The county of Sutherland is one of the most beautiful areas of Scotland with a huge variety of landscapes to explore on foot: beautiful beaches, stunning riverside walks, a range of Munros and mountains to moors and peat boglands.Walks are available for all abilities and fitness levels from short distance all abilities paths to the 70 mile Sutherland trail. Along the way walkers can experience close encounters with wildlife, have a brush with history at the many archaeological sites on route, be inspired by stunning scenery or just enjoy some quiet time to reflect and relax in peaceful rural locations.
All walkers are advised to make sure before setting out on any walks that you have the right clothing and equipment for any journey, as Scotland is renowned for having all four seasons of weather in one day. Always make sure that you advise someone of where you are walking and give an approximate return time and be sure to follow the Scotland Access code and respect the local environment.
Core paths are a selection of local path routes that can be used for recreational or key travel routes, that all local authorities and national parks authorities had to identify following the Land Reform Act in 2003. They are designed to promote walking for health and local access through a network of signed paths. Full details of core paths in Sutherland can be found here: http://www.highland.gov.uk/downloads/file/1206/sutherland_overview_map
Forestry Commission walks
The Forestry Commission offers a wide choice of woodland trails in their forests from heart pumping hikes to family trails. All have marked paths and many offer a choice of walks of various lengths and accessibility. Locally you can visit Ferry Wood & Ord hill in Lairg with its loch views and remains of hut circles and burial cairns, The Rosehall Trails with a community built log cabin, Gearrchoille Community Wood in Ardgay with its ancient woodland and remains of a drovers road and the wooded gorge of Ravens Rock where you might even have a close encounter with a bear!
The Highland Council have a number of countryside rangers who run events and guided walks which aim to help raise awareness and encourage appreciation of the scenery, wildlife and heritage of the Highlands.
There are many resources available online for planning a walking trip, however one of the best is Walk Highlands, which offer a range of over 2,000 walking routes not just in Sutherland but all over the Highlands. All routes are trialled by the company and its users and are shown by walking ability grades with map route guides for each route as well as advertisements for accommodation, holidays, guides and photography. For more information visit www.walkhighlands.co.uk