Into the inpenetrable forest – Resourie Bothy

I’m attending an MBA bothy workparty in a couple of weeks.  It’s at Resourie bothy, in Ardgour, and I’m planning to get the train up to Fort William then walk in to the bothy.  The obvious way to approach this bothy is via the forestry tracks up Glen Hurich, from the South West, but I’ll be coming from the East so have had to decide whether to go the easy but very long way on tracks or to go cross country.  Unless the weather is abysmal, I’m opting for the cross country route.

The current 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey map shows Resourie bothy as being deep in the forest.  The route in from the East looks impossible.

Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database rights 2019

However, the 1960 OS 1 inch map for the area show the building sitting on the very edge of the forest and with paths coming from the North and the East.

Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

The Glen Hurich Land Management Plan says that the land, which was formerly a sheep farm, is predominantly a conifer plantation and was purchased from the Board of Agriculture in 1927.  I don’t know what the building was used for before it became a bothy but it looks like, over the years, it has not warranted protection from the plantation which was planted – or self-seeded – all around it.  I’m expecting to find a Hansel and Gretel cottage fighting for light amongst the trees; that’s if I find it at all!

Over the last couple of months I’ve spent many happy hours poring over maps and aerial photos and weighing up different routes.  I use OSMaps (subscription) for the current Ordnance Survey mapping and the National Library of Scotland (free) for the old maps.  Geograph is always handy to get an idea of what the landscape really looks like, although there’s often not the detail I need.  For example, I’d like to know how big the Resourie bothy clearing is and how close together the trees are around the bothy.  I intend to add a few photos after my trip.

The bothy’s Maintenance Organiser has sent me some very detailed notes on the old route from the East so, armed with GPS, new & old maps, and probably a small pruning saw I’m going to walk up Glen Scaddle then try to reestablish the old path through to the bothy.

I’ve had some “interesting” times trying to squeeze me and my backpacking rucksack through dense forests on the TGO Challenge and I admit to a certain trepidation about making this journey but I’ve been told it is possible, albeit boggy in places, and I’m hoping less than a kilometre will be tortuous.  It’ll be fun!

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6 Responses to Into the inpenetrable forest – Resourie Bothy

  1. Theo Fokker says:

    Hi Judith, my option would be to take the Corran ferry or the Camasnagaul ferry and walk/hitch to Aryhoulan (Inverscaddle Bay) and walk up to Glen Scaddle and Gleann an Lochain Duibh. From Lochan Dubh turn W, staying on the N-side of the river. From the walled area north of Tom na h-Eilde there seems to be a path of approx. 400 yards through the forest (as shown on your old map) according to Google Earth. It doesn’t seem possible to copy/paste my screenshots of the route from my Anquet maps and the screenshot of GE otherwise I would have added them here. Hope you enjoy yourself doing the good work 🙂


    • Judith says:

      Cheers Theo. Your plan matches mine. I’ve never used the Camusnagaul ferry before, so I’ll use that one. I’ve not looked at Google Earth yet so thanks for the reminder.


  2. Martin B says:

    Good luck Judith. I hope the weather’s good, not least because I’ll be traipsing around nearby with Markus.


  3. Mark says:

    It’s fine from the East. I’ve stayed there twice on the Coast to Coast and stayed North of the river.

    Liked by 1 person

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