Three Lochs Way: Garelochhead to Arrochar/Tarbet
The third section of the long-distance walking trail, known as the Three Lochs Way, is the longest in length and considered by many to be the finest section of the 55.0 km trail. The section from Garelochhead to Arrochar/Tarbet features some moderate ascents, but the incredible views make the effort well worth your while. The path unfolds on a good cycle path to begin before joining the main Three Lochs Way, which follows mostly tracks, with a minor section through woodlands. The section through woodlands can be muddy, so waterproof shoes are recommended on this walk.
The 55.0 km Three Lochs Way is one of Scotland’s Great Trails and is known for its spellbinding scenery and charming landscapes. The Garelochhead to Arrochar/Tarbet section is the third and longest section of the trail and is the most scenic. Waterproof walking shoes are recommended on this section due to a muddy stretch through woodlands. Many choose to complete the Three Lochs Way in separate sections over the course of time; however, the option to stay in B&B’s to complete each section consecutively is also quite popular. Arrochar has several top-notch B&B’s, including the cozy Ardgartan Cabins at Forest Holidays.
To begin the walk, walk up Station Street and follow signs for “Helensburgh, Arrochar,” following the road that leads beneath the railway. Spot the waymarked path across the road and follow it as it enters lovely woodlands. You’ll soon depart from the trees, finding yourself at a drystone dyke which you’ll cross to pursue the trail uphill. A little further on, you’ll join the Yankee Road, which constitutes the main Three Lochs Way in the section. Follow the tarmac road, which later becomes a rougher track as you swing right at the fork to continue on the Three Lochs Way. Stunning views of Coulport and Loch long will soon greet you as you continue on the main track, following signs for Luss. The main road soon leads to a minor road which you continue on through Glen Douglas. Another uphill section sets you up for some undulating hills, with Loch Long looking majestic the whole way through. Arrochar soon appears at the head of Loch Long, with the peaks of the Arrochar Alps towering beyond. Revel in the beauty of the waterfall near the Tighness Burn, perhaps stopping for a short break to catch your breath before continuing the path towards Tarbet. The path will reach a T-junction where you’ll turn left to pass through a gate, reaching the A83. To continue to Tarbet, turn right, and for Arrochar, turn left. To return to Garelochhead, you can take the train from the Arrochar-Tarbet train station after completing the walk.
To get to the Three Lochs Way: Garelochhead to Arrochar/Tarbet walk from Helensburgh, head northeast toward W Clyde St/A814, then turn left onto W Clyde St/A814 and continue for 6.2 mi. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto B872 and continue to Garelochhead, making your way to Station road, where the walk begins opposite the church.
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