What it's like
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs are the beginning of the big hills of the Scottish Highlands. And given that they stand in the front doorway, it's only right that they are the friendly and welcoming ones. Instead of huge crags and airy, scary ridges, here are small paths that weave uphill among blocky boulders and little lumpy outcrops. The Munros (3000ft or 914m mountains) here are not easy but they are that little bit less serious, and form an excellent introduction to the fiercer ones further north.
Ben More, the high point of the park, is a tough hill, steep on every side. Much pleasanter is the rambling range to its west, from Cruach Ardrain to Beinn Chabhair, mixing grass and rock for a day of rugged ridges and wide views. That pattern is repeated in the Arrochar Alps to west of Loch Lomond.
In the Trossachs, hills like Ben Ledi and Ben Venue are smaller but every bit as gnarly, as they rise out of lush oakwoods and reflect in Loch Katrine.
For those who walk long, but low, the West Highland Way, in its loveliest section, runs along the eastern side of Loch Lomond. Gentler walks are found from all of the villages, running through plantations and woodland to rocky viewpoints and waterfalls. Even so, by the standards of anywhere further south, any walk here will be a bit rugged. This is, after all, the homeland of Rob Roy MacGregor, the red-headed renegade who resisted the government for half his life and was celebrated by Sir Walter Scott.
- Ben Lomond A very popular mountain walk on a good smooth path. A descent of the slightly rougher Ptarmigan ridge adds excitement.
- The Cobbler Scotland's iconic small mountain at the head of Loch Long - but there's a catch. The true summit is reached only by an exhilarating but serious (Grade 2) scramble.
- Ben A'an A short but steep woodland walk leads up to this craggy topped small hill, with its outstanding view of Loch Katrine's oakwoods.
Must see and do
- Bag your first Munro Ben Lomond, Ben Vorlich (Loch Earn), Ben Narnain or An Caisteal could start you on the addictive trail over all 284 of the 3000-footers. Munros in LFTO's Hill Guide.
- Eat at Inverarnan Follow that first Munro with a meal at the mountaineers', walkers', and historic cattle-drovers' Drovers' Inn. (500yds from the Beinglas Campsite.)
- Cruise Loch Lomond or Loch Katrinewww.cruiselochlomondltd.com 01301 702356 www.lochkatrine.com 01877 376316
Destination County : Loch Lomond & The Trossachs