Create an account

Start your adventure today.


    Already a member? Login

    Loch Garten and Garten Woods Circular Walk

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    Very Easy
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    9.0 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    110 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
    Be the first to add a review!
    Directions to Trailhead
    Loch Garten and Garten Woods Circular Walk

    The short but ever so sweet loch Garten and Garten Woods Circular Walk covers just over 8.0 km of scenic, waymarked trails. The family-friendly walk invites you to explore charming woodlands, rich in Scots Pine and brimming with wildlife. The route also features the peaceful quiet shores of Loch Mallachie and further on Loch Garten. Minimum elevation and the ability to complete the walk in around 2 hours makes this the perfect jaunt into nature, enjoyable for the whole family.

    Download the 10Adventures App

    View Loch Garten and Garten Woods Circular Walk on Map

    View Map

    Join our newsletter

    Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers

    Route Description for Loch Garten and Garten Woods Circular Walk

    From the towering Garten pinewoods to the still shores of Loch Mallachie and Loch Garten, this corner of the Cairngorms park is a true delight to discover. The trail unfolds on good forest tracks and paths with only a single minor section known to be boggy. Adults, children, and four-legged friends are all welcome on the trail, however, dogs should be kept on a lead during the capercaillie breeding season that runs from April through mid-August.

    Unique wildlife, particularly the rare birdlife in this area makes this walk extra special for those that enjoy bird watching. For all others, walking while tuning into the cheerful melody of the wood’s avian inhabitants is also a pleasant experience.

    To begin the walk, set out from the car park, following signs for the Red Trail. As the path winds into the woods you’ll be welcomed by the fresh scent that fills the air and will likely spot a red squirrel or two, busying about. When a fork is reached and signs for the “Red Trail” head left, turn right instead and continue as the path leads deeper into the woods.

    After less than a mile, keep an eye out for the thin, clear path that leads off to the left. Turn off here and continue the path, soon reaching the shores of Loch Mallachie. Upon reaching the T-Junction, spot the waymarked trail, disregarding the green arrow that prompts a left turn and instead, turning right. Up ahead you’ll take in beautiful Loch Garten through the tree line, with the option to detour to get closer to the shoreline if you wish.

    When a small car park is reached, follow the green waymarked track that leads up to a tarmac road. Cross the road and make your way up the bank to join the path that mirrors the road. To pay a visit to the Osprey Centre, from here you’ll head right around 700 m to reach it. After enjoying some time at the centre, make your way along the path to reach Speyside Way. A little further on you’ll enjoy the still waters of a tiny lochan before continuing the path to head back into the forest after a left turn. The outward route is soon joined and you’ll continue on this to return to the car park where the walk began.

    Getting to the Loch Garten and Garten Woods Circular Walk Trailhead

    To get to the Loch Garten and Garten Woods Circular Walk from nearby Aviemore, take Dalnabay and B9152 to A95 and continue 3.1 km. Then, continue onto A95 and drive another 7.2 km. Continue on the road another 1.8 km until you reach the Garten Woods car park found opposite the junction of the B970 and the Boat of Garten Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do

      Year-round access

    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type


    Loch Garten and Garten Woods Circular Walk Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather

    Loch Garten and Garten Woods Circular Walk Reviews

    Add a comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Nearby Trails

    Nearby Regions

    Get travel inspiration and discounts

    Join our weekly travel newsletter