The final section on the West Highland Way: follow a track through the beautiful forests of Glen Nevis to gain excellent views of Ben Nevis before entering Fort William.
Distance 24.2 km
The initial sharp climb out of Kinlochleven into the Mamores is compensated for with fantastic views. Once over the top you follow a wonderfully remote valley past deserted sheilings towards Fort William. Enter a beautiful area of cultivated forest and follow a narrow winding track into Glen Nevis. Towering ahead is Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, follow a wide forestry road down to the Visitors Centre. The final two miles are along the Glen Nevis road, bringing you to the official end of the West Highland Way at the main street of Fort William, where your adventure comes to a close.
The West Highland Way is a spectacular walk, however the last couple of miles of the official route are a little under whelming as the route follows the pavement along the A82. For the purists who wish to follow the exact route of the West Highland Way from start to finish this is the way to go. If you would prefer to be away from the road, there are a couple of alternative options, with the turnoffs for both options marked on the map. The Peat Track option includes a steep climb over Cow Hill before descending through the town to the finish, while the easier "Around Cow Hill" option follows a trail in the same direction as the official walk, but is away from the road.
Update: February 17, 2020
Best time of year
As you near Fort William please be aware there is often logging being carried out by the forestry commission which results in the path being slightly re-routed. The last part of the West Highland Way follows the pavement along the busy A82 road. Please be careful and aware of the fast moving traffic.
If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the West Highland Way map from Footprints. Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app.
If you wish to bring a guidebook, we would recommend Trailblazer's West Highland Way: Milngavie to Fort William by Charlie Loram.
Macs Adventure Blogs
Using our decades of experience we have written several blogs containing helpful tips, daily wildlife information, lunch stops, where to eat, FAQ and more. Please follow the link below to read our West Highland Way insights:
Noted on the interactive map are a couple notable points of interest. Click the icons on the map for more information.
Kinlochleven town centre (14 m)
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Fort William main square
*** To help you follow the route with confidence we have provided these route notes to help you. The West Highland Way is well waymarked, but we strongly suggest that you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day. The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***
In Kinlochleven rejoin the trail from outside the Tailrace Inn and follow the road (B863) north out of the village passing the bus stop on Lochaber Road. The road curves left and in 500m bear right off the road onto the West Highland Way path leading into the trees.
Ascend gradually with the slopes of Am Bodach and Mullach Nan Coirean (Munros) to your right as you follow the Way along the valley floor and descend until you see Lochan Lunn Da-Bhra on your left at 11.70 km. From here the trail passes over undulating terrain for 5.70 km to reach a saddle-point overlooking Glen Nevis. Follow the path west to descend towards Fort William along the forested slopes of the glen.
As you near Fort William from the east you can choose to turn right at 20.30 km and follow the traditional route or take a slightly more scenic route by continuing straight on the path above the town for a further 1 km before emerging from the forest and turning left to follow the Way into Fort William’s centre via road and pavement walking. Follow the A82 until reaching the roundabout at around 23.50 km where you’ll turn left and follow the pedestrianised main street through Fort William’s central shopping area to reach the statue of the walker on a bench marking the end of your West Highland Way. Congratulations!
all notes on protected areas
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Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required. The weather can change quickly so be sure to take all equipment even if the weather looks okay. A waterproof cover for your rucksack is also useful.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it would be beneficial to bring a power bank.