spot a dipper on the rocks or a wading heron. Listen out for woodpeckers rapping away on the trees and see them flying across the fields.
If you're around after sunset from spring to autumn you look out for common and soprano pipistrelle bats foraging for midges and brown long-eared bats gleaning moths from leaves - they are known to roost in Upper Reelig's beech trees and the woodland hut.
Occasionally, the local herd of feral goats wander through the glen and nearby fields...always a surprise when encountered!
The topography and soil type of Moniack Gorge has allowed a very diverse woodland to develop, along with rich lichen flora - as such, the gorge is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and part of the SSSI is designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for the presence of the very rare Buxbaumia viridis (Green shield-moss).
Find out more...
Forestry & Land Scotland - Reelig Glen & Inverness forests map & guide
Walkhighlands - Reelig Glen walk guide and route map
For the Love of a Highland Home - Kathy Fraser - book drawing from the early 19th century diaries and letters of the Fraser family of Reelig Estate ISBN: 978-0-9924865-4-9