Best Walks in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs

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View from Conic Hill (Sander Lenaerts/Unsplash)

Scotland is home to some of the most beautiful walking territory in the whole of the UK – and that includes Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Our guide to the park takes in everything from gentle waterside strolls to sculpture trails and forest hikes, with waterfalls, mountains and fabulous views at every turn. Whether you’re looking for a family outing, a historic route or a more challenging stomp up to the top of a peak, there’s something here for you.  

Easy Walks for Beginners

View from Ben Lomond (Mac McDade/Unsplash)

Loch Ard Forest Trails

Surrounding a pretty, sheltered loch close to Aberfoyle with views of Ben Lomond, Loch Ard Forest is home to several waymarked trails including:

Loch Ard Sculpture Trail 

Distance: 4.25 miles

Time: 2.5 hours

Start point: Loch Ard Forest car park on the B829 

A great choice for families, this thoughtfully created sculpture trail is largely on firm gravel, with some muddy and short steep sections, and has a wildlife hide and views across the water en route. There’s plenty to keep kids interested, with sculptures and willow weavings of foxes, eagles and lightsabre-wielding squirrels to spot, five ‘sound posts’ recreating the sounds of local creatures, markers with details of wildlife to look out for and engraved tables with word searches on top. 

Maps are available from the Lodge Visitor Centre and on the Main Street in Aberfoyle, and you can also download a leaflet.

Ben Lomond and Loch Ard (Mike_Shuttleworth/Pixabay)

Lochan Spling Trail

Distance: 3.75 miles out and back

Time: 1.5 hours

Start pointRiverside car park, Aberfoyle 

This gentle trail follows level forest tracks from Aberfoyle and loops around the small Lochan Spling. If you’re lucky you might see jays and crossbills, and even ospreys fishing in the water, and there are sculptures of an osprey, a leaping pike and a dragonfly to spot too. 

There are green waymarkers to follow, and the WalkHighlands website has a downloadable map and GPS file of the walk.

Bracklinn Falls Circuit

Distance: 3.5 miles

Time: 2 to 2.5 hours

Start point: Bracklinn Falls car park

This waymarked woodland walk (with some steps) runs from Callander to the Bracklinn bridge, where you can watch the Bracklinn waterfalls tumbling into the gorge below. Take care here because the rocks can be slippery. After crossing the Keltie Water and climbing through the forest you emerge onto the Callander Crags, where there are great views of Ben Ledi, Stuc a’ Chroin and Ben Vorlich before you return to the car park.

There’s a handy downloadable leaflet with details of the route here

If you’ve enjoyed these three walks, the Forestry and Land Scotland website has details of several other walking and cycling trails around the loch.

Loch Lomond from Ben Vorlich (Mac McDade/Unsplash)

The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre Trails

Start point: Lodge Forest Visitor Centre

There are several trails through the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park from this visitor centre near Aberfoyle. We’ve chosen this one:

Waterfall Trail:

Distance: 1 mile

Time: 30 mins

This gentle route on firm gravel and a wooden boardwalk through the trees is accessible on an electric mobility scooter, and there are two available at the centre to use. It takes in the ‘Timber Jill statue’, a monument to the Women’s Timber Corps who played a vital role in World War II, as well as the Little Fawn Waterfall. With hammocks and interactive play equipment along the way, it’s good for families with small children too.

If your children still have energy to burn, the centre is also home to Go Ape Aberfoyle, with treetop ropes and zip lines through the forest.

For more accessible activities in the national park, check out Pitchup’s guide to accessible activities in Loch Lomond.

Moderate Walks

Ben A’an Walk

Distance: 2.25 miles out and back

Time: 2-3 hours

Start point: The Ben A’an car park on the A821 

This short but steep walk follows a stream through native forest to the top of Ben A’an, a 454-metre, pyramid-shaped peak with superb views of Loch Katrine, Ben Venue and Ben Lomond. The path is well maintained and easy to follow, and with stepping stones, a wooden bridge and boulders to climb on, it’s also great fun for kids. It’s no secret though, so if you want to be sure of a parking space, try and pick a quiet time in mid-week to visit.

The WalkHighlands website has a handy guide to the route, with a map, a description, and a GPS file to download.

Conic Hill Walk

Distance: 3 miles out and back (with a longer 6.5-mile loop option)

Time: 2.5 hours

Start point: Balmaha car park

This short, steep walk takes you to the top of a 361-metre peak with sweeping views of Loch Lomond, its islands and the surrounding farmland. The path is easy to follow, although it can be a little muddy, but you’ll be rewarded with great views for most of the way, so if your kids are getting tired, you can always turn back.

You can download a map and a GPS file of the route on the WalkHighlands website.

Sron a’ Chlachain, Killin

Distance: 2.5 miles out and back

Time: 1.5 to 2.5 hours

Start point: McLaren Hall car park, Killin

A little more testing, this walk from Killin to Sron a’ Chlachain, or ‘the peak that resembles a nose above the village’ has some very steep sections and takes in beautiful oak woodland, open moorland and a ridge on the way, providing great views of Killin and Loch Tay from the top. As you leave Breadalbane Park at the beginning of the route, look out for Fingal's Stone, said to mark the burial site of a mythical giant.

You can download a map, directions and a GPS file on the WalkHighlands website.

Family-Friendly Walks

Ben A’an and Loch Katrine (Acphoto180/Pixabay)

Loch Katrine Shore Path—The Brenachoile Trail

Distance: 4.5 miles out and back

Time: 2.5 hours

Start point: Trossachs Pier car park

This easy tarmac path follows the north shore of Loch Katrine to a viewpoint at Brenachoile Point, with panoramic vistas over the water all the way As an added bonus, it’s part of the local Art and Literature Trail, with information panels that reveal how the area captivated artists and writers in the 19th century, including William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott, whose poem,The Lady of the Lake was inspired by the dramatic landscape.

Forestry and Land Scotland has a downloadable route card on their website.

Tip: if you have family members who don’t want to walk, Loch Katrine Cruises runs daily steamship services that travel the length of the loch and back. The timetable is available on their website

Balloch Castle Country Park Circular Walk

Distance: 2.25 miles

Time: 1 hour

Start point: The castle car park

In the very south of the park, Balloch Castle is a 19th-century mansion surrounded by woodland, parkland and gardens with shoreline views over Loch Lomond. The 200-acre estate has nature trails and walks where you can explore the Fairy Glen, the Chinese Garden, the Pleasure Grounds and the Secret Garden, among others, and the whole area is dotted with picnic spots, benches and play areas for children.

A download of the route for the circular walk we suggest here is available on the WalkHighlands website. 

Puck’s Glen Gorge Trail (red route)

Distance: 1.5 miles

Time: 1 to 1.5 hours

Start pointPuck’s Glen car park

This atmospheric, circular forest and waterside trail is clearly waymaked and passes waterfalls and bridges, criss-crossing the river on its way through a moss-covered gorge surrounded by towering Douglas firs. It includes stone steps, steep sections and some slippery areas, so take it easy.

Full details of the route are available on the WalkHighlands website.

For more family friendly activities around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, check out Pitchup’s handy guide.

Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Walk

Although most of these walks are fairly short and easy to follow, remember that the weather in Scotland can be capricious. 

  • Check the weather forecast and trail information before setting out.

  • Carry enough food and drink for everyone for the duration of your walk

  • Wearing stout boots and carrying waterproof clothing is always advisable.

  • Know your route. A map and a downloaded GPS file are both useful.

  • Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged before you start out.

  • Always let someone know where you’re going, and when you plan to return.

  • Please respect the environment. Follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, take your litter home, and leave no trace.

Whether you love wildlife spotting, waterfalls, mountain views or family fun, walks in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park have something special for all ages and levels of fitness. All you have to do is choose.

If you’re looking for somewhere to camp, check out Pitchup’s guide to campsites in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Resources:

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park website

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs walks

Visit Scotland: Loch Lomond and The Trossachs