Walking In Loch Lomond And The Trossachs

Region in Scotland, United Kingdom

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park sits on the cusp of the Scottish Highlands, a beautiful region of lochs, glens and miniature mountains. Often overlooked in favor of the taller peaks that characterize the central Highlands, this region abounds with fantastic hiking trails and some of Scotland’s most iconic lakes. Let your imagination take wing and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Trossachs.

This region is particularly famous for its stunning lakes, most notably, Loch Lomond, the largest freshwater lake in Britain. The calm waters of this immense loch have inspired poets and artists across the centuries, and today it remains as popular as ever. Hike along the shores of the Loch Lomond, or get out on the water for some boating, canoeing or even wild swimming. In addition to Loch Lomond, you’ll also find the still, shimmering waters of Loch Venachar and Loch Katrine, perfectly offset by the rugged mountains that surround them.

The Trossachs is a landscape steeped in history and myth, and the unique Gaelic culture of the region is etched in every place name. Seek out creatures of myth at Doon Fairy Hill, or wander through ancient woodland. Kids will love learning about the history of this wild, beautiful part of Scotland. What’s more, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching, so keep your eyes open for red squirrels, majestic golden eagles, otters, and many kinds of wildfowl.

This wonderful part of Scotland is the ideal location for a hiking adventure, with plenty of amazing trails, and some good pubs where you can curl up at the end of a hike and reward yourself with a drink next to a roaring fire! Here’s our list of some of the best hikes in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

Top 12 Walks In Loch Lomond And The Trossachs

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, as the ‘miniature Highlands of Scotland’, offer a little something for all hikers, whatever their age, ability or fitness level. This region is a wonderful destination for families, with plenty of low-level, easy hikes that skirt the many lochs of the national park. Kids will love these exciting trails, winding in and out of fragrant woodland, with the possibility of a swim or some watersports in the chilly waters of the loch. This is the place to come for a memorable family walking holiday.

However, just because the Trossachs are known as the ‘mini’ Highlands, this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing here to tempt more adventurous walkers. You’ll find some challenging day hikes that bring you over steep, rocky terrain, traversing the glens and peaks of this beautiful national park. Whatever you’re looking for, this wild, wonderful part of Scotland has a walking trail for you.

  • Callender Crags Walk: The short loop over Callender Crags is one of the best easy walks in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, and provides some incredible views over the mountains surrounding Callender. This is a good option if you’re short on time, or simply looking for a less strenuous, shorter walk in the Trossachs. Keep an eye out for shaggy Highland cattle grazing on the moorland, and watch the Trossachs’ scenery unfold all the way down to Stirling.
  • Cashel Forest Walk: This short hike offers fabulous views over Loch Lomond, and is an excellent way to experience some of the fantastic Trossachs scenery if you’re short on time. The route requires a short, steep ascent through a pretty forest, but the path is well maintained and easy to follow, and it’s an easy hike that will suit most walkers. Kids will love exploring the forest, and nearby Balmaha offers an excellent place for lunch or a pit stop.
  • Doon Hill Fairy Trail Walk: This magical trail is one of our favorite family walks in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs! Prepare to step into a world of myth and magic as you trace the ancient trail up to Doon Hill, passing by carved fairy houses along the way. This is an ideal walk to do with the kids, and a wonderful opportunity to learn about local Scottish folklore.
  • Lochan Spling: This short, family-friendly walk is a great option if you’re travelling with young kids, and the perfect way to immerse yourself in the peaceful serenity of the Trossachs. The path around the lochan (meaning small lake) is littered with beautiful metal animal sculptures, and offers beautiful views over the water. The trail is suitable for little ones with bikes, and we think this is one of the best family walks in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
  • Loch Venachar Walk: This long route around the beautiful Loch Venachar is one of the best day walks in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. You’ll have wonderful views of the loch from every possible angle, combined with the stunning mountain backdrop of the Trossachs. There are many options to craft a shorter walk from this route, but the full day hike is a fantastic experience, and you can reward yourself with some tea and cake at the fantastic Venachar Lochside restaurant at the end!
  • Ben Venue Walk From Loch Achray: We think this fantastic route is one of the best hikes in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, and is one of our favorites in the whole of Scotland! Check the weather in advance, as you’ll want to tackle this strenuous walk on a clear day, when you can expect remarkable views over Loch Katrine, Ben Lomond, and the beautiful, rugged Trossachs scenery. It’s a strenuous climb, but absolutely worth the effort.
  • The Great Trossachs Path Walk – Day One: If you’re looking for an epic, challenging hike in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, look no further than the Great Trossachs Path. This strenuous hike is split over two days, beginning at Inversnaid and continuing all the way to Trossachs Pier at the head of Loch Katrine. This is a wonderful way to experience the spectacular views around Loch Lomond, and is a must for walkers looking for an extra challenge.
  • The Great Trossachs Path Walk – Day Two: The second day of the Great Trossachs Path walk can easily be done in conjunction with the first hike (described above) or as a standalone walk for a challenging but rewarding day out in the Trossachs. This section of the trail takes you from Trossachs Pier to Callender, passing high above Loch Venachar for fantastic views.
  • Ben Ledi Walk: Ben Ledi is one of the highest peaks in the Trossachs, meaning that you’ll enjoy some remarkable views on this tranquil hike. The path ascends steadily, ultimately following the ridgeline as it curves towards the summit of Ben Ledi, which is marked by an iron cross. The views down to Loch Venachar and Loch Lubnaig are simply stunning.
  • Ben A’an Walk: Ben A’an is one of the Trossachs’ ‘mini mountains’, and this small, perfectly formed hill is one of our favorites. It’s best known for its distinctive, outcropping peak, but the hike up Ben A’an is also a really enjoyable way to experience the majesty of this beautiful region. The views from the top are spectacular, taking in Loch Katrine, Loch Achray and Loch Venachar, as well as peaks such as Ben Venue and Ben Lomond.
  • Conic Hill Walk: This short, steep hike is a local favorite, rising up from Balmaha with fantastic views over Loch Lomond. The path ascends through atmospheric, ancient woodland, before circling around the back of Conic Hill and arriving at the rugged summit. The descent follows the West Highland Way all the way back to Balmaha, where you can enjoy a well-earned pint at the Oak Tree Inn. This is an excellent option if you don’t have much time but still want to get out on the trail for a satisfying walk in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
  • Ben Lomond Walk: The ascent of Ben Lomond is one of the most popular walks in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, but we think it’s worth braving the crowds to experience this wonderful mountain. It’s a strenuous climb, with a steep ascent over some rugged and rocky terrain, but you’ll have an amazing view down to Loch Lomond once you arrive at the summit. The descent we’ve marked here is a slightly more challenging but quieter route that allows you to experience a different side of the mountain.

When Is The Best Time To Go Walking In Loch Lomond And The Trossachs

The UK’s relatively mild climate means that you’re likely to find accessible trails all year round in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. In particular, many of the loch circuits described in this article make wonderful destinations for winter hiking, particularly as you can admire the backdrop of snow-capped peaks as you walk! Although most of the taller peaks will be covered in snow and ice (and therefore shouldn’t be attempted unless you are an experienced mountaineer with proper equipment), there are many lower level hikes that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

However, the best time to go walking in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs is between April and November. The summer months offer the best chance of good weather, although Scotland is notoriously wet and you may encounter rain at any time! It’s also the busiest time of year, especially during the summer school holidays. Spring and autumn are typically much quieter, so you’ll have the trail to yourself and accommodation is likely to be cheaper. What’s more, if you arrive in September, you’re likely to avoid the clouds of ravenous midges that plague walkers in the Scottish countryside!

Other Outdoor Activities In Loch Lomond And The Trossachs

Although walking is undoubtedly a popular activity, there are plenty of other outdoor activities in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs! The Trossachs are a wonderful place for a camping trip (make sure to book a permit if you want to go wild camping in certain areas of the park), and there are many long distance backpacking trails suitable for the entire family. You can try your hand at road biking or mountain biking, or head out into the wild to catch a glimpse of some of Scotland’s majestic wildlife. There are also many opportunities for watersports out on the lochs, from sailing to canoeing and paddle boarding,

How To Plan A Trip To Loch Lomond And The Trossachs

Want to know how to plan a trip to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs? Look no further! We’ve done the hard work and put together the ultimate guide to planning a trip to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. You’ll find advice on when to go and how to get around, all the best walks in the region, and even a guide to walking the West Highland Way! There’s never been a better time to enjoy the spectacular scenery that Scotland has to offer.

Frequently-Asked-Questions About Loch Lomond And The Trossachs

Are the Trossachs in the Highlands?
The Trossachs sit on the southern edge of Scottish Highlands, and indeed, are often referred to as the ‘Highlands in miniature’. This area is considered to be the boundary between the lowlands of Central Scotland and the Highlands. The mountains in the Trossachs are not among the highest in Scotland, but this region is packed with glistening lakes, wild forest and moorland, and wonderful wildlife.

What is Loch Lomond famous for?
Loch Lomond is the largest lake in Scotland, and the largest freshwater lake in Britain. It is also the subject of a famous Scottish folk song.

Can you camp anywhere in the Trossachs?
Wild camping is permitted in most parts of Scotland, provided that visitors camp responsibly and leave no trace of their presence. However, there are some areas of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park where wild camping is restricted, and you must either stay in a campsite or book a permit in advance.

What is the West Highland Way?
The West Highland Way is a long-distance hiking trail that stretches for 96 miles from Milgavnie to Fort William, passing through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. This popular hiking route passes through some of Scotland’s finest scenery, and is a bucket list adventure for all keen hikers.

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Best Hikes in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs

Open details for The Great Trossachs Path 1

The Great Trossachs Path 1

Very Hard
28.5 km
693 m
7-10h

The Great Trossachs Path is a fantastic walk that we have split up into two long days. This first section can be done as one long day or broken into two shorter days. The TGTP provides instant access to the wonderful wilds of Scotland. From the bonny banks of Loch Lomond to Trossachs Pier at the head of Loch Katrine this is the first section of the Great Trossachs Path, the whole of which can be walked comfortably in two days.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for The Great Trossachs Path 2

The Great Trossachs Path 2

Hard
20.3 km
474 m
5-7h

The Great Trossachs Path is best experienced as a 2-day trip, a long-distance path that can be reached easily from Edinburgh and Glasgow, this is a great option for a quick fix of the wild! The second section takes you walking from Trossachs Pier to Callander and can be done as a day walk or as part of the exceptional Great Trossach Path.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Lochan Spling

Lochan Spling

Very Easy
5.9 km
81 m
1.5-2h

Lochan Spling is a great Scottish walk for the whole family. Although just a short distance from the busy tourist town of Aberfoyle, you will find yourself in a calm and quiet spot surrounded by spectacular Scottish scenery.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.6
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Ben Venue Walk from Loch Achray

Ben Venue Walk from Loch Achray

Hard
14.3 km
780 m
4.5-6.5h

The walk to Ben Venue from Loch Achray is an absolutely exceptional hike. If you get lucky with the weather, the views across Loch Katrine, Ben Lomond and beyond are outstanding. It’s a steady climb with several steeper sections where you need to use your hands, but this is one of our all-time favorite walks in the UK.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Ben Vorlich Walk

Ben Vorlich Walk

Very Hard
13.5 km
945 m
5-7h

In the most northerly area of the Arrochar Alps, a craggy, rugged mountain towers 985 m towards the sky, and the Ben Vorlich Walk invites hillwalkers to experience it for themselves. This challenging walk is best reserved for those looking for a formidable opponent to take on in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, and the broad rocky ridge is sure to put you to the test. Views of the surrounding Arrochar Alps make this an incredibly scenic hike, most notably, spectacular views of Ben Lui rising majestically in the north from the summit.

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Open details for Ben Chonzie Walk

Ben Chonzie Walk

Moderate
12.5 km
712 m
4-6h

The Ben Chonzie walk invites hillwalkers to venture up the highest summit in the immediate area to reach an exciting 712 m. The route unfolds on a sound, straightforward track before leading up through a pathed heather moorland where you’ll encounter some boggy sections. The views are expansive from the summit and include the likes of Loch Turret, the surrounding rolling hills, and beyond.

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Open details for Ben Lomond

Ben Lomond

Hard
13.7 km
1,017 m
5-7.5h

This walk up Ben Lomond goes up an extremely popular mountain, but it is well worth joining the masses for the superb views down to Loch Lomond and the surrounding hills. Opting for the Ptarmigan ridge on the descent makes for a quieter and more interesting return from the summit.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.4
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Conic Hill Walk

Conic Hill Walk

Easy
2.5 mi
1,063 ft
1.5-2.5h

The Conic Hill walk is a short, but steep hike from Balmaha, which takes you to the summit of Conic Hill. From the top the views out across Loch Lomond and its many islands are truly incredible. This is a great walk, especially if looking for something a little bit shorter.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.3
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Loch Venachar Walk

Loch Venachar Walk

Hard
19.2 km
453 m
4.5-6.5h

Loch Venachar is a longish, low-level hike that takes you around the perimeter of Loch Venachar. There are superb views of the Loch and surrounding mountains throughout. Make use of all the wonderful spots to stop and enjoy the countryside on this pretty walk.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.5
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Ben A’an Walk

Ben A’an Walk

Moderate
4.0 km
348 m
1.5-2.5h

The Ben A’an walk is a fun hike up what is commonly referred to as a mini mountain in Scotland. The Ben A’an walk offers superb views, a steep climb and, a picture perfect (mini) mountain. Views from the top are sensational due to its central position within the Trossachs.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.1
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.

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Open details for Planning your trip to Scotland’s Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park

Planning your trip to Scotland’s Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park

By Richard Campbell
January 29th, 2019
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