Loch Ericht, Scotland, United Kingdom

Lake Locations:

United Kingdom - Scotland - Highlands & Moray - Perthshire -

Also known as:  Lake Ericht

Hidden in the shadow of Ben Alder Munro or Mountain, Loch Ericht is a beautiful freshwater lake on the border between Perth and Kinross and the Highlands Council areas of Scotland. At 5,532 acres (22.39 square km), Loch Ericht is one of the less commercialized lakes in the region which makes it the perfect holiday or vacation retreat for those wishing to explore scenic Scotland without heavy tourism.

At an elevation of 1,152 feet (351 m) above sea level, Loch Ericht or Lake Ericht is a long, narrow lake, stretching 14.5 miles (23.3 km) in length by one mile (1.6 km) in width at its widest point. Much of the 37.3 miles (60 km) of shoreline is untouched, and certain areas of the lake can only be reached on foot or by non-motorized vehicle. A forestry gate on the north shore and railway bridge on the south shore mark the boundaries for vehicles. There are no through roads that circle the lake, but a single lane road along the western side takes visitors almost half way down the lake and over to Loch Pattack and eventually Loch Laggan. The terrain around the shoreline is mostly flat and easy to walk along for those who would like to explore the area on foot or horseback.

Loch Ericht is a popular lake with anglers. The loch has plenty of wild brown trout averaging eight ounces (0.2 kg) and also ferox trout weighing up to 10 pounds (3.7 kg). Char also make the lake their home. Bank fishing and fly fishing are the most common methods for landing fish from the deep waters of the loch. The average depth of the lake is 199 feet (60.7 m) with a maximum depth of 512 feet (156 m). Canoes, kayaks, pontoon boats, sailboats and small motorboats also share the crystal, clear water.

Loch Ericht is unique in that it is dammed at both ends. The southern end is linked to a hydro-electric power station at Loch Rannoch by the four-mile long River Ericht. The dam at the northern end protects the village of Dalwhinnie from flooding. Dalwhinnie sits just at the head of Loch Ericht where it meets with Glen Truim, one of Scotland’s major glens. The name Dalwhinnie means meeting place, which refers to the meeting of ancient cattle drovers’ routes through the mountains. The village is best known for its malt distillery, and visitors will find a visitor center and distillery tours of interest. The distillery produces single malt Scotch whisky classified among the Highland Single Malts. The distillery was founded with the name of the town in the late 1890s. The site was chosen for its access to clear spring water and abundant peat from the surrounding bogs. A railroad station can also be found in Dalwhinnie. Constructed in 1863, the station is a highlight with tourists visiting the many small villages in the area.

Accommodations on Loch Ericht can be found in Dalwhinnie. The charming, mountain town features an historic inn, several hotels, and a number of self-catering options. The towns of Aviemore, Kingussie and Newtonmore, northeast of Loch Ericht, offer additional vacation rentals, holiday cottages, and mountain lodges. All of these towns can be visited by car or train, and golfers will find beautiful golf courses in the towns of Kingussie and Newtonmore.

Surrounded by splendid mountain scenery, Loch Ericht has much to offer the outdoor enthusiast. For those who like to hike and climb, Ben Alder Mountain at 3,766 feet (1,148 m) and Geal Charn at 3,714 feet (1,132 m) offer trails and scenic areas for an incredible view of the countryside. Hunting is allowed in the Ben Alder Forest area. The extensive native woodland and varied mountain terrain create a habitat rich in wildlife. Deer, eagles, and native red squirrels, mountain hares, and pine martins are common sites along the wilderness trails.

For an interesting day trip, visitors to Loch Ericht can explore the bustling resort town of Aviemore which offers a multitude of activities ranging from snow skiing in the winter, to walking, climbing, and mountain biking in the summer. Regular visitors to Aviemore include Prince Charles and Princess Anne. Just west of Aviemore sits Loch Ness, the largest body of freshwater in the UK and home to the legendary Loch Ness Monster.

West of the southern end of Loch Ericht is Fort William, the largest town in the West Highlands of Scotland. The town is close to the beautiful Glen Nevis, Ben Nevis and Nevis ski range, the highest mountain and ski area in the British Isles. The area has a number of skiing and snowboarding facilities and a gondola which operates year round. The town is also well known for its famous downhill mountain bike track and its connection to the Great Glen Way. From June to October, visitors can take a day trip on the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig, passing over the famous Glenfinnan viaduct seen in the “Harry Potter” films.

Whether you enjoy walking, mountain biking, golfing, fishing, skiing, or just taking it easy in one of the most beautiful and secluded places on earth, Loch Ericht offers all these activities within a short cycle or drive away. Located near several large lochs and many charming mountain communities, Loch Ericht is the perfect starting point from which to explore the variety of Scottish Highland country pursuits against the stunning back-drop of the Ben Alder Mountains.

Things to do at Loch Ericht

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding

Fish species found at Loch Ericht

  • Brown Trout
  • Char
  • Trout

Loch Ericht Photo Gallery

Loch Ericht Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Scottish Hydro-Electric

Surface Area: 5,532 acres

Shoreline Length: 37 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,168 feet

Average Depth: 199 feet

Maximum Depth: 512 feet

Water Volume: 872,979,785 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1931

Drainage Area: 50 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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