Tain Social - Recreations

Tain Community Collage

FOREST RECREATIONS  
       

   

 

Forest Recreations Apart from supplying timber the forests have long been recognised as a recreational resource. In the Tain area two main walks have been laid out and signposted at Aldie Burn on the Scotsburn Road and Tain Hill to the west of Tain. Both walks are popular with locals and visitors and are extensively used. It is also possible to use the forestry tracks for longer walks and cycling routes. Most of the forests are also accessible for horse riding which is popular in the area, although access to certain areas is by permit, obtainable from the Forest District Office.
 
 


TAIN HILL WALKS

 
These walks start from the car park at the top of the road up Tain Hill, past Carnegie Lodge Motel and Viewfield Farm. A track leads up firstly through alternate forest and more open ground, skirting round the area of the old quarries, then finally over a tract of open heather moor more recently planted, eventually reaching a viewpoint above the old ruined croft of Quarryhill. From here stretch out uninterrupted views of the Dornoch Firth, the Sutherland coast and hills beyond and most of the Tarbat Peninsula. The shorter walk carries on from here by going downhill along the powerline past Japanese larches planted to add autumn colour. At the bottom of the hill, the route turns left and back along the forest road to the car park. This walk is about one and a half miles long.
Route map of Tain Hill short walk
 
Route map of Tain Hill short walk
 
 
The Viewpoint on Tain Hill Dornoch Firth and Sutherland Hills from Viewpoint
The Viewpoint on Tain Hill
Dornoch Firth and Sutherland Hills from Viewpoint
 
 
Looking across the Morrich More from Viewpoint Lochan Uaine, Cnoc an t-Sabhail in background
Looking across the Morrich More from Viewpoint
Lochan Uaine, Cnoc an t-Sabhail in background
 
 
Route map of Tain Hill longer walk
A longer circuit (approx. 4 miles) can be followed by going uphill along the powerline from the viewpoint and over the hill turning left onto the forest road at the bottom. This passes Lochan Uaine and its two “satellite” lochans. Thanks to recent forest clearance there is a clear view of and across these lochans up onto Cnoc an t-Sabhail. Not far beyond these lochans the forest road sweeps round to the right but the walk follows the track bearing left. After under half a mile the track passes close to a ravine at the end of which it curves round to the left. Here a cleared section allows a view across a valley (the Lairgs of Tain area) and some distance towards the west. Continue on the track till it meets a forest road. Turn left onto this road and it leads to the car park after approx. one and a half miles.
Route map of Tain Hill longer walk
 
   


ALDIE BURN WALKS

 

Travelling from Tain, turn off the Scotsburn/Lamington road beyond Quebec Bridge at the Forest Enterprise sign, “Aldie Burn” and follow the parking signs. From the car park, go through a gate and follow the path through Scots Pine woodland. The path gives a view down to the Aldie Burn and a salmon shaped pond before descending through Sitka Sprice trees and past the pond to a little wooden bridge near a ford. The pond was created by a group called Touchstone to provide added interest and a breeding habitat for aquatic life. For a very short walk (walk 1 on map) turn right once across the bridge and return to the car park by turning right when the path meets the forest road.
Route map of Aldie Burn walks
 
Route map of Aldie Burn walks
 
 
Looking down on the pond and picnic site
  
  
  
The path leading left from the bridge follows the Aldie Water up past the ruin of a croft house and at one point winds its way through an arrangement of rocks in the form of a snake sculpture (also by Touchstone) and like the salmon pond is based on a design found on a Pictish stone. Eventually it reaches a second bridge and fording point. Turning right (walk 2 on the map) gives a walk of about one and a half miles in total. The track goes uphill alongside an old stone dyke then turns right onto the forest road which is followed for about 3/4 mile before sweeping right, across the burn and uphill back to the car park.
Looking down on the pond and picnic site
 
   
Seat with view along the Aldie Burn Ruined Croft
Seat with view along the Aldie Burn
Ruined Croft
The Second Ford
      
Going left (walk 3 on the map) and over the footbridge the track goes uphill past an opening on the left leading to the ruins of Mineralbank and eventually meets another forest road. Turn left onto this road and return to the car park after 3/4 mile. This walk is about 2 miles long.



 
CYCLE ROUTES

          
Two cycle routes within the Morangie Forest and Strathrory areas provide access into the heart of the predominantly Pine forest over distances of 14 and 22 miles respectively. Both cycle routes can be accessed from the Aldie Burn Forest Walk Car Park and provide spectacular views northward across the Dornoch Firth to Sutherland and southwards across the Cromarty Firth to the Black Isle, the Moray Firth and the Moray coastline. These routes are clearly marked with signposts bearing a cycle symbol.
The Second Ford

     
 


 OTHER FOREST RECREATIONS

          
Forest Enterprise also organises an annual programme of What’s On Events, a number of which are held in the Morangie area. Ranging from animated story telling to Fungal Forays, these events are popular with locals and visitors alike.
 
Further information on any of the recreational facilities including the Forest Walk trail guide and the What’s On leaflet may be obtained directly from the Forest District Office or from local tourist information centres.




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