Enjoy exploring the history, archaeology and wildlife of some of the less frequented forests of the Black Isle on guided walks with pack horses.
Enjoy the trails of the forestry and woodland of the MIllbuie Ridge and surrounding areas. Let the ponies carry the extras, leaving you free to walk, take photos, or simply just immerse yourself in the beauty of the Black Isle. Learn about the history and folklore of the area, whilst keeping your eyes peeled for possible sightings of red squirrels, red kites, pine martens, buzzards and deer, to name but a few.
We currently have 5 walks to offer: The Family Trail; The Eddirdail Trial; Culbokie Trail; Cairn Trail and the Ardmeanach Trail.
All walks are conducted at a leisurely pace. The terrain for all the walks is relatively easy and even. There are however, some sections that are slightly more uneven. On a couple of the walks, there are also some rather large puddles to negotiate. These can all be walked round, but you need to be steady on your pins to do this. All routes are subject to forestry activities and it may be that we have to change part of the route, in order to accommodate these activities.
Families and children of all ages are more than welcome. We want to be able to share our love of this area with everyone. We do ask though that all children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult and that you are realistic about the length of walk your child can undertake.
This is Scotland. We actively encourage you to prepare for 4 seasons in one day. The beauty of going out with Pack Ponies, is they will happily carry those extra waterproofs for you when they are not needed.
We also encourage all walkers top place their phones on silent whilst out walking, so as not to be disturbed by ringtones and message notifications. This is a chance to kick back and leave the pressures of the modern world behind.
Family Trail (Aprox 1hr)
This forest trail is aimed at families with young children who would enjoy the experience of a forest walk with a pack pony, but would not manage our other trail walks.
Puddles to splash in, dragonflies to spot. Listen out for the buzzards, and if it’s the right time of the year, their very squawky chicks. Look out for the Red Kite and listen for its distinctive call - it always reminds me of a shepherd whistling his sheep dog.
What else can you spot? Our specially prepared tick lists will tell you what is possible to see, and you can tick it off once you’ve seen it, giving you a nice record of your walk.
There will not be a lot of historical information given on this walk, as we are aware this is not very exciting or interesting for young children. However, we are always happy to answer any questions Mum and Dad or Granny and Grandpa might have.
We will have a short break for juice and biscuits (coffee/tea and cake for the adults).
Price: Adult - £16.00 / 5 - 16yrs - £8.00 / under 5’s go free. Maximum of 8 people per walk.
Eddirdail Trail (approx 2hrs)
This route is approximately 11/2 hours worth of walking with a half hour break for some tea and cake. Enjoy a tranquil walk through the forestry, and woodlands of the Millbuie Ridge. Allow yourself to be taken back to a time when life moved at a slower pace, as we walk with the ponies, who will be carrying our tea break, waterproofs, and any extra baggage.
On a good day, the views across to Ben Wyvis are second to none. For the keen photographer, there are many photographic opportunities.
Price: Adult - £22.00 / 5 - 16yrs - £11.00 / under 5’s go free. £10 off total booking cost for groups of 4 or more. Maximum of 8 people per walk.
Culbokie Trail (approx 3 1/2hrs)
This lovely trail takes us through the woods of Bogbuie and Culbokie with our pack ponies and Guide leading the way. Visit the ancient Iron Age fort of Carn Mor Dun, also known as Culbokie Castle and approximately 2000 years old. Take a look at the remains and hear a little of its history. Pass through the village of Culbokie. Culbokie means Haunted Nook. Will it feel haunted to you? Whilst in the woods see if you can spot the flash of red, as the red squirrel goes about its business. Also keep your eyes peeled for Culbokie Loch.
There are lots of wonderful photographic opportunities on this walk, or simply take the time to stop and take in the scenery around you.
We will pause on our walk for tea / coffee and cake, ably carried by the ponies.
The terrain on this walk is mostly forestry path and is easy going. There is a short, steep incline at the end of the walk. There are some short sections of road, where we will ask you to put on high visibility vests (provided).
It is possible to take a look around the remains of the fort. There is however, a lot of vegetation in this area and some of the paths are rather overgrown.
Price: Adult - £26.00 / 5 - 16yrs - £13.00 / under 5’s go free. £10 off total booking cost for groups of 4 or more. Maximum of 8 people per walk.
Cairn Trail (approx 5hrs)
This stunning walk takes us through large parts of the Millbuie Forest and adjoining woods. The views from this walk are outstanding. See abandoned croft sites and burial cairns and get a feel for how the Black Isle would have been in prehistoric times.
The Chambered Cairn and one of the Long Cairn’s are easily accessed. The first Long Cairn is accessible to those who are happy to do a bit of “off roading”. It is, however, visible from the main track.
This my favourite walk. It is possible to walk these trails and not meet another living soul on the whole route.
Our pack ponies will carry a more substantial picnic than our shorter walks, using food from local producers.
Again, walking through the forestry with the ponies in tow, takes us back to a time that was by no means easier, but was certainly conducted at a much slower pace. Take the time to stop and pause. Enjoy your surroundings and take an opportunity to savour the silence.
The homeward leg, will take you just short of Cnoc nan Craiseag (Crowberry Hill) / Mount Eagle, which is the highest point on the Black Isle at 839ft (256metres.)
Times: 11am - 4pm This walk is available on any day where one of the other walks has not been booked, so is worth booking in advance if you have a particular day in mind.
Price: Adult - £36.00 / 5 - 16yrs - £18.00 / under 5’s go free £10 off total booking cost for groups of 4 or more. Maximum of 8 people per walk.
Ardmeanach Trail (full day walk)
This trail allows us to explore more of the forest and varies as time and opportunities arise. Take in views of the Cromarty Firth on one side of the walk, crossing the forest to enjoy views across the Moray Firth on the other, before heading to the top of the Black Isle. Times: To be arranged. Must be booked 3 days in advance.
Price: Adult - £65.00 / 12 - 16yrs - £32.50 £10 off total booking cost for groups of 4 or more. Maximum of 8 people per walk.
PLEASE NOTE: This walk is not available for children under 12 years of age. Children under 16 must be accompanied by and adult.
On all our walks, your guide will chat to you about the history of the area. See what flora, fauna and wildlife you can spot. Our specially prepared tick lists will tell you what is possible to see, and you can tick it off once you’ve seen it, giving you a nice record of your walk.
Wellington boots or waterproof walking boots with gaiters are recommended as the ground can be wet in parts.
Please call 01349 877882 / 07732181264 to book or find out more information. If you get the answer machine, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can. We will not be answering mobiles whilst out on the forest.
Payment methods: Cash, cheques or BACS. All payments to be made before the walk leaves.