A Nature Reserve in the Heart of the Highland Capital

If you are a wildlife enthusiast then come and see a Highland Nature Reserve which is a hidden gem! Of course, the most famous Nature Reserve in our area is the amazing Glen Affric. However, there is another hidden gem for nature lovers right in the middle of Inverness – the Merkinch Local Nature Reserve.

As some of you may know, we have already mentioned this amazing little place on our Things To Do page. Interestingly, a visit can easily be combined with a walk or cycle along the Canal to Clachnaharry. So you can make a full day of it and get some exercise along the way!

How to find our Highland Nature Reserve

If you are planning a detour 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.

Also, there is a good path suitable for all abilities between the access point on the Canal towpath and South Kessock. Additionally,  this route allows you to explore smaller paths and boardwalks leading into the nature reserve.


About the Nature Reserve

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

When you are rested you can enjoy a circular walk around the reserve. This will take between 1.25 and 2 miles depending on how far you explore. So you can either experience this as part of a longer walk or cycle or a quick excursion if you’re short of time. Whatever you choose to do this peaceful little wildlife oasis is a must-see for nature enthusiasts. It makes the ideal haven after the hustle and bustle of Inverness!


This is just one of many spots of natural beauty in the Highland capital. If you love to surround yourself by nature and take time to spot all the local wildlife, head to our Walks, Nature & Wildlife option on our Things to do map to get all the best ideas!