A walk to the Bull Loch. ( Updated May 2011)
This is a short, ( 4m, 6.6 Km) but exhilarating walk from the Rhubodach/Colintraive ferry terminal, walking to the loch and returning a slightly different way.
Park at the car park at the terminal. There are buses to this point but are infrequent for this short walk. Head past the ticket office and you will come to a gate with a sign saying 'Rhubodach Shore Walk'. Through this gate and follow the path to the brow of the small hump, then you will see in the distance beside the woods is a gate,and beyond that is a new bridge that spans the Balnakailly Burn.
Cross over and walk in the same direction that the bridge is pointing and within a couple of minutes you will find the path that will take you uphill. Keep heading the way that you were walking, and and as you start to climb you will see that there is a deep track to your right, this was caused by the horse and carts heading to Balnakailly. If you see these tracks, then you are on the way up with the burn to your left with a big drop to it
Carry on upwards till you come to a S bend on the stream and also on the path.. On a tree to your left you will see a bird box, which is one of many being used by tits , pied flycatchers etc,and by bats in the winter months. Go round this tree and swing to your left, then about 50 yds onwards your path takes a right turn, and you should end up at a moss covered small wall with an iron post atop of it. Drop down over the wall, then move about 5 yds to your right and you will see the way through the pine trees, which form an arch (formed by me years ago) coming to a round stone with a deep hollow in it for grinding corn, then in front of you is the Balnakailly ruins.
Keep them on your right and you will be on new path heading uphill once more.. After about 100 yds, on your right you will come across piles of pine needles which is the home of Wood Ants, and if it is sunny then they will be busy and if you hold your hand over them, they will spit formic acid on to you which smell like vinegar,,but don't get too close as they also have a tendancy too bite.
Up, and onwards till you come to the turning area for lorries, then down and up till you come to the main Landrover track. As you come to this junction you will see a post with an arrow on it on your left, this is the way that you will return after a visit to the loch. Carry on the main track heading upwards, until you notice that the pine trees are well below you. Look out for a large stone with a near horizontal crack on it at the edge of the woods, this is letting you know that you are on the right track and nearing the final turning point.
Onwards and upwards until it levels off a wee bit, looking out for a fairly large pine tree that is right at the track edge on your right, then farther on you will come to a much bigger one on the same side, that means that you are 50 yds from your next turning. Look out for the pine trees to stop and being replaced with smaller broad leaved ones, this is the sign that you are almost there.
Ahead and on your left high up is a solitary small pine tree, head for this, and when you get to it, look to your right and you will see a gap between the trees with the path in the middle.
Head up this path, and swing to your left at the top. Carry on along and down following a well used path through the heather, coming to boggy bits, then more heather, then more boggy bits, then as you get to level ground be very careful as what you may think is a path, maybe a ditch which may be very deep. Onwards to the loch which is now in sight and is only minutes away from you.
Tea/Coffee time, then back up the hill and head to the Landrover track. Turn left, heading downhill till you come to that sign that I mentioned before. Swing to your right and on to the next sign, turn left and you will eventually come to the main road. Go left, and walk along the grass verge to your car.
I hope that you have had a good walk and may try more that I will write about..