Heritage Path of the month

General Wade’s Military Road, Moy to Inverness is our Heritage Path of the month for September 2023, click here to view the details

More about General Wade’s Military Road, Moy to Inverness

As this is quite a long stretch of Old Military Road, our route description is of necessity a composite of surveys which took place at different times and by different people:
i) From Wade’s Roundabout, take Stevenson Road west, then head south along Old Edinburgh Road South. This vehicular road increasingly narrows until it reaches the right hand turning for Druid Temple Farm; a sign declares the old way continuing ahead unsuitable for motor vehicles. The old road although still tarmacced narrows further, then becomes an unmade path. The line of the route is wholly obvious at all times, and the hard bottoming is apparent, albeit somewhat overgrown, eroded and in various stages of decay. The route is defined by fences/dykes for the greater part of its length and is distinct from the surrounding farms and woodland. At the north end, new housing development is taking place to the east, but the line of the route is unaffected. It runs between fields, then through scrubland and a forest plantation (some felled, some standing) to meet the minor road south-west of Daviot. In places, nearby vegetation – broom and gorse – periodically encroaches and requires cutting back.
ii) The Bridge of Faillie section (that which lies between the two roads which roughly parallel the River Nairn) requires re-surveying, but we are told that it is overgrown in places with bracken. Although the path has almost disappeared under grass, it is still clear where to walk as the grass has been flattened.
iii) At NH713376, a ScotWays sign indicates “Public Footpath to Moy”. Following the track as it heads generally south, a second sign at NH712373 is all but invisible on approach as it is buried in the middle of a broom bush. This sign is supposed to indicate the left fork “Public Footpath”, as the right fork (i.e. the more westerly route) is DEFINITELY a ‘No go’ – a sign prohibits entry to walkers, cyclists etc. and warns of heavy lorries passing at frequent intervals. Taking the left fork, a good, dry, unmade road goes as far as Auchbain. At NH718368, enter the forest by a farm gate and kissing gate with Forest Enterprise waymarking. Continuing along forest tracks, at the NH722359 junction is a white-on-brown sign, “Wade’s Bridge 1 km”, pointing west (this diversion from the waymarked through route leads to the bridge at NH715361 and confirms the more westerly route which now passes through the quarry as the original military road).
iv) Onwards from the NH722359 junction as far as circa NH730346, the route continues to follow forestry tracks as the original line was affected by the realignment of the A9 in the late 1970s.
v) The original line can be picked up again from NH729348 onwards. We have previously received reports of fallen trees in the forestry section and waterlogging owing to blocked drainage in the open section, so again updates would be greatly appreciated. Although the Old Military Road is clear all the way to the B9154, it is necessary to cross the A9 in order to get to the signposted endpoint by the railway bridge (and bus-stop) in Moy.

To give everyone an idea of what to expect, here is a link to John Davidson’s video of his walk of the route in December 2010. Equally helpfully, Colin Cadden’s October 2014 blog describes travelling the route south to north by bike.

OS Landranger 26 (Inverness & Strathglass area) and 27 (Nairn & Forres)

More about Heritage Path

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