Loch Katrine Walk
The Loch Katrine Walk can be enjoyed in both directions, from the Stronanachlar or Trossachs Pier. The option to sail back to the start point on a steamer ship makes this walk extra special. The linear trail isn’t particularly challenging but does cover a fair bit of ground with some steep sections interspersed. Ellen’s Isle on Loch Katrine inspired the fictional setting of the famous poem The Lady of the Lake written by Sir Walter Scott. The Loch is also the site of several fascinating historical events, like the imprisonment of the Duke of Montrose’s debt-collector by Robert Roy Macgregor on Factor’s Isle. The Loch features several small islands and a beautiful shoreline, making for a gorgeous outing.
View Loch Katrine Walk on Map
- Map Data: ©OpenStreetMap
- Tiles: ©CyclOSM
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Route Description for Loch Katrine Walk
The Loch Katrine Walk begins at the steamer pier in Stronachlachar, from where the Sir Walter Scott steamer sails the Loch. The option to park at the Trossachs Pier, at the east end of Loch Katrine, is available, allowing you to sail to Stronachlachar and complete the walk west to east. Alternatively, you can begin in Stronachlachar and sail back to the start from the Trossachs pier on completing the walk. Despite the insignificant elevation gain on this trail, the walk covers over 21.0 km; therefore, proper walking shoes and water are recommended.
Loch Katrine boasts an array of fascinating history, making it an exciting walk to embark on. Scottish folk hero and infamous outlaw Robert Roy MacGregor (known as the Scottish Robin Hood) was born near the head of the Loch, and an island on the Loch itself was the inspiration for the fictional setting of The Lady of the Lake, a poetic masterpiece written by Sir Walter Scott. If you’ve got a keen interest in history and enjoy a trail that comes with a historical story or two, this is the walk for you!
If embarking on this walk from Stronachlachar (west to east), begin the walk at the Stronachlachar Pier. Follow the path up from the pier past the Hillview Cottage, where you’ll make a right, crossing through a white gate. Join the road that traces Loch Katrine, bypassing a fork to the right to continue straight past some dwellings and a road barrier. From here at the slipway, you’ll be able to spot Factor’s Isle, where Robert Roy Mcgregor imprisoned the Duke of Montrose’s factor (rent-collector) to protest the eviction of his family from their land. Continue the trail as it weaves through the wide-open countryside and take in the marvellous views of the Loch.
Further along the trail, you’ll spot the Glengyle House, perched on the far side of the Lock, where Robert Roy Macgregor was born. The trail curves, inviting you to cross a bridge where you’ll walk past the head of the Loch and Glengyle. Continue on the road, with the option to pause for a break at the antique green boathouse.
The road continues along the north side of Loch Katrine through charming woodlands of dense birch, oak, and beech. You’ll note several waterfalls on this next section as you continue past an old house on your right at Portnellan and on to view the Macgregor family burial ground, which extends on a peninsula into the Loch. The cemetery is a remarkable site, encased in a stone wall and gate, with graves dating from 1699 to 1800.
Remain following the road on the next section, which features some steep, but short climbs and a mix of woods and pretty streams. You’ll walk through the tiny settlements of Edra, Stone, and Letter and continue the path above the pier and boathouse. Up ahead on the right, you’ll spot a path that veers to the right, which leads to a lovely, green peninsula known as Brenachoille Point-- a delightful spot to stop and enjoy refreshments!
The final section of the walk continues through woodlands granting you further views over the Loch, dotted with islands. The road will likely become livelier here with those coming and going from the Trossachs Pier. Press on the winding road, walking past Ellen’s Isle, soon reaching the Trossachs Pier where the trail ends. At this point, you can sail from the Trossachs Pier back to Stronachlachar, where the walk began or make your own way from here.
Insider Hints for Loch Katrine Walk
- The parkade at Stronanachlar Pier has 15 parking spots available. If it’s full, park at the Stronachlar Pier Cafe, which is adjacent to the pier itself.
- The Pier Cafe (Stronanachlar) is a great spot to enjoy a meal before or after your walk, featuring both inside and outside seating with great views of Loch Katrine.
- To complete this walk from Trossachs Pier, park at the pier and complete the route in reverse, sailing from Stronanachlar Pier to Trossachs Pier on completion.
Getting to the Loch Katrine Walk Trailhead
To get to the Loch Katrine Walk, from Aberfoyle drive west on Main St/A821 following signs for Duke’s Pass. After 17.7 km, turn right, continuing for 0.5 km before turning right again. Drive for 0.3 km and arrive in Stronachlachar. The walk begins at the pier in the tiny hamlet of Stronachlachar, and you can park at the Stronachlar Pier parkade or the Pier Cafe car park if the main car park is full (there are just 15 spots here).
Loch Katrine Walk Elevation Graph
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Loch Katrine Walk Reviews
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