A Nature Reserve in the Heart of the Highland Capital - by Sabine

Explore this hidden gem in Inverness - a must-do for wildlife enthusiasts!

The most famous Nature Reserve in our area is the amazing Glen Affric, of course, but there is another hidden gem for nature lovers right in the middle of Inverness – the Merkinch Local Nature Reserve.

We have already mentioned this amazing little place in our blog on Caledonian Canal walks and a visit can easily be combined with a walk or cycle along the Canal to Clachnaharry.

If you arrive by car, park your car at the end of the turning circle at South Kessock – take a minute to look out to sea from here, you can sometimes see the famous Moray Firth bottlenose dolphins! The Nature reserve is signposted from here, just follow the marker.

If you are planning a wee de-tour to the nature reserve as part of a walk or cycle along the Caledonian Canal towpath, look out for the signpost between Muirtown basin and Clachnaharry on your right hand side.

There is a good path suitable for all abilities between the access point on the Canal towpath and South Kessock and from this main path you can explore smaller paths and boardwalks leading into the nature reserve.

The nature reserve consists of tidal pools, marshes, reed beds and scrubland and is a haven for wildlife. You have a good chance to see roe deer, owls, weasels, herons, cormorants and various wading birds. There are lots of benches dotted around the site, so take some time to have a seat and watch the birds!

A circular walk around the reserve will take between 1.25 and 2 miles depending on how far you explore, so you can easily fit it in as part of a longer walk or cycle or a quick excursion if you’re short of time and are just looking to stretch your legs for a wee bit.

This peaceful little wildlife oasis is a must see for nature enthusiasts looking for a wee break from the hustle and bustle of Inverness!

Ducks Caledonian Canal