Scotland’s famous woodlands in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park provide the perfect escape for a walk near Glasgow. There are plenty of walking routes within an hour’s drive of Glasgow to suit all abilities, from easy 1 – 2 hour strolls, to more advances hikes which should take around 4 – 5 hours to complete.
Here are a few of our favourite Trossachs walking routes for you to explore this season. Let us know if you have a favourite woodland walk that you’d like us to add to the list! Send us some pictures and why it should be added to our list via Facebook or Twitter.
Easy walking routes near Glasgow
Bracklinn Falls is a 3.25 mile walk in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park that should take you around 1.5 hours to complete, starting at the Bracklinn Falls car park, just a 55 minute drive from Glasgow. The walking route takes in the woodland area above the town of Callander and offers fantastic views of the upper glen of the Keltie Water towards Stuc a’Chroin. However the main attraction of this scenic walk is Bracklinn Falls themselves, visited by Queen Victoria in the 1870s and considered to be one of Scotland’s most stunning waterfalls. In preparation for Queen Victoria’s visit, a cast-iron bridge was built, however it was destroyed by flooding 2004 and a new wooden bridge was erected in its place in 2010, providing the perfect spot to stop and take some pictures of the amazing scenery.
Helensburgh & Rhu Explorer
Beginning at Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House in Helensburgh, just an hour’s drive from Glasgow, and ending at Rhu Marina, the Helensburgh & Rhu Explorer is a 5.25 mile walk which will take around 2 hours to complete. The route consists of a high path which offers great views across Loch Long, and woodland paths which meaner through a woodland nature reserve.
Highlights of this walk include Glenarn Gardens, which can be visited during the summer months for a small admission fee, HMNB Clyde, views of Kidston Park, Duchess Woods and of course, Hill House – Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s most famous domestic commission.
Challenging woodland walks near Glasgow
Loch Venachar Forestry Walk
This 4.5 mile circular walk which begins in Callander, just over an hour’s drive from Glasgow city centre, takes place mostly on forest paths and offers great views of Ben Ledi and Loch Venachar. Perfect for those looking to explore Scotland’s wildlife, you can also expect to see Whooper Swans as you meander past a hidden lochan (small loch) to the south of Loch Venachar. The last part of the forestry walk is made along the shores of Loch Venachar with fine views of Ben Ledi.
Translated from the Scots dialect, Ben A’an means Small Pointed Peak, but it shouldn’t be underestimated as an easy climb. This steep peak towers above Loch Katrine and offers spectacular views from the top of both Loch Katrine and Loch Achray.
Located just under 1.5 hrs drive from Glasgow, Ben A’an is one of Scotland’s most popular hill climbs. Setting off from the Ben A’an car park beside Loch Achray, follow the steep path up and the summit will come into view. The final climb to the top is quite rocky but offers some great views of the lochs and Ben Venue in the distance.
Walks near Glasgow for experienced hikers
This 13.25 mile linear alongside the stunning Loch Katrine walk is also a popular cycle route and is steeped in Scottish history. Some of the route is owned by Scottish Water and dates back to 1859, when it was opened by Queen Victoria to mark Loch Katrine first supplying water to the city of Glasgow. And fans of the notorious clan chieftain Rob Roy Macgregor can take in sights such as his place of birth and family’s final resting place as well as Factor’s Isle.
Loch Katrine is one of Scotland’s most famous lochs and was inspiration for Schubert’s Ave Maria as well as Sit Walter Scott’s well-known poem Lady of the Lake, which is unsurprising as it’s a romantic place to visit, with no shortage of scenic waterfalls, a wide variety of woodland trees including pine, oak, birch and beech, and picturesque piers, and stone ruins including the settlements of Strone, Edra and Letter.
Make a day of it and experience the famous Sir Walter Scott steamship, the 188 year old paddle steamer still operates daily from the Trossachs Pier and will drop you off at the start of the Loch Katrine walking route.
The Great Trossachs Path
The Great Trossachs Path is a 1.5 hours from Glasgow and offers the opportunity to experience the beauty and the wildlife of The Great Trossachs Forest. It passes through mature woodlands, Loch Arklet and Loch Katrine, and provides many spectacular hilltop views. Setting off from Inversnaid, this 17.5 walk should take between 7 and 8 hours to complete. As The Great Trossachs Path is on a section of the West Highland Way, it can be busy however you’ll also find some great stopping points along the way. The first section of the route is the steepest, taking you past Loch Arklet and the site of the 18th century Garrison Barracks while the latter parts of the walk at Loch Katrine are flatter, perfect for a picnic.
If you’re visiting Loch Lomond for the first time and looking to experience some of the more popular walking routes, including the famous Ben Lomond munro, you will find a selection of our favourite local walking routes on our walking trails page.
And if you’re looking to make the most of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and explore a few of our famous walking routes as part of a short break within easy reach of Glasgow, take a look at our collection of lodges, cottages and apartments to rent for the perfect self-catering base for your Loch Lomond walking adventure.