The Blackwater Reservoir (highest point 1080ft)

This was the first day the weather prevented an high level mountain walk.  The cloud base was down to about 1000ft with no sign of it lifting.  It was decided therefore to stay low and avoid any potential difficulties.  It also allowed the legs to have a rest from steep hills.  Although this walk didn't ventured high on the hills, it was still a long walk into remote country necessitating the carrying of equipment required for hills.  

A small car park to the right of the church on Wade road was the starting point.   After heading south east on Wade road for a few hundred yards, the road became a track alongside the River Leven.  Shortly after joining the track a path to the dam led uphill.  A signpost indicating 'Ciaran Path - To the Dam 2 1/2 Hrs' pointed to the path.  (there are 3 paths, with the centre path leading to the dam)

The path continued through the woods following the course of the River Leven.   At a small wooded gorge we reached where the Allt na h-Ellde flowed down from Loch Ellde to join the River Leven.
(photo:  River Leven meandering through the woods)

River Leven

Once across the burn, the path continued east passing through what was a First World War POW camp.  Little remains other than a few concrete bases that used to be the buildings that housed over 1000 German POW.   (The POWs built the pipeline from Lock Ellde to Blackwater Reservoir and the road from Kinlochleven to Glencoe.)

Lonely Chimney

Some distance after this area we came across a solitary chimney stack standing in the undergrowth.
(photo:  Lone Chimney)

After more walking through the lush undergrowth, we arrived at a rather dilapidated bridge over an unnamed burn.  Although in very poor condition, it presented no problem .... but it was a very cautious crossing.  The bridge can, however, be bypassed up stream.
(photo:  A rather 'sad' bridge)

Poor Old Bridge!

Dubh Lochan

Not long after the bridge, the path rose to open moorland passing two pools known as Dubh Lochan.
(photo:  Looking back down the Glen past the first Lochan)

(photo:  View east to Blackwater Reservoir, with the peaks of Meall Bhalach and Meall nan Ruadhag, to the south, shrouded in clouds)

Blackwater Reservoir

Waterfall at the start of River Leven

(photo: cascading water at the start of the River Leven)

The return path to Kinlochleven was on the south side of the reservoir.  The walkway of the dam is closed to the public, so a route had to be found below the large reservoir wall.  There is no apparent path, however we eventually 'found' the track that provides vehicle access to the reservoir.

The track was followed, giving easy walking for an hour or so.  A couple of miles from Kinlochleven, the West Highland Way, emerging from the Devil's Staircase,  joined the track.
(photo:  View of Dubh Lochan from the return track)

Dubh Lochan from the return track

Path of the West Highland Way

Once on the West HIghland Way, a steep winding path dropped down to Allt Coire Mhorair that flows down from the slopes of Meall Dearg, of the Aonach Eagach ridge.
(photo:  The 'cloudy' peak of Sron Gharbh that leads to Am Bodach - the 'logical start of the Aonach Eagach ridge)

The path crossed over Allt Coire Mhorair, skirted around the bottom of Creag Chaise, to arrive at the area where the reservoir pipes enter the Kinlochleven water works.  Crossing back over the burn brought us to the track that joined Wades Road .... and the car park.

Although there was  little ascent involved, the distance was a credible 10 miles ..... a goods days hike.

Copyright 2002 'Sandy Saunders Productions'. All rights reserved.