Stage 4: Kinloch Laggan to Laggan — East Highland Way
Alex Langfield planned a hike.
March 1, 2021
This is the first stage within the Cairngorms National Park, as you venture from the eastern end of Loch Laggan to the village of Laggan on the River Spey.
There are two route options, one that makes for the summit of Black Craig above Black Wood, before continuing to Dun da Lamh, the impressive ruins of a Pictish fort. The conventional Way skirts Black Craig’s south eastern flanks. As this is quite a short stage at 9.4 miles (15.1 km), I’ve opted for the more adventurous option, as it rewards you with excellent views of the surrounding landscape.
From Kinloch Laggan, the Way shadows the course of the River Pattack, crosses it once and then follows the road to the dramatic Pattack Falls. After this, briefly head back west along the road to pick up a rising forest trail. This soon splits, the option on the right takes you around Black Craig and the left takes you to the summit.
After a steep, zigzagging ascent, you emerge on the open top, with magnificent views to Badenoch and the distant Cairngorms. Spey Dam Reservoir sparkles to the north and the lonely Munro of Geal Charn rises beyond. Continue along the ridge, which takes you to Dun da Lamh, a surprisingly well-preserved ancient Pictish fort, commanding an excellent position above the glen.
After more zigzags, this time in descent, the Way heads north to the Spey Dam, before turning east alongside the River Spey and arcing through fields to the village of Laggan.
The Rumblie Guest House is a good option for accommodation. You can pre-arrange a three course evening meal, as long as you make it in time for service at 7:30pm. The Laggan Stores Coffee Bothy is a good place for a brew.
March 15, 2021