The West Highland Way is a long distance walking route that passes through Loch Lomond. From the north Glasgow suburb of Milngavie to the west highland town of Fort William the trail provides 15,000 visitors a year the opportunity to immerse themselves in some of the most beautiful Scottish landscapes. The trail can be walked in approximately 7-8 days however, the record is a mere 15 hours for those wishing to run the entire distance.
The trail is usually navigated from the south to the north with the first section of the trail bringing you from the northern suburbs of Glasgow to Loch Lomond where to first overnight stay is in the village of Drymen. The next stages are dependant on your own choice. Traversing the entriety of the eatsern shore of Loch Lomond you can break this stage into one or several stages. The longer you take the more of Scotland you will see.
Upon leaving Drymen you can take several routes to the small village of Balmaha. The most iconic of these routes takes you over Conic Hill and the highland boundary fault which provides stunning views in all directions of the compass.
After a rest or an overnight stay in Balmaha you progress northward on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond to the hamlet of Rowerdennan passing through Cashel Forest and several magnificent bays on the shore. Rowerdennan has many ancient secrest to reveal to you however, the main attraction is Ben Lomond. This is one of the most accessible and subsequently famous mountains in Scotland and given time is a must climb for the adventurous visitor.
Upon leaving Rowerdennan the trail takes you northward toward the top of Loch Lomond passing through rain forest and the tranquility of the northern shoreline of Loch Lomond where there are no roads. The next destination is a short walk where you will arrive in Inversnaid where the famous outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor hid from his adversaries. There is access to Inversnaid by car if you are driving however, this ancient garrison has many stories to tell if you walk and explore.
From Inversnaid you again head north toward Ardlui and the final leg of the Loch Lomond shore. As you reach the top of the Loch the falls of Falloch are visible and another rest or overnight stay is within reach in the hamlet of Ardlui.
Nearing the end of the trail through Loch Lomond the final stretch is northward toward the village of Crianlarich and on to the open moors and windswept hills of Glen Coe.
All of these stages can be navigated in hours or days dependent on your level of fitness, desire to finish the trail or your enjoyment of the stunning landscapes, wildlife and local people.
Although there are other sections of the trail these are the stages that pass through Loch Lomond:
stage 1 – Drymen to Balamaha
stage 2 – Balmaha to Rowerdennan
stage 3 – Rowerdennan – Ardlui
stage 4 – Ardlui – Crianlarich