Loch Lomond and Clyde Sea Lochs Trails
Loch Lomond and Clyde Sea Lochs Trails
The Loch Lomond and Clyde Sea Lochs area is made for trails and tours of all kinds from cycling and walking and geocaching to driving.
The Trail stretches from Dumbarton Castle to Arrochar Village by way of the Clyde coastal route through the lochside settlements and the Rosneath Peninsula. The Clyde Sea Lochs Trail is well signposted and consists of 13 information panels located at attractive locations, usually with a view and the opportunity to picnic nearby or to enjoy the local restaurants and tearooms.
The area offers everything from short, gentle loch-side strolls, coastal walks and cycles, and forest and woodland trails for all the family.
There are plenty of demanding treks up Munro mountains and high peaks for experienced enthusiasts too. Here are some suggestions you might like.
Clyde Sea Lochs Trail: Cycling/Driving/Geocaching
Linking a necklace of coastal communities fringing the south western edge of the National Park between Dumbarton and Arrochar, the trail leads you on a fascinating and scenic journey of discovery. Featuring panoramic and wildlife illustrations at every site, each panel is packed with information about the Clyde Sea Lochs, their origins, scenery, wildlife and communities.
There thirteen panels for you to discover (new leaflet published in early 2018) - panels include Dumbarton, Cardross, Helensburgh East Bay and Rhu - and each one is sited at a point of interest or stunning viewpoint. All panels are easily accessible from the road and have good car parking nearby.
For the more active, with more than 35 miles of dedicated cycle ways and/or quiet roads, the Sea Lochs Trail makes for an ideal cycling tour. Many of the panels have information about walking routes nearby and for geocaching enthusiasts there is a brand new set of caches themed around the Clyde Sea Lochs Trail.
Geocaches help you discover the Clyde Sea Lochs hidden at that location. The trail is easy to follow – look out for the Clyde Sea lochs Trail logo!
Easy Walk from within Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch
This way-marked sculpture trail next to the separate cafe and visitor centre building at Loch Lomond Shores, is an enjoyable easy family walk and is suitable for baby buggies and some wheelchairs. You can access Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch, by public transport or if you're travelling by car there is plenty of free parking. Check out the route here from Walk Highlands.
Ardmore Point, Helensburgh
Ardmore Point is a small, low lying peninsula that juts out into the Clyde Estuary to the south of Helensburgh. An easy path of around 3km follows the shore where grey seals can often be seen basking on the rocks and many wading birds such as oystercatchers, curlews and sandpipers can be spotted at low tide. The site is managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and there is a parking area at the shore. Trains run from Glasgow Queen Street to Cardross station almost every half hour. Ardmore Point is one of over a dozen local walks that are fully detailed from Walk Highlands
Balloch Castle Country Park
Follow a series of waymarked circular routes of around 2 - 3 km through the 200 acres of a 19th century designed landscape with gardens, woodlands, a fairy glen, and lochside viewpoints and picnic spots. The country park is located at the south end of Loch Lomond adjacent to Balloch railway station, which has a half hourly service from Glasgow Queen Street throughout the day. There are toilets and free car parks and many of the routes are suitable for wheelchairs and buggies. Check out the suggested route from Walk Highlands
Woodland Walks and Trails
Ardgartan Forest is part of the Argyll Forest Park, which is managed by Forestry Commission Scotland. It lies just to the west of Arrochar, at the head of Loch Long. Ardgartan offers a network of gentle, way-marked walks that can be combined with longer walks up Glen Loin and Succoth Burn, or a short 5 minute drive brings you to the popular Tarbet Isle Loop above Loch Lomond. Ardgartan can be reached on trains that run along the West Highland Line from Glasgow Queen Street to Arrochar & Tarbet, and on CityLink buses between Glasgow and Campbeltown. Full details of walks are available on the Forestry Commission website - check out a sample route.
Balmaha Millennium Forest Path
Balmaha is a picturesque village on the east shore of Loch Lomond that lies right on the fault line that marks the start of the Highlands. The Millennium Forest Path travels for about 2km from the village car park along the loch shore to Craigie Fort, passing through ancient oakwoods and modern plantations that are full of wildlife. The short climb to Craigie Fort gives magnificent views all along the eastern shores of the loch and you can link into the West Highland Way for a longer walk. Balmaha is reached by road from Drymen and there are regular bus services from Balloch and Alexandria, as well as scenic Water Bus services from Balloch and Luss. Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority produce a free, detailed leaflet on the path, which is available locally or downloadable from www.lochlomond-trossachs.org
Inchcailloch Island, Loch Lomond
Inchcailloch is an island on Loch Lomond that is reached by Water Bus services from Balmaha and Luss and an on-demand ferry service from Balmaha. It is part of Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve and managed by Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority. There are two waymarked walking routes on the island - the Low Path and the Summit Path - both of which take around 45 minutes to complete. The National Park Authority produce a free, 24 page walking guide to the island that details all there is to see. This is widely available locally or can be downloaded from www.lochlomond-trossachs.org
Luss Heritage Trail
The conservation village of Luss was built in the 19th century, although people have lived here for over 1,500 years. Lying on a long, sandy beach on the central west shore of Loch Lomond, Luss boasts a network of way-marked village paths that take between 15 minutes and 1 hour to complete. Two of the paths are suitable for wheelchairs and buggies, and longer walks can be enjoyed by following Luss Glen up into the hills. Luss lies on the CityLink bus routes between Glasgow and Campbeltown, Oban and Skye. A free leaflet detailing local walks is available locally or check out the route from Walk Highlands
Rosneath Peninsula Walks
Rosneath Peninsula is a tongue of land that lies between the Gareloch and Loch Long to the west of Loch Lomond and the north of Helensburgh. Characterised by rolling hills, it includes the picturesque coastal villages of Cove, Kilcreggan and Rosneath. The local community have produced illustrated guides to 8 local walks and have set up a Peninsula Paths organisation to develop and promote local walking routes. The guides are available from the post offices in Cove and Kilcreggan. Rosneath Peninsula can be reached by train from Glasgow Queen Street to Garelochhead on the West Highland Line. More local walks and trails can be found in the downloadable trail leaflet here.
Long Distance Trails
The West Highland Way
The most iconic long distance footpath in Scotland runs up the full length of the east side of Loch Lomond on its way between Milngavie and Fort William. If you don't have time to complete the full distance, you can easily break the route into shorter sections of around 10km with facilities and transport links at start and end points. The 2 sections between Balmaha - Rowardennan - Inversnaid are renowned as among the most beautiful (and challenging) on the West Highland Way with breathtaking views across the loch. They are ideal for a day or two of testing walking with a welcome pint, a delicious plate of food and a comfortable bed at the end. Visit www.west-highland-way.co.uk for more information or download the West Highland Way Pocket Companion.
The Three Lochs Way
One of Scotland's newest long distance footpaths, the Three Lochs Way starts at Balloch at the gentler south of Loch Lomond and ends at Inveruglas on the mountainous north west shore of the loch. Its 55km route crosses the hills over to Helensburgh and the Gareloch and climbs above rugged Loch Long, giving superb vistas of three of Scotland's most magnificent lochs. The Three Lochs Way can easily be enjoyed in shorter day-long walks of between 10 and 20 km. You'll find great places to eat, drink and sleep at the beginning and end of each section, as well as regular bus and rail links. A number of accommodation providers along the way offer free luggage transport for Three Lochs Way walkers. For full information, visit www.threelochsway.co.uk
This information is intended to be correct at the time of writing however we understand that public transport services including ferries and rail provision are subject to changes.
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