A fantastic but quite challenging 60 mile circuit which explores some remote and little known roads yet is easily accessible from Inverness.
From the parking area head away from the main A9 for a short distance and take the first right which doubles back and then passes underneath the A9 via a farm road (bikes permitted) emerging on the other side of the A9 onto the B851. Follow this, past the junction at Inverarnie until, 2½ miles beyond Inverarnie, there is a turning to the left signposted to "Garbole". Take this road which skirts round a small loch before climbing quite steeply upwards onto wild moorland. Following the climb a fairly level section precedes a long descent through the forest to reach the river Findhorn. This section is very quiet - you're unlikely to meet any cars but watch out for closed gates across the road on the descent through the forest. Turn left at the junction and folow the Findhorn downstream to reach the village of Tomatin.
At the junction at Tomatin turn right, cross the river and follow the road uphill until it reaches the main A9. This stretch is part of the National Cycle Network route 7 (NCN7). Instead of joining the A9 stay on NCN7 which follows a short traffic free section through the pass known as Slochd summit to rejoin a minor road which is followed downhill to Carrbridge (this whole section is still part of NCN7).
At the junction in Carrbridge take the A938 to the left - signposted towards Grantown on Spey and continue for 2 miles until a left turn leads onto the B9007 towards Nairn. Another climb follows, this time up onto the wide open moor known as Dava Moor. This is particularly picturesque in late summer when blanketed in purple heather but it can also be quite windswept paticulaly in winter. From the high point there's a gentle downhill and with a tail wind it's possible to keep up quite a high speed with little effort all the way down to the junction at Dunearn. Turn left here, signposted to Dulsie Bridge which is reached after a few minutes - it's worth a stop to see the gorge below. From Dulsie bridge climb back up the other side and continue on the same road for another 6 miles to a crossroads.
For the direct route back, turn left here, signposted to Barevan and also a part of the National Cycle Network (NCN1 this time). This next stretch winds in and out of the forest until, finally, a short steep downhill leads to another crossroads at Galcantray. Turn left at the Galcantray crossroads and pass through Galcantray itself, still following NCN1 until the huge viaduct at Clava is seen. The return to Daviot continues sraight ahead ignoring the right turn above the viaduct but if heading for Inverness it's worth dropping down this way, under the viaduct and back to Inverness via Culloden Battlefield. The route to Daviot undulates for a few more miles before a final downhill leads to the junction with the B9154 at Craggie. Turn right here and continue round a big sweeping bend and back to the start point.
Cawdor detour: As an alternative that allows a visit to the conservation village of Cawdor and / or Cawdor Castle ignore the Barevan turning and continue downhill first to Cawdor Castle and then to the village itself. To rejoin the original route. take the B9090 out of Cawdor towards Inverness for one mile, keep left at the junction and rejoin the above route at Galcantray crossoads.