Burma Road is a classic crossing from the Spey Valley into the valley of the River Dulnain. Out route formed a circular route from Aviemore, returning via Carrbridge. Our route is about 45km.
You don't have to start from Aviemore, of course, but if you are then the best bet is to head south out of town on the 'old' A9. It's not traffic-free but you're not going to be on it for long.
A couple of kilometers or so down the road there's a right turn giving access to the 'new' A9. Take it. Cross the A9 very carefully and take the minor road almost directly opposite which is signed for Lynwilg.
Don't be fooled by the leisurely pace along the road - it's not going to last.
At this point, a light rain starts to fall .. but not so light that we could ignore it. And, as noted, the way onward is upward, firstly through trees and then out onto open hillside. While it's a good track, the gradient is relentless and whether you walk, or ride - or both - you're going to climb to just short of 700m.
It's still raining but seems to ease a little as we arrive at the col. Time for a breather. The views stretch away to the west into the heart of the Monadhliath Mountains, and further to the north, down into the Dulnain Valley.
On a warm sunny day you might want to pause awhile and soak up the views in all directions. But maybe not today...
So it's a skoosh down the track into the valley where you cross the Dulnain over a bridge. The track stays on the left bank of the river as you follow it downstream. The valley opens up a little and you're passing through areas of the old Caledonian forest of Scots pine.
Reaching an obvious junction, you'll come across a monument to a local archer, Iain Beag Macandra and, while the tale surrounding this is too long to go into here, it's certainly the stuff of legend.
It may be possible to turn right here and cross the river, but our route goes left and heads for Insharn where we join NCR 7. This follows General Wade's Road and leads to the stunningly elegant Sluggan Bridge as its single arch soars over the river.
The trail now leads easily into Carrbridge where you might want to stop for drinks, snacks or whatever.
You have a number of choices now. If you're in a hurry, the quickest way back to Aviemore, of course, is to follow the old A9.
NCR 7 offers two alternative routes that go via Boat of Garten. You can stay on road or mostly off-road. From Boat of Garten, the off-road option joins with the Speyside Way on a well-surfaced route through the woods to reach the outskirts of Aviemore near the golf course.
john b, galashiels