Three Lochs Way: Garelochhead to Arrochar/Tarbet

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
5-6.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
19.0 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
522 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Be the first to add a review!
Directions to Trailhead

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.

Guide-book quality info for over 8,000 trails

View Trails on the Map

View Map

Route Description

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.

Getting There

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.

Route Details

  • When to do

    Year-round access

  • Backcountry Campsites

    Wild camping (permit required)

  • Pets allowed

    Yes

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    One Way

Elevation Graph

Weather

Check Area Weather

Reviews

Add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Nearby Trails

Nearby Regions