Active Outdoors
Published: 19/05/2018 16:53 - Updated: 18/05/2018 15:42

Leaping for joy on wander in the woods

Written byPeter Evans

They are known as the king of fish for good reason, and to see salmon leaping up a waterfall on the way to their spawning ground is an amazing spectacle.

One place where it’s easy to view them is at Rogie Falls, near Contin – easily accessible and surrounded by some glorious Ross-shire countryside.

This walk takes in the falls and their woodland setting in a family-friendly circuit.

The best time to see the salmon leaping is between July and September, so we were out of luck on this spring outing. But with birdsong filling the trees and delicate green leaves beginning to clothe the birches, there was plenty to be pleased about.

The walk begins at the Forestry Commission’s Rogie Falls car park alongside the A835 between Contin and Garve.

Look for a marker post with yellow and blue rings on it and take the path downhill through trees to a viewing platform above the falls.

Gushing over rocks on the Black Water river, emanating from Loch Garve, it’s not difficult to see why this natural spectacle has attracted visitors since Victorian times. It’s particularly impressive after heavy rain when water thunders down the gorge.

From the viewing platform continue down to the suspension bridge across the river for an even better view of the falls. A fish ladder on the right gives the salmon a helping hand if water levels in the river are low.

At the far end of the bridge go up some steps and keep left, following a path uphill, away from the river.

It reaches a forestry track used by mountain bikers as a link between Contin and Garve. Before continuing the circuit there’s a good view of the river from a high vantage point a short distance along the track in the Garve direction.

From there do an about turn and walk towards Contin. Before long you’ll reach a wooden signpost marking a Riverside Walk to the right.

Keep straight on here – but if you want to get away from the main track, take a short diversion on a path off to the left which rejoins the track further along at the top of a slope.

Carry on along the track, ignoring a path on the left. Drop downhill to a green marker post on the right, just before a junction with another track.

Go down a short flight of stone steps, cross the track and carry on along the woodland path opposite, keeping to the right, to arrive at the Forestry Commission car park in Contin. Picnic tables here offer a good opportunity to take a break.

Make for the far end of the car park on the left, where a red waymarker post points the way along the riverside path.

Infuriatingly here there were a number of plastic bags containing dog waste alongside the path, left by irresponsible owners who should know better.

It’s a real shame when the Forestry Commission does its best to create places for people to walk and they are abused in this way.

Fortunately the beauty of the area tends to overpower such unsightliness and this lovely path is a pleasure to walk along, though despite its name there isn’t actually much of a river view.

It begins to rise, bearing away from the Black Water, then follows a picturesque little burn with a small waterfall on it. The path joins the forestry track at the Riverside Walk sign seen earlier.

Turn left to return to Rogie Falls and cross the footbridge again. But instead of going straight back to the car park, follow a blue waymarker to the left on a path to Raven Crag, where there are information boards.

The river powers a hydro scheme and the boards also mention ravens, which can sometimes be seen here.

To return to the car park simply follow the path behind the viewing platform, away from the river.

 

Route details

Rogie Falls circuit

Distance 3.5 miles / 6km

Terrain Easy paths and tracks

Start/finish Rogie Falls car park off the A835 between Contin and Garve

Map OS Explorer 437, Ben Wyvis

A scenic walk visiting one of the best waterfalls in the Highlands

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