Walk, cycle, ride or run this stunning short loop that takes in Loch Ard, Lochan Spling and Lochan a’ Ghleannin

This is a stunning walk or cycle that starts at Milton Car Park, just beyond Aberfoyle. The surface is forestry track and a generally firm gravel, but these can be a mud/gravel mix in places, so wear sensible footwear and expect some muddy puddles if it’s been wet. The views across Loch Ard (‘loch of the promontory’) are stunning, as is the rather beautiful Lochan Spling & Lochan a’ Ghleannin (‘small loch of the little glen’).

There are so many intertwined tracks in the forestry here suitable for running, walking, horse riding and mountain biking, that you could opt for routes from 2 miles to well over 20 miles, but do take a map if you are straying from the marked trails, as it is easy to get lost.

The majority of this route is reasonably level, but there are a few steeper climbs where you might want to push your bike if you’re not so fit or have little folk on bikes. Take plenty of time to take in the scenery, and look out for the many sculptures. Many are quite well hidden. The polished steel mirage of foxes (down near Loch Ard) could do with a little annual polish (the light is not longer being reflected so well) as they are becoming hard to spot within the undergrowth.

Copyright Rob Mulholland

 

The ‘electric squirrels’ as our family fondly refer to them, are on the shore of Loch Ard and appear to depict squirrels fighting with Star Wars-esque lightsabors. This presumably highlights the fight for dominance between the the native red squirrels (yay) and the grey squirrels. May the force be with them.

Copyright Rob Mulholland

 

 

 

Starting point – Follow the B829 west from Aberfoyle to Loch Ard.

After about 1 mile turn left at a hobbit-like mill house, over the River Forth and onto the forest road and follow the signs to the car park, which is further up the track. The car park is at grid reference NN 498 010. Sat Nav – FK8 3TF is the nearest postcode.

So, what are the sculptures all about?

Commissioned by the Forestry Commission (with Scottish Enterprise) the sculptures include work from talented local sculptor and environmental artist Rob Mulholland.

These creations are designed to “create representations of animals and birds as part of the natural food chain in the forest”.

Look out for the Dragonfly Sculpture and the Lochan Spling Pike, and the Osprey which were all created by artist Rob Mulholland.

Mist on the water. Autumn at Lochan Spling

 

 

There are Forestry Commission leaflets available at the start of the walk, and the walk is colour-coded and signposted. Downloadable Forestry Commission PDF Guide & Map, click here QueenElizabethFPGuide

View Ranger (below) offers downloadable digital maps and walk info for your Smartphone. If you look at this map it doesn’t incorporate Lochan Spling, but at the red pin, you can follow the trail to see the sculptures there. The main route map at Loch Ard is waymarked. The Forestry Commission offers a range of trail options.

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