SCOTS are being urged to plan ahead and consider alternative walking routes when out and about this weekend - as Scotland's national parks anticipate heavy traffic to the country's beauty spots.

Scots can now travel across local authority boundaries for outdoor socialising, recreation and exercise.

This weekend, Cairngorms National Park Agency has measures in place at two of its most popular car parks, in a bid to avoid a build-up of traffic.

Traffic management - including staffed 'no entry' signs - will be in place at Linn of Dee and Glen Muick so that cars will only be allowed entry on a one in, one out basis. 

Cairngorms National Park said: "This system has been put in place to ensure that the single track roads do not get overloaded with parked cars, which may cause safety issues."

However, rangers have urged Scots out at the weekend to plan ahead and "have a Plan B" - with suggestions of alternative places to walk in the Park if their first choice appears to busy.

Rangers will also be out and about across the Park to provide information and help visitors.

Hillwalkers are also being urged to make sure they are fully prepared for outdoor activities as coronavirus measures are due to be eased.

Mountaineering Scotland has urged those heading for the hills to make sure they are properly prepared and ready to be flexible in their plans.

CEO Stuart Younie said: “We are delighted with the unexpected news this week and particularly for those living in the cities and smaller local authority areas who have had limited access to the outdoors during this lockdown, as they can now get back to doing what they love.

“The last 12 months have demonstrated how important outdoor recreation is for our physical and mental wellbeing, and as things start to ease it will play an important role in our economic recovery, particularly in rural areas.”

Popular destinations are expected to be very busy, meaning walkers and climbers travelling by car may have to set off early or consider going somewhere less populated.

Mountaineering Scotland also advised that to get the most out of their day, people should think carefully about the conditions they are likely to meet on the hill.

Snow still lies extensively on the higher hills and fluctuating temperatures have meant much of it is likely to be very icy.

Heather Morning, adviser for Mountaineering Scotland, said: “An ice axe and crampons to cope with any icy stretches really are still essential items of kit at this time of year.

“People should also be conscious that, with limited opportunity to climb in the hills over the last few months, they may have lost some hill-fitness and may well prefer to take on easier walks to begin with so they can ease themselves back into the swing of things.”

Cairngorms National Park Community Paths and Trails


  • 6 different trails
  • Witches Rock and Wishing Well
  • Blair Castle
  • River Garry


  • 6 paths
  • Woodland Trail
  • Viewpoint Trail


  • 4 different paths
  • Deeside Way
  • Pannanich Woods

Boat of Garten

  • 8 different community trails
  • Osprey Trail


  • River Dee
  • Morrone 
  • Creag Choinnich
  • Braemar Castle
  • 6 paths


  • 7 trails
  • River Dulnain
  • Calderwood viewpoint trail
  • Sluggan Bridge


  • Coachan Wood Viewpoint (3.5 miles)
  • The Distillery Walk (1 mile)
  • Forest Walk (3.5 miles)
  • The Loch Ericht Walk (1.5 miles)

Dulnain Bridge

  • 5 different walks
  • Muckrach Castle
  • The Roche Moutonnees
  • Braes of Abernethy

Glen Clova

  • 7 different walks
  • South Esk Trail

Glen Esk

  • 4 walks ranging from 3 miles to 10 miles
  • Invermark to Loch Lee
  • Falls of Unich and Falls of Damff 
  • Invermark Castle


  • 8 different paths 
  • The Beachen Woods
  • Anagach


  • The Golf Course Circular
  • West Terrace Circular
  • 6 paths in all to explore


  • Fine views, stunning waterfalls and an abundance of wildlife.
  • 10 different trails

Nethy Bridge

  • Castle Roy loop (3.5 miles)
  • Puggy Line Trail


  • Wildcat Trail
  • Dalcurn Bridge to Glen Banchor
  • Milk Cow path for a short walk through the village


  • 6 walks
  • Ben Newe
  • The River Don
  • Walks range from 1 mile to 4 miles 


  • 1,165 feet above sea level on the northern slopes of the Cairngorm Mountains
  • 6 walks around the area including the Bridge of Avon Link and Old Bridge of Avon
  • Tomintoul Circular Walk