Kinlochleven probably owes its existence to the British Aluminium Company which built an aluminium smelter here. There is an abundant supply of fast flowing water and therefore of cheap electricity which is necessary for the smelting of Aluminium. The industrial side of the village is now over and it has been reinventing itself as a top walking and climbing centre, and successfully so too. The old factory building that was left when most were demolished, has been turned into a climbing wall centre including a good ice wall.
Kinlochleven sits at the head of Loch Leven as its name would suggest and the road is now very quiet since the building of the Ballachulish bridge far to the south which now spans Loch Leven at its mouth. It is surrounded by mountains on three sides with the Glencoe range to the south and the Mamores to the east and north.
The Mamores in particular offer hill walkers some of the best walking in Europe with all its interconnecting mountain paths. There is even a spectacular waterfall in the village itself called the grey Mares Tail which is a great site after a lot of rain.
The West Highland Way, passes through Kinlochleven. As most people walk the Way south to north, then this is the last stop before the path goes up over the Mammores to Fort William. To the south lies the tortuous Devils Staircase which has to be negotiated often after many miles of walking towards Kinlochleven from as far away as Bridge of Orchy.
Therefore as you would expect there are hotels, bed and Breakfasts, camping, pubs, restaurants and shops which cater for the visitors whether they are just walking the mountains climbing at Glen Coe or walking the West Highland Way.
The town is also a fine base for exploring surrounding areas such as Fort William and Glen Coe. Loch Leven which it sits, is generally a fairly benign loch and good for angling, canoeing and other types of watersports.