It was another strange weather day in Scotland, bright sunshine and then winter squals about every hour.
I followed the Ness River to the northern part of Inverness where the river spills out into the ocean at Carnac Point.
At one point I had to take cover under a bridge from an intense rainstorm that came out of nowhere with gale force winds and heavy rain. There were about six other people under the bridge as well waiting it out. The rain passed in about ten minutes and I continued on to Carnac Point.
The point is a narrow finger of land with a little lighthouse and nice views across the water to North Kessock and the massive Kessock Bridge.
Near Carnac Point is the Merkinch Local Nature Reserve. It's a little park along the coast that gets blasted by the fierce ocean winds and has an abundance of sea birds. There are paths through the reserve that lead directly to the final lock of the Caledonian Canal.
I followed the canal towpath back down to the south side of Inverness. The towpaths were originally used by horses to pull the boats through the canal and locks. After about 1.5 kms, I crossed the little Tomnahurrich Bridge, and walked over to the Ness River. There is a tiny pedestrian bridge there to cross over to the Ness Islands and then the other side of the river. At that point it's an easy walk back up to Inverness Castle and the city center.
The navigation maps for this hike can be found by clicking the link below:
Inverness River, Ocean, and Canal Loop