Walk: Fort Bill's local hill

Highland | Fort William | Half day walk | ★★★

[Loch Linnhe from the approach to Cow Hill's summit]

Think of Fort William's local hill and mighty Ben Nevis might come to mind. But in fact there's another summit which blocks the view of Scotland's highest peak from the town. Cow Hill stands only 287 metres tall so the walk doesn't belong to the top league - neither in terms of height nor spectacle - but the route often offers excellent views of the the Ben, Fort Bill and Loch Linnhe... or at least the latter two on the reputed 300 days a year when Ben Nevis is wreathed in cloud. And yes, cows are apparently kept around the summit, though we didn't see any on our visit. There are car parks at a handful of points on the circuit but we suggest starting from Glen Nevis, allowing a cake stop (or more) on Fort William's High Street.

[Fort William from the summit of Cow Hill]

📌 Walk: Fort Bill's local hill ★★★
Start / finish at Braveheart car park, off minor road to Glen Nevis 1 mi east of Fort William, G.R.: NN 121736 ///hikes.barman.sparkles

▶ 11 km / 7 mi | ▲ 460 m | ⌚ Half a day | Moderate
Features: △ Cow Hill (287 m); Fort William ★★ & town sights
Terrain: Good tracks, paths and pavements. Steep ascent out of Glen Nevis.

Route & map

Car park - track junction at G.R.: NN 119727 - track junction at Fèith na Sgàthaiche - Cow Hill - return to track junction - Lundavra Road - Municipal Gardens - Fort William & town sights via promenade & High Street - Lochaber Leisure Centre - start via hill track. Route partially waymarked in yellow - but our route is a longer circuit than the signposted one.

Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)
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On our visit

Wildlife: Sheep and lambs, hairy caterpillars and black beetles.
Weather: Sunny periods in the glens especially at first, but fog shrouding the higher hills.

Chronological photo guide

[View from the Braveheart car park]

[Forest track]

[Steep ascent to Cow Hill]

[Cloud shrouding Ben Nevis]

[Glen & Ben]

[Approach to the summit]

[Looking back over Loch Linnhe]

[Ben Nevis from Cow Hill summit]

[View north up the Great Glen]

[Loch Linnhe]

[Hairy caterpillar]


[Descent from Cow Hill]

[Approaching Fort William]

[Lundavra Road]

[Loch Linnhe]

[Municipal Gardens]

[Fort William High Street]

[A final ascent out of Fort William]

[Lower slopes of Ben Nevis back in view on the final stretch]


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