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Get on your marks for The Old Logging Way

10th October 2008

A LANDMARK link in one of Scotland’s most popular recreation areas will improve safety and boost local travel on foot and by bike.

The Old Logging Way in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park was officially opened today by Scotland’s Minster for Community Safety Fergus Ewing.

The 5 ½ km path provides a safe route for off-road users such as walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders to travel between the communities of Aviemore and Glenmore.

Mr Ewing, MSP for Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, started members of Cairngorm Runners off on a run before taking a walk along the path with his partner Dr Fiona Pearsall and their baby daughter Natasha.

Mr Ewing said: “I am delighted to launch the new off road route at Glenmore. This should be an excellent facility for walkers, runners and cyclists of all abilities.

“The trail has been named the Old Logging Way, reflecting the historic use of Glenmore for forestry. In more recent times the area has, of course, become a Mecca for outdoor enthusiasts of all descriptions.

“This new facility at Glenmore will help locals and visitors to enjoy their chosen sports and activities even more, enabling them to travel safely between Aviemore and the rich variety of trails and paths in the Glenmore area. Walkers, runners, orienteering enthusiasts, cyclists – people of all ages and abilities will benefit from this trail.

“Fiona and I are looking forward to cycling its full length when Natasha is a bit older – we are not quite confident enough on our own bikes to try out the baby seat arrangement yet. So we need to get some practice in soon!

“However, we have already taken Natasha along the path, in her pram from Rothiemurchus to Badaguish. The path surface is smooth enough to prevent the journey being too bumpy for the baby – so it is a great walk for parents with toddlers.”

Natalie Aird of Cairngorm Runners said the new path had greatly improved the training options for club members.

“The Old Logging Way is a very welcome development for Cairngorm Runners,” she said.  “It gives our runners softer terrain underfoot, which is easier on joints, a much safer route than having to run on the road and the gentle undulations of the path offer some superb new scenery to enjoy.

“It will also make a great difference to those members of Cairngorm Runners taking part in the third Aviemore Highland Half Marathon on 19 October 2008,” Ms Aird added.  “In previous years, runners had to run on a coned-off section of road from Loch Morlich to Inverdruie, a distance of about 4 miles. This year, the organisers have been able to re-route the half marathon to pick up the new path at Badaguish and then bring runners along this delightful new path all the way to Inverdruie, reducing the on-road running to just a few hundred yards.”

The Old Logging Way runs through the spectacular Rothiemurchus Estate and the cooperation and support of landownders Johnnie & Philippa Grant helped bring the project to fruition. Costs totalled around £270,000, with funders including sustainable transport charity Sustrans, the Highland Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Cairngorms National Park Authority. The contractors were Mark Hedderwick from Beauly and D & I Rutherford of Dornoch.

David Jardine, Inverness forest district manager for Forestry Commission Scotland, hailed the project an example of successful partnership working.

“Forestry Commission Scotland is delighted with the completion of this final link in the path between Aviemore and Glenmore Forest Park as it opens up a number of green transport links for this special forest,” he added.