Inversnaid RSPB Nature Trail
This captivating nature trail that begins in Inversnaid sweeps you up in the beauty and peace of Loch Lomond as you enjoy a scenic walk along its oak-lined shores. The Inversnaid RSPB Nature Trail unfolds on clearly marked paths, and though it is not particularly long, it does incorporate some steep sections.
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Route Description for Inversnaid RSPB Nature Trail
At the heart of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park lies the largest loch in all of the UK, Loch Lomond. The Inversnaid RSPB Nature Trail grants walkers a front-row seat to the beauty of the expansive loch from its eastern shoreline on a clear path with some steep sections. The trail is perfect for those looking to enjoy the area without any significant hill climbs. The relatively short distance of the trail also makes it a favourite among families with older children.
The walk begins in Inversnaid, a small rural village in Stirling, UK. Poet and nature enthusiast Gerard Manley Hopkins once visited Inversnaid and based one of his great works, “Inversnaid,” on the bounty of delightful experiences he encountered with nature in the village, perched on the eastern shores of Loch Lomond. Many opt to read this poem before enjoying the trail, adding some insightful points for reflection during the walk.
The RSPB Nature Trail begins at the car park for the Inversnaid Hotel. You’ll follow the West Highland Way north to depart the car park, looking to spot the signage for the Inversnaid Nature Reserve. Ahead you’ll witness the impressive hills, carpeted in dense oak, sweeping down towards the shores of Loch Lomond. Continue on the West Highland Way, passing an old boat on the shores of the loch, then look out for the wooden bridge up ahead, and just before that, you’ll spot the sign marking the beginning of the nature trail.
Take the path that turns right, heading uphill into charming woodlands, where you’ll find yourself enveloped in oak, hazel, holly, and birch as you walk beneath a canopy of towering trees. The next uphill section is steep, but despite the challenge, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the ruins of Cladachbeag, an old settlement, long forgotten and tangled with nature. The trail soon reaches a clearing where you’ll spot a welcoming bench where you can pause to catch your break while enjoying views over Loch Lomond. Views in the opposite direction open to the Arrochar Alps, which tower in the distance with Tarbet in the foreground.
From the bench viewpoint, take the path back down through the woods, soon reaching a wooden footbridge, inviting you to cross a stream. Continue the path downhill towards the shores of Loch Lomond, reaching the West Highland Way. Once you reach the shoreline, turn left and continue the path back to Inversnaid, enjoying the peaceful lapping of the loch on the shoreline as you return to the Inversnaid Hotel, where the walk began.
Insider Hints for Inversnaid RSPB Nature Trail
- The Inversnaid Hotel is a great mid-range hotel, housed in a former hunting lodge dating to the 1820s. You can enjoy a meal or a pint here after the walk, or even opt to stay overnight
- The Inversnaid Hotel is pet-friendly, so canine friends are more than welcome at all stages of the adventure
- Swimming is permitted in Loch Lomond when following safety guidance, allowing you to enjoy a post-trail dip after breaking a sweat
- As the trail does involve some sections through dense woods, bug spray is a good idea to have on hand
Getting to the Inversnaid RSPB Nature Trail Trailhead
To get to the Inversnaid RSPB Nature Trail from Aberfoyle, head west on Main St/A821 heading towards Duke’s Pass. Continue for 17.7 km, following signs for the Inversnaid Hotel and turning left. Continue for 6.1 km until you reach the Inversnaid Hotel, where the walk begins.
Inversnaid RSPB Nature Trail Elevation Graph
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Inversnaid RSPB Nature Trail Reviews
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