A relatively unremarkable run along well managed path which would make for a great walk with dogs or family, but as far as runs go it was pretty boring, though this was probably just because of the monotonous terrain. Highlights include a collapsed tree to clamber on, a century old bridge you can run along and a secluded loch. Parking is just on the main road (B970) outside of the Rothiemurchus Camp and Caravan Park and didn’t cost anything, though not sure what the situation would be were it busier.
This run was second of my trip up to the Cairngorms and took place a half hour after finishing run number one of the day and was going to have to be impressive to top it. Freshly banana’d up though, I parked the car and headed into the forest. The first quarter of a mile skirts around the caravan park until you reach a couple of gates which you go through to get onto the main track – a beautiful, level track (contrary to the TL:WR, it was a pleasant sight in the beginning) that carries on throughout the duration of the run. Not long after passing the gates at around the half mile mark, the path splits, left for Lairig Ghru, right for Glen Einich. Go left. We’ll be coming back the other way (guess you could go left, just read this upside down?).
At around one mile I got distracted by a felled tree spanning the river and two collies playing in the water (which I can’t guarantee will be there if you go), it’s pretty awesome and made for a great little (potentially wet) distraction but otherwise continue on through the gate connected to the stone wall.
From the gate, the next mile is due south through the trees with very little visibility (it would actually make this a pretty chilling night run…) . Just shy of the two mile mark, head through another gate and the trees will clear on your left, giving you have clear views to the south, where you can make out Creag Dhubh. Continue south until the path splits again, one going further south to the bridge or one curving round and heading north-west, where you’ll inevitably be heading. The bridge is pretty cool, it was built in 1912 and crosses the River Druie, linking to Lairig Grhu (which, assuming I survive the 20 miles it involves, I will write about one day, ). If bridges aren’t your bag, you can just take the right and continue on the run, but really, you’ve only done this run properly if you’ve at least climbed the steps…
Once you’ve started down the remainder of the route, the surrounding air opens up and you can see the land around you, which unfortunately is mostly bushes and a slightly closer Creag Dhubh. Towards the end of the westward jaunt is Lochan Deo on your left, which is a nice spot for a break at just over the halfway mark. Continue on and at the crossroads take a right and head north.
This last stretch was the toughest part for me because the hunger was setting in and I’ll admit, I was getting grumpy. But at about three and a half miles, visibility to the east really open up and give you some spectacular views of the forest (I have no pictures here, that hunger I told you about was getting to me. Seriously, who thought Krave and a banana would suffice for breakfast? Really!). There is a gate to pass through at around four miles as you head deeper into the wooded area. This marks the final stretch of the run. Keep heading north and when you see a pile of rocks built up into a structure on the right you’re back at where the path split near the start (if you were reading this upside down, this would be on your left). Continue through the two gates from the start and find yourself back to the start!
In all honesty, I found this run mentally tough on the day because of how hungry I got and how similar it all felt, but when sitting to actually write about it I was feeling more enthusiastic, so much so that it jumped from a 2/5 to a 3/5. Perhaps it’s because I picked two very similar runs on the day to do back to back, perhaps I was more tired than I thought from the first run, or perhaps it won’t just be me that feels this way. Whichever way it is I’d like to hear what you think, so leave a comment below telling me what you thought of the run!