Walk: The blue pools of Ballachulish

Highland | Ballachulish | Short walk | ★★★★

[Ballachulish Slate Quarries]

Sparkling blue pools in a rocky amphitheatre are the local legacy of Ballachulish's once important slate mining industry, now forming an unusual backdrop to a dense network of walking routes. The Brecklet Trail developed by Forestry and Land Scotland rises high above the quarry's west cliffs, soon revealing stunning views both over the manmade lakes and along Loch Leven. After the steep ascent the panorama is lost as the path plunges into a dark forest, but small waterfalls, abandoned buildings and even a small fairy village (see our photo guide!) ensure there's still plenty of visual interest. The quarry interior and a nearby inclined plane (used for transporting slate from the upper parts of the quarry down to sea level) are both reachable by short detours from the walk's start point, and are included on the route map below.

[The ascent has great views over Loch Leven]

📌 Walk: The blue pools of Ballachulish ★★★★
▶ 4 km / 2 miles | ▲ 120 metres
Features: Ballachulish Slate Quarries; Loch Leven viewpoints; Brecklet, churches & Ballachulish; Ballachulish inclined plane
Start / finish: Car park on Park Road, just off A82 on the north side of Ballachulish, G.R.: NN 084585 ///fled.ledge.viewer

Route: Car park - track up west side of quarry wall - ruined buildings at G.R.: NN 085575 - Brecklet - start - detours to Ballachulish Slate Quarries (to east) & inclined plane (to north). Main circuit & detours both mostly signposted.
Terrain: Clear paths and tracks throughout. Main circuit has a steep ascent; later detours are flat.
Wildlife today: Grasshoppers, small birds.
Weather today: Mostly sunny, warm and humid; storm clouds building over hills.

[Ballachulish inclined plane]

Route map

Route credit: Forestry & Land Scotland (modified)

Chronological photo guide

[Ascent alongside Ballachulish Slate Quarries]

[Above the slate quarries]

[Beinn a' Bheithir]

[Stunning views over Loch Leven from higher parts of the route]

[Ballachulish (left) & Loch Leven]

[Loch Leven from the steep ascent]

[Loch Leven]

[Woodland trail]

[Woodland trail]

[Woodland trail]

[Ruined buildings]

[Woodland trail]

[Fairy house]

[Descent to Brecklet]

[St Munda's Church (Church of Scotland)]

[St Mun's Catholic Church]

[Beinn a' Bheithir beyond the River Laroch]

[Detour to Ballachulish Slate Quarries]

[Detour to Ballachulish inclined plane, Pap of Glencoe beyond]

[Ballachulish inclined plane]

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