Gleann Suileag Pony Track
Start location: Fassfern (NN 021 789)
End location: unclassified road end, Achnanellan (NN 090 848)
Geographical area: Lochaber
Path Type: Rural Path
Path distance: 11km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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At Fassfern, there is ample parking by the stone bridge on the old road. From here, the route is signposted on the east bank of the burn and is waymarked through the forest on to the open ground of Gleann Suileag.
Cross the burn between the edge of the wood and Glensulaig Bothy which is open for shelter. .
After leaving the bothy and fording the Allt Fionn Doire, the path is very indistinct and tends to be further up the hillside than might be expected. After the watershed wih Glen Loy (Gleann Laoigh, Calf Glen), the intermittent path becomes a rough land-rover track. Despite the proximity to the public road, this area gives a great feeling of isolation.
The house at Achnanellan was rebuilt following a fire in the mid 1990s. The public road is 700m further on and here a car could be met, but the road is very quiet and offers a pleasant walk beside the river through oak woods in its lower reaches to the point where it joins the B8004 just beyond the Glen Loy Lodge Hotel.
OS Landranger sheet 41 (Ben Nevis, Fort William & surrounding area)
NN 028 824: around this part of Gleann Suileag is a collection of 14 raised platforms for charcoal – burning, the preparation of which was one of the principal reasons for the destruction of the Caledonian Forest in this area.
Between Glensulaig Bothy and the watershed, keep an eye open for various low ruins of summer shielings, evidence that this glen, now so empty, was once home to a living community.
At various times this old road must have been bustling with ponies carrying huge loads of charcoal and by crofters heading to and from the Shielings for the summer period to allow their land to recuperate.