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The General Wade Military Road over Slochd

By Julian Paren

Slochd Military Road

Start location: Raigbeg (NH 811 291)

End location: Layby on A95 near Carrbridge turn off, (NH 913 187)


Path distance: 19.7 km

The Old Military Road between Dunkeld and Inverness was built between 1728 and 1730 under the auspices of General Wade. Much of it now lies under the A9, but a few sections* such as the stretch over the Slochd take a different alignment and can still be followed. The Slochd Mor is a narrow pass, hence this strategic gap is shared with the railway as well as the modern road. At 1300ft, the Slochd summit is one of the highest points on the old route between Inverness and Perth.

The Slochd Military Road is a listed as Heritage Path 157 on the Heritage Paths website and Hill Track 230 in Scotways (Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society) publication Scottish Hill Tracks. Both the Heritage Path website and Hill Tracks of Scotland describe the walk from South to North. However as part of the Scotways 2018 Walk Programme it was walked from the north at Raigbeg near Tomatin.

Fourteen Scotways members undertook the walk, which was led by Peter Mackay. With one lunch stop south of the Slochd and another at Sluggan Bridge the walk took the party six hours. Peter Mackay added Scotways marker signs at a number of path junctions along the route. The party was able to leave cars at both ends of the walk so that the walk was a true linear walk. For future walkers this is the best feasible way to do the walk by ensuring there is a car at each end.

The walk started at Raigbeg and after a mile in an obvious direction took an ill-defined route across rough moorland before becoming part of tracks that serve a current purpose and are well maintained by estate owners and those requiring access to their crofts. The highlights were the natural woodland south of Slochd, the Wade bridge at Ortunan and the magnificent recently restored Sluggan Bridge - the real feature of the Slochd Military Road.

The Sluggan Bridge was built by Caulfeild in 1764 to replace the ford on Wade's road. Just five years later, it was necessary to rebuild the bridge, it having been destroyed by floods. At the turn of the eighteenth century the Sluggan Bridge was bypassed, along with the section of road to its south, by the building of the direct road from Carrbridge to the Slochd.
You can see this trip plotted on a map on the Geo-trips page LinkExternal link .


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When
Thu, 10 May 2018 at 07:58
Grid Square
geotagged! NH8623
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