Rock Routes

Travel through time and landscapes with more than 20 Lochaber Geopark interpretation boards across Lochaber.

rock-routes-01

Follow the ‘Rock Routes’ to visit all the boards. These routes link 20 outstanding viewpoints where Lochaber Geopark has installed boards that explain how the magnificent scenery reflects the dramatic geological history of the surrounding area. The geology is described on a colourful interpretation panel installed, in most cases, on a beautifully hand-crafted stone plinth – using local stone, of course!

The boards also describe the origins of specific geological features which can be easily seen from each location.

They have been written in such a way as to provide stand-alone information, although to get a more complete picture of the area’s amazing geological history you will really need to visit more than one.

Rock Route Leaflet

rock-routes-02

You do not have to visit the boards in any particular order, but we have arranged them in groups, so that you can travel from one to the other in a sensible manner as you drive out of Fort William in a particular direction.

There is also  a map showing 20 of the board locations and the suggested routes, as well as some information on additional places of geological interest

 

 

 Rock Route Journeys

Two types of ‘Rock Route’ have been developed.

  • Thematic Routes:  groups Boards across Lochaber around common geological themes.
  • Regional Routes: give a flavour of the variety of geology which can be found in smaller geographic areas.

If you would like to zoom in on any of the panels, try saving, or right click on a PC, then “open in a new tab”.

 

Rock-Route-Map

Our Interpretation Boards

1. Land of the Rings

Travel through circular rings of hills forming the Ardnamurchan ring complex.

Sanna Bay, Ardnamurchan. (Turn right off B8007 1km northwest of Kilchoan)

PH36 4LW
Grid ref: NM 447693

Local Info. Point – Ardnamurchan Natural History Centre

2. Collision, Fire and Ice

Iconic viewpoint for the Ben Nevis caldera and the white quartzites of the Grey Corries.

Commando Memorial, Spean Bridge, 100m along a footpath leading west from the car park. 

PH34 4EG
Grid ref: NN 206824

Local Info. Point – Darwin’s Rest

3. Britain's Biggest Ben

Excellent viewpoint for Ben Nevis with its core of lavas.

Treslaig Village Hall. On the west side of Loch Linnhe, opposite Fort William, 400m south of the Camusnagaul ferry terminal. 

PH33 7AJ
Grid ref: NN 093746

4. Ben and Glen, Fire and Ice

Evidence that the Glen was sculpted by the power of ice is all around.

Lower Falls car park, Glen Nevis. Ben Nevis, the remains of a great volcano, towers above you. 

PH33 6SY
Grid ref: NN146683

5. Grinding Continents

The straight Great Glen follows the line of a major fault that divides the Highlands into two ‘terranes’ which tell different geological stories.

Loch Lochy. Lay-by on the A82.

PH24 4DZ
Grid ref: NN146683

Local Info. Point – The Well of the Seven Heads

6. Volcanoes and Tropical Seas

Piled lavas that flowed from the great Mull volcano form nearby hills. Sediments below tell of warm, shallow seas.

Lochaline. Car park near the Mull ferry terminal.

PA24 5XR
Grid ref: NM680447

7. Fjords, Faults and Fire

Ben Nevis towers over the arrow-straight Great Glen Fault. 

Camusnagaul. At the Camusnagaul ferry terminal on the west side of Loch Linnhe, opposite Fort William

PH33 7AJ
Grid ref: NN095751

8. Inside Ardnamurchan

The foundations of an ancient volcano that forms the most westerly point of mainland Britain. 

Mingary Pier, Kilchoan. Ferry terminal for Tobermory.

PH33 4LJ
Grid ref: NM494627

Local Info. Point – Ardnamurchan Natural History Centre

9. Volcano Ahead!

Spectacular viewpoint overlooking the flank of the Ardnamurchan ring complex, part of an ancient volcano

Ben Hiant, Ardnamurchan, on B8007 6km W of Glenborrodale

PH33 4JG
Grud ref: NM562617

Local Info. Point – Ardnamurchan Natural History Centre

10. Black Lava, Pure White Sand

From the ferry terminal walk past the sandstone mine to the marina. The pure sandstone formed at the edge of a sub-tropical sea, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

Lochaline

PA34 5XR
Grid ref: NM680449

11. Glaciers, Volcanoes and Drifting Continents

Exceptional viewpoint for Ben Nevis, the Great Glen and the Caledonian Canal. 

Glen Loy. Follow B8004 for 5 km NW from Banavie to forestry parking place

PH33 7PD
Grid ref: NN143811

12. Mud, Slate and Mighty Mountains

Learn about the long history of this beautiful and durable natural building material. These slates were used on thousands of Scottish homes 

Ballachulish slate quarry.

PH49 4JB
Grid ref: NN083584

Local Info. Point – Glencoe Cafe

13. A Necklace of Volcanoes

The mountains of Skye and the Small Isles formed beneath volcanoes, or were poured out as lavas, 60 million years ago. 

Mallaig. Car park on the left as you enter the Mallaig on A830

PH41 4RA
Grid ref: NM674969

14. Ancient Volcanoes

Skye and Rum are the remains of ancient volcanoes, but the Glenancross basin formed during melting of an ice-sheet only 11,000 years ago. 

Glenancross. Lay-by on A830 2km S of Morar.

PH33 4NT
Grid ref: NM672910

Local Info. Point – Land, Sea and Islands Centre

15. A Highland Jigsaw

The Corran Narrows were gouged by ice less than 20,000 years ago along the line of a great fault formed when continents collided 430 million years ago. 

Corran Ferry, E side.

PH33 6SE
Grid ref: NN022635

Local Info. Point – West Highland Museum

16. The Greatest Glen

The W side of Loch Linnhe follows the Great Glen fault, a major fracture in Earth’s crust, which becomes the Great Glen NE of Fort William. 

Corran Ferry

PH33 7AA
Grid ref: NN 016637

17. Two Fjords, Two Volcanoes and one Great Glen

The Ben Nevis and Glen Coe calderas are both visible.  Red rocks nearby were crushed when the Great Glen fault moved. 

Sallachan Bay. Lay-by on A830 5 km SW of Corran Ferry.

PH33 7AB
Grid ref: NM 975623

18. A Volcanic Cauldron

The Glencoe volcanic caldera and the mountains of Ballachulish form a splendid panorama. 

Loch Leven. Lay-by on B863 4 km W of North Ballachulish.

PH33 6SA
Grid ref: NN088603

19(1). The 'Parallel Roads' of Glen Roy

A superb viewpoint for the shorelines of a glacier-dammed lake that formed 12,000 years ago. 

Glen Roy. Turn N from A86 at Roy Bridge, signed ‘Ice-age landscape’

PH31 4AN
Grid ref: NN297854

19(2). How To Spot An Ice Age Landscape

This board illustrates glacial features that you can see as you travel around Lochaber.  Add a new dimension to a day in our hills. 

At the same locality as 19(1)

PH31 4AN
Grid ref: NN297854

Local Info. Point – Darwin’s Rest

20. A world of Volcanoes and Warm Lagoons

This magical island is built of sandstones deposited in shallow lagoons at the time of the dinosaurs, and lavas that formed when the North Atlantic began to open. 

Isle-of-Eigg. Near harbour café.

PH42 4RL
Grid ref: NM 484838

21. Kilmallie Stone Circle

A modern circle of rocks from the Highlands and Islands recording the history of Scotland from 3,125 million to 55 million years ago.

Beside Kilmallie Hall in Corpach.

PH33 7JH

Grid ref: NN 097768

22. Kentallen and the Naming of Rocks

A very special place for geologists, where the igneous rock Kentallenite was first discovered.

From Holly Tree Hotel in Kentallen to Lagnaha Farm, along the cycle route at the top of the hill.

Grid ref: NN 011577