The latest section of a spectacular walking route which will allow locals and visitors to circle the iconic Highland village of Glencoe was officially opened on Saturday (May 17) by well known Highlands and Islands historian Dr Jim Hunter.
The route, which forms part of the Glencoe Orbital Recreational Track has been developed by the Glencoe and Glen Etive Community Company, with the support of local landowners and funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The work to develop this section of the route has been carried out by Fion Construction of Fort William supervised by Claire Thomson Consulting Engineers of Glencoe.
The new section follows the line of Glencoe Old Road and connects both the village and Forestry Commission Lochan tracks, to the National Trust for Scotland's network of trails in and around An Torr and Signal Rock.
Dave Smith, Chairman Glencoe and Glen Etive Community Company said: "We are delighted to see this penultimate section of the Orbital route completed. The path we have opened this week will provide great traffic free walking to and from the village for local people and tourists alike alongside the Glencoe Old Road. “
Along with the substantial long-term support contribution and funding from HIE, other agencies including Leader Plus, Highland Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and the National Trust for Scotland have also provided financial support.
Scott Dingwall, HIE’s Head of Regional Development, said: “The community has worked hard over the years to promote the orbital route and develop this key section. It has and will continue to be enjoyed by locals, walking enthusiasts and those exploring the stunning Glencoe area. HIE is delighted to have supported the creation of what is a marvellous community asset.”
This funding, coupled with encouragement and advice from all agencies, has allowed Glencoe and Glen Etive Community Company to maintain a close working partnership with National Trust for Scotland and Forestry Commission Scotland to take forward the joint aim of creating the Glencoe Orbital Recreational Track.
In addition to the Orbital Recreational Track, the project also includes for creating link tracks from Glencoe to its neighbouring communities. Work on these links will follow on completion of the Orbital Recreational Track. One link, however, is already in place in the form of the recently completed cycle track linking the two villages of Ballachulish and Glencoe and the Oban Fort William Sustrans cycle route.