The wild expanse of Loch Muick, almost totally encircled
by steep mountains, is surprisingly accessible. Located on the
royal estate of Balmoral, under the shadow of Lochnagar, its
surrounds are home to many types of wildlife, including mountain
hare, grouse and herds of red deer.
The area offers a wide range of walks of varying length and difficulty,
from the relatively easy tracks around Loch Muick, to the more challenging
routes onto Lochnagar and Broad Cairn. In the first snows of winter,
the hill scenery is transformed, with the cliffs of Lochnager offering
superb snow and ice climbing.
8 miles, 13 km (20mins) south west of Ballater at the end of a single-track
road leading off the B976 (South Deeside Road).
- A large screened car and coach park at the Spittal of Glen Muick
is provided by the Upper Deeside Access Trust. Car park (Cars
£2/day, coaches £10/day) Funds raised are used to
help with path repairs.
- Visitor centre run by the Balmoral Ranger Service. Exhibition
on the area's natural heritage (open 9am-6pm from April to October).
- Toilets and a picnic site near the car park.
- Popular low-level walks from the visitor centre include a short,
scenic 3-mile, 5 km walk to Loch Muick and a longer 9-mile, 14
km circuit around the loch.
- More strenuous hill walking to several Munros (mountains over
3,000 metres) is within a day's walking distance.
- Access point to some of the best granite rock climbing in Scotland
on Lochnagar and Creag an Dubh Loch.
- Mountain-biking on the various tracks in the glen. (Please note
that mountain bikes are only allowed on land rover tracks and
not on hill paths)