Saturday, 19 December 2015

General Wades Road - Fort William to Inverness. A short stretch from Mucomir to Stronaba including a visit to the Powder House


This time I would like to show you my short walk of exploration!

One of General Wades Road's runs from Fort William to Inverness and was created between 1725 and 1727 to help control the Jacobites. It allowed troops to move more quickly between what had been previously difficult to reach locations.

Many visitors to the area will be familiar with the High Bridge just West of Spean Bridge over the River Spean. There is a great walking path from Spean to the High Bridge, up to the Commando monument and back down to the village. However I was curious to know what remained of General Wades road beyond the Highbridge to the North.

I have previously walked the track from the High Bridge through a field (very muddy) to the B8004 and now the next leg from the B8004 North beckoned.

There is no indicator that there is a historic road disappearing off the bend in the tarmac but Wade built pretty straight roads so I headed into the head high ferns. A machete would have been handy at this point to hack my way through the jungle.

Soon the woodland opened up and this is the first sight of a definite road
Over the top of the brow the view to the North opened further looking up the Great Glen.
The Great Glen
The Great Glen

 This is one of the tiny bridges still standing from the 1700's - Forth Road Bridge engineers take note

 After crossing a very boggy flat area the road disappears into woodland.

 Exiting on the other side of the wood there is a warm greeting! However by moving up the fence line a little I could see where the old road met the A82 at Stronaba and that was satisfactory enough.


 Coming back this shows how the road is barely there.

 At the crest of the little hill the very cold Nevis Range came in to view and a daunting Ben Nevis with October snows.

Ben Nevis
Ben Nevis

This is the powder house which dates from the early 1900's . It was built to house explosives whilst they constructed the railway line from Spean Bridge to Fort Augustus - which was intended to carry on to Inverness.
I have driven on the B8004 hundreds of times and have often wondred what this little building was but being a few hundred metres off the road I had never gone to see it up close.
The Powder House

 The surprise inside

 The view from the Powder House at Mucomir looking towards Ben Nevis and Fort William.

There is a short circular walk that could be made up from the elements I explored today probably taking an hour or so. If you are interested ask me with a map to hand!


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