Walks from Melfort Village
(Passing Melfort Pier and Fearnoch Bay)
There are many lovely walks from Melfort Village, both short and long, gentle and taxing. A booklet is available in our
Reception detailing seven walks, more, if you count the alternative routes available. We’d like to share a few with you ...
Walk 1 (a): Creag an Sturra Circuit
Walk 1 (b): An Coire Lochan Circuit
Distance: Creag an Sturra: 9.5km/5.9 miles
An Coire Lochan: 10km/6.2 miles
Max Elevation: Creag an Sturra: 290m/950 ft
An Coire Lochan: 240m/790 ft
A higher level walk. All well defined track after leaving the road. The climb to An Coire Lochan has several steep slopes and
this section accounts for most of the height climbed. Thereafter the going moderates. Both walks have a common start point. On
the ascent the views to the South West can be spectacular (weather permitting). It is possible to see great distances down the
Sound of Jura, with Crinan and Craignish on the east of the Sound, Isle of Jura to the West, recognised by its twin mountain
peaks known collectively as the Paps of Jura. To the North of Jura are Scarba and Lunga. Inside Scarba (coming towards you)
is the fertile green island of Luing which itself is shadowed by Shuna Island to its South Eastern flank. Both Circuits pass
through forestry where encounters with roe and red deer are not uncommon, if only fleetingly.
Circuits 1(a) and 1(b)
Turn right at the main gates. Follow the tarmac road on past Melfort Pier until the road starts to climb up behind Ardenstur
Cottages. Where the road peaks, about 100m beyond Top Ardenstur Cottage, there is a gate on the right of the road with a dirt
track leading up into the trees. This is the starting point for both circuits. Proceed up this path coming quickly to a second
gate. You should now stick to the well-defined track. As you are on the ascent most of the steeper slopes will be encountered
between here and An Coire Lochan. Ahead the track has a few tight elbow bends as it climbs.
Keep climbing the track and at 200m elevation you will abruptly break out into forestry. Continue on through the forestry
gate. Now, immediately on your left you will see the lovely An Coire Lochan (the cauldron loch). It’s a great place to rest,
admire the views and appreciate the solitude. In front of you there is a stone hut (boathouse). The track passes this, dips
down a little and rises again. In a short distance the track arrives at a “T” junction.
1(a) Creag an Sturra Circuit
Turning right, stick to the forestry path which may undulate but the going is not too difficult. Your range of vision will be
limited now as you are in maturing forest but it can induce a sense of wilderness as there is no sound or sight of habitation.
The track is well defined and meanders through the forest for another 1km, at which point you reach a “Y” junction. Take the
path to the right, the other is a dead end.
You are now passing over and between the line of the hill. The track will eventually swing left and starts to drop as it
passes below the highest summit, Cruachan nam Fearna (“Hill of the Alder Trees”). At the bottom of this slope the track
twists its way to the right until you reach a metal forestry gate leading into hill grassland. Continue along the track; it
takes a sharp right turn and before descending in front of Creag an Sturra (“The rough/ragged rocks”) eventually joining the
ascent track at the elbow of a bend. Descend to the gate at the road, turn left and walk past Melfort Pier and so back to
1(b) An Coire Lochan Circuit
Taking the left track, continue for another 650m, through forestry, up and behind An Coire Lochan. At the forestry gate you
will re-renter hill rassland. The path descends the hill in a series of bends with longer straights in between with many
good view points along the way. The track makes its way down past the rocky outcrop of Creag na Leachd Moire and down to the
gate at the tarmac road. At this point, turn left. After 1.6km you will recognise the gate you passed through to access the
hill. Continue along the road, past Melfort Pier and so back to Melfort Village.
More walks around Melfort Melfort Pier : a short history