'A non technical ride through the very wild heart of the Highlands'
The following figures were gathered on the 2018 Obscura Mondo Cycle Club ride of An Turas Mor. These figures are a description of that ride not a prescription. How you ride the An Turas Mor Trail is up to you...the main thing is just give it a go.
Day 1: Glasgow to Balquidder Station:
Miles: 56.02 Ascent: 3635 Descent: 3120
Day 2: Balquidder Station to Loch Ossian:
Miles: 59.10 Ascent: 5161 Descent: 3783
Day 3: Loch Ossian to Fort Augustus:
Miles: 48.06 Ascent: 3566 Descent: 4741
Day 4: Fort Augustus to Struy
Miles: 33.44 Ascent: 3504 Descent: 3353
Day 5: Struy to Inchbae Lodge
Miles: 34.82 Ascent: 2966 Descent: 2871
Day 6: Inchbae Lodge to Rosehall
Miles: 38.86 Ascent: 2425 Descent: 3369
Day 7: Rosehall to Durness
Miles: 55.06 Ascent: 3540 Descent: 5492
Day 8: Durness to Cape Wrath rtn
Miles: 27.77 Ascent: 2184 Descent: 2178
Starting at the Kelvin Park Bridge in the very centre of Glasgow the route north follows the cycle path on the banks of the Kelvin - a deep forested river gorge that hides the city and its sounds from you. Forested muddy singletrack awaits defying the fact you are exiting a major city. Leaving the Kelvin you pick up the banks of the Alendar Water to Milngavie where the trail joins the walkers of the West Highland Way to Drymen.
The trail now picks up the Rob Roy Trail through forest to Aberfoyle with its famous cyclist cafe. Onwards its upwards, to the Dukes Pass in the Queen Elizabeth Forest. This route is part of the National Cycle Route 7 which now winds it way alongside Loch Lubnaig to Strathyre.
Day 2: Continues up NR7 using a disused railway line to a pass crossing the busy A85,
followed by a Forest trail descent to the Falls of Dochart and Killin. The trail turns west here to follow the Strath to the remote and wild Pubil Pass to Glen Lyon, which then turns east to the Bridge of Balgie with its Post Office Cafe. A cake or two is a good idea for the Kirk Pass is the next challenge. This steep off-road pass is a serious climb which will bring you to Loch Rannoch. Another climb then follows skirting Rannoch Moor to Loch Ossian
Day 3: Follows hydro and stalker paths all the way to Loch Laggan to join the historic General Wade's Military Road built in the eighteenth century which crosses the highest pass of the trail the notorious Corrieyarick Pass, followed by a long offroad descent to Loch Ness and Fort Augustus.
Day 4: It's back on another historic trail, this time its Major Caulfield's road. Built in the 1700's the 'road' provides excellent single track to Glenmoriston. The new power line track creates a great off-road link after another big climb to beautiful Glen Affric and its ancient twisted Pine trees.
Day 5: The Corriehaille hydro scheme rough tracks are followed all the way to Contin where the trail joins the 'Strathpuffer' forest cycle trails to the historic Little Garve Bridge and onwards via forest trail to Inchbae.
Day 6: Its into really remote mountains now, following an ancient drove trail all the way to Oykel Bridge and Rosehall.
Day 7: The first part of the day is easy riding along Strath to the hydro dam in the shadow of Ben More Assynt. A short steep climb takes you to Loch Shin. Just after Merkland Lodge turn onto an upland offroad trail to Gobernuisgach Lodge. Descend to the ford at Cashel Dhu. CAUTION: If the river is in spate do not cross here. Better head back up river, cross if safe next to Ben More Car Park or better still cross using the bridge at Alltnacaillich followed by one mile portage to connect back with hill track to Loch Eribol then onwards on the coastal road to Durness
Day 8: Is a celebration of a ride. After taking the tiny ferry onto the Cape Wrath peninsula, the cycle on off-road track to the Lighthouse and the end of the trail is just a great end to a magnificent journey that has taken you through the very heart of the Scottish Highlands.