Gentle landscapes are gradually replaced by the scenic drama of mountain, crag and loch as the Three Lochs Way crosses the Highland Boundary Fault and heads towards the mountains of the Southern Highlands. With Loch Lomond, The Gareloch and Loch Long as recurrent scenic backdrops, the Three Lochs Way takes you on a fascinating journey through place and time as it links a necklace of communities strung along the Clyde Sea Lochs fringe of Scotland’s first national park.
Rarely rising above 250 metres, the route’s 55 kilometres (34 miles) can easily be walked in 3 to 4 days and with the West Highland railway line never far away, it also offers plenty of options for shorter day walks. Total ascent is approximately 1,500 metres.
Top Ten Highlights
- Stoneymollan Road, a delightful ancient route linking Balloch and Cardross.
- The stunning view over Loch Lomond when you cross the Highland Boundary Fault at Goukhill Muir.
- Helensburgh’s beautiful tree lined streets, especially colourful in Spring and Autumn.
- Charles Rennie Macintosh’s elegant domestic architectural masterpiece, “The Hill House”.
- Peaceful Glen Fruin (but not in 1603 when 300 Macgregors routed a much larger force of Colquhouns in a major clan battle at the head of the glen).
- Great views north of Garelochhead over Loch Long to the knobbly skyline of ‘Argyll’s Bowling Green’ and the ‘Arrochar Alps’.
- The craggy ‘Cobbler’, the area’s finest mountain and a must climb ‘Corbet’.
- Delightful Glen Loin Woodlands, Site of Special Scientific Interest and home to red squirrels.
- The impressive Sloy hydro electricity installations, built at the end of WWII with help from German POWs.
- A traverse of the fine Munro, Ben Vorlich, from Loch Sloy over to Ardlui makes a great way to top off your Three Lochs Way experience.
The Three Lochs Way is increasingly popular with geocachers these days. For more info check out www.geocaching.com
Make it a round trip
During July & August a new water bus service means you can now make a circular tour of Loch Lomond using the Three Lochs Way and the West Highland Way, another of Scotland’s Great Trails*. When the water bus is not operating, the John Muir Way can be used to make the link around the south end of the loch.
Buy the definitive guide book here
Stage 1 – Balloch to Helensburgh
Balloch Tourism Information Office to The Hill House in Helensburgh: 14.5km, 9 miles; ascent about 400m
Stage 2 – Helensburgh to Garelochhead
The Hill House in Helensburgh to the MOD Training Area at Garelochhhead: 10.5km, 6.5 miles; ascent about 200m
Stage 3 – Garelochhead to Arrochar
From Garelochhhead to Arrochar and Tarbet: 20.5km, 12.7 miles; ascent about 490m
Stage 4 – Arrochat to Inveruglas
From Tarbet Station to Inveruglas Car Park: 9.5km, 6 miles Ascent about 411m
Find more details at The Three Lochs Way