The Black Lochs Walk from Connel

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The village of Connel Ferry, to give it its full title, is situated on the southern shore of Loch Etive, near to the mouth of the loch where its waters flow into the Firth of Lorn and then the open sea. It developed here in the late 1600s in order to service the ferry, then the only direct mode of transport to the north.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the village is the large cantilever bridge opened in 1903 to carry the branch railway line north to Ballachulish, thus replacing the ferry. In 1914 the bridge was altered to allow road traffic to pass over it as well. The branch railway line became a victim of the Beeching cuts in 1966 and since then the bridge has been used exclusively by road traffic and pedestrians.

While in the area, why not look for the Falls of Lora? This phenomenon is not a 'proper' waterfall but rather a rapids effect on the surface of the water, usually visible when the tide is going out. It is caused by water passing over a submerged rocky shelf. The best places from which to view the falls are from the bridge itself or from the viewpoint with a small car park just before the bridge.

The outward leg of the route is on a minor road along, but not immediately next to, the Lusragan Burn. Don't let this put you off! This is a delightful road. On the June morning I surveyed the walk I was passed by only four vehicles on this leg. The sun was shining and there were numerous wayside flowers and much small bird activity.

The route continues on a farm track through open country to and then alongside, Lower Loch. This is an idyllic spot to stop for coffee break or lunch. I sat in the sun on a grassy mound surrounded by fragrant juniper bushes and watched a pair of reed-buntings as they flitted from reed to reed. I marvelled at how light they must be to do this!

After leaving Lower Loch the route circumnavigates a farm (Kilveree) and joins a second farm track some distance above Upper Loch (though it is possible to walk down to the water's edge should you want to do so). From here there are striking views of Ben Cruachan with Upper Loch in the foreground. The track then returns to Connel over open country.

Scotland - Central Scotland - Argyll and Bute - Oban and Lorn


Birds, Cafe, Flowers, Food Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Pub, Public Transport, River
10/7/2018 - mark Darnborough

I found the description supplied for this walk so ambiguous and inaccurate that we got lost several times. Where waymarks exist they are not mentioned, and there is very little in the way of help for the walker trying to follow the instruction. “Soon” is used to denote distances of a few yards up to a mile or so. All in all, a very aggravating day out.