FATMAP by Strava

West Highland Way and Cow Hill

Ben Nevis

A great loop for an afternoon ride with stunning views and really cool riding.

Mountain Biking Moderate

20 km
699 m
698 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
25 m
High Point
275 m
West Highland Way and Cow Hill Map

Start and finish at Braveheart Car Park about a mile up the Glen Nevis road from the roundabout, or from Fort William itself. Just a little further up the glen you'll find the Glen Nevis Visitor Centre which has great information about the area and toilets too. Cross the bridge here to ride the east bank of the River Nevis on wiggly single track with a few small bridges all the way to the Youth Hostel. Cross the bridge here turn right to go down the road a couple of hundred metres to the Glen Nevis Restaurant. Turn left up the straight road to go past forestry cottages at the top. The road turns into a track with a gate to go through on a short climb. Turn right after the gate to head north for a few hundred metres on a flat forest road. Turn a hairpin left onto another forest road that climbs steadily all the way to the col above Glen Nevis next to Dun Deardail. This climb has amazing views across the glen to Ben Nevis and you should take the wee side trip to Dun Deardail for one of the best viewpoints anywhere.


The single track West Highland Way trail from here goes through the forest, mostly downhill but with a few ups thrown in too. It's rocky and great fun with some very fast sections and some real technical challenges. Look out for a few steps and a bridge with a short carry afterwards. Look out for walkers coming in the opposite direction too - the West Highland Way is a very popular walking trail.

Finally the trail comes out at a forest road with an information sign. Turn right and drop onto the road heading north back to Fort William. This is a single track road that is normally very quiet. There are a couple of steep descents and climbs to break it up too. Once you're past Blarmachfoldach turn right onto a track just after a cattle grid on a fast descent in the road. Follow this track past the sheep. The track gets smaller and less distinct all the way. It is flat or gently uphill for most of the way until it seems to disappear entirely. The last few hundred metres will keep you guessing but follow your nose and you will come out onto the Peat Track running up from Glen Nevis towards Cow Hill. Turn right on this and go through a gate at the top of the forest. From here turn left on a fairly newly built trail that runs down the flank of Cow Hill diagonally through the forest to emerge above Fort William. This is a multi-use trail so you might find a few walkers but it was definitely built by a biker! It's fast, flowy and a lot of fun! Try not to get too carried away though because the corners are not banked and drifting out into the ditch is not uncommon!

Turn right at the end of this trail to ride the last couple hundred metres down steep sections back to Braveheart Car Park, or turn left down very steep switchbacks to come out behind the Leisure Centre in Fort William.

If you could only ride one trail in this area to give you the best of all worlds this would probably be it.



Mostly stable trail tread with some variability, with unavoidable obstacles 8in/20cm tall or less. Other obstacles such as rock gullies and steep sections may exist. Ideal for lower intermediate riders.

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area