11 Running Routes in the Cairngorm National Park

Well, after being asked by numerous people ‘where can i go running’? I thought i’d best put some suggestions down, so folk have some ideas on where to go & how far/flat or hilly it will be. These routes are in no particular order & there’s many many other places to go running/walking or biking. Hopefully these will help people get outside & enjoy this magnificent area we live in, to me & lot’s of others the Cairngorms is the Trail running capital of the UK. It has such variation, from short easy going Loch side runs to mammoth amounts of Munro bagging runs, you can literally head out on a trail & be gone for hours on end & hardly see anyone. There’s always a guarantee of seeing the best of nature & wildlife. All of this combined with time to clear your head makes running a therapy that folk would pay a small fortune for, yet it’s an incredibly inexpensive sport/passion to get into, so get outside & keep moving.

All of the below routes have parking available at the start point & some have public transport. Fantastic views guaranteed.

Loch an Eilein (Aviemore) – 3.4 miles & 50 meters of ascent. Good path & fairly flat.

Loch an Eilein 3.4 miles & 50m

Rothiemurchus Loop (Aviemore) – 11.1 miles & 204 meters of ascent. Good paths with slight incline till 1/2 way, then you guessed it, a slight decline for the 2nd 1/2.

Rothiemurchus Loop 11.1 miles & 204m

Creag Bheag (Kingussie) – 3.3 miles & 266 meters of ascent. Good paths, steep 1st section through trees then down towards the golf course.

Kingussie Creag Bheag 3.3 miles & 266m

Loch Einich (Aviemore) – 13.7 miles & 388 meters of ascent. Path gets slightly rockier further on & there is a stream to cross where you may get wet feet if the stream is higher than the stepping stones.

Loch Einich 13.7 miles & 388m

Coylum Campsite Loop (Aviemore) – 4.4 miles & 72 meters of ascent. Good paths all round.

Coylum Campsite Loop 4.4 miles & 72m

The Fara (Dalwhinnie) – 13.4 miles & 946 meters of ascent. Steep direct route early on followed by running above the loch, upper section good tread required on shoes, lower section hardpacked path.

The Fara 13.4 miles & 946m

Meall a Bhuachaille (Aviemore) – 5.6 miles & 570 meters of ascent. Head towards Ryvoan Bothy then take the path to the left, steep going up but good path all round.

Meall a B loop 5.63 miles & 570m

Meall a Bhuachaille Longer (Aviemore) – 10.3 miles & 736 meters of ascent. Includes Creagan Gorm & Craigowrie. Path gets boggier once you take in the extra section, once you have descended off Craigowrie the return is along fire road.

Big Meall a B loop 10.3 miles & 736m

Grantown to Aviemore – 16.5 miles & 184 meters of ascent. Good paths along the Speyside Way.

Grantown to Aviemore 16.5 miles & 184m

Cairngorm – 7 miles & 812 meters of ascent. Mixed path, good tread required on shoes.

Cairngorm 7 miles & 812m

Loch Morlich (Aviemore) – 3.4 miles & 15 meters of ascent. Good path & fairly flat.

Loch Morlich 3.44 miles & 15m


Some of the above routes include going higher, so always think about the time of year, weather conditions, what kit you are carrying (including map/compass) & have you told someone where you are going? Most importantly enjoy yourself  & take in the views 🙂


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