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Detailed Route Instructions

Section J - Tarbert to Scaladale

Grade

Easy to Moderate

Type

Walk

Description

An easy day today - a relaxing stroll along the banks of a beautiful loch, followed by a fine little path around the eastern edge of the North Harris hills.

Walk Waypoints

  1. 1
    Start the day by leaving Tarbert, following the road signposted to Urgha and Scalpaidh, passing the offices of the North Harris Trust. The Trust is a community charity that has owned all of Harris north of Tarbert since 2003. It is one of the largest community landowners in Scotland and does great work promoting economic development, building social housing and enhancing the environment of North Harris. Since its pioneering efforts in 2003 many other island communities have followed in their footsteps – these days the majority of the Outer Hebrides is community owned.
  2. 2
    Follow the road east, enjoying the fine views to South Harris and Skye.
  3. 3
    Shortly after crossing a cattle grid leave the road following a good path that descends quickly to the shore of Lochannan Lacasdail, the large freshwater loch in front of you.
  4. 4
    The excellent path along the west side of the loch was once the main route between Harris and Lewis.
  5. 5
    Once past the end of the loch the path climbs gently, past the steep, craggy hill of Sgaoth Aird on your left.
  6. 6
    On reaching the summit of the pass Lewis can be seen for the first time to the north.
  7. 7
    As the path descends An Cliseam (the Clisham) comes into view on your left. The highest peak in the Outer Hebrides, An Cliseam is also the islands’ only Corbett (a mountain over 2’500ft but less than 3,000 ft). It is easily climbed from the main road and gives spectacular views of Harris, Lewis and North Uist.
  8. 8
    Ignore the path leading off to the right and keep straight on, passing over a couple of bridges.
  9. 9
    Turn left at the road, admiring the views down to the village of Maraig at the shore of Loch Seaforth. If you were to turn right here you would eventually reach the even smaller village of Reinigeadal which in 1990 became the last village in Britain to be connected to the public road network. Until then, the only way in and out of Reinigeadal was on foot or by boat.
  10. 10
    When you reach the main road head right and walk along this for 500m, then turn left onto a section of old road.
  11. 11
    After 200m turn left again onto a good grassy path.
  12. 12
    Walk easily along this pleasant path under the steep slopes of Gormul Màraig on your left. The mountains on your right, on the far side of Loch Seaforth, are the Pairc hills in Lewis.
  13. 13
    After reaching its modest high point the path slowly starts to descend, passing several attractive little lochans along the way. The route down to the road is wet and boggy at times but the path is easy to follow.
  14. 14
    Turn left when you reach the main road.
  15. 15
    The white building ahead is the Scaladale Centre – an Outdoor Activity centre run by the Lewis & Harris Youth Clubs Association, and one of the very few places in this area where you can stay the night. It can be very busy in summer so make sure to book well ahead if you wish to stay here. There is a couple of B&B's, but if busy there is and an option to stay in Tarbert for an extra night and use the bus service to pick you up/drop you off.

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