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Drymen to Balmaha

· 2 reviews · Hiking route · United Kingdom
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Photo: Fraser MacRae, Macs Adventure
m 400 300 200 100 10 8 6 4 2 km Inchconnachan Island (Wallaby Island) Summit of Conic Hill

Walk through lush forest, and climb Conic Hill on the shores of Loch Lomond. 

Please note that up until March 31st, 2023 there will be Conic Hill Path improvement works. Therefore if you are walking this route at the end of March you will need to take the diversion which is in place from Garadhban Car Park along the low level route down Creityhall Road to Milton of Buchanan and along the B837. You will not be able to go up and over Conic Hill. 

moderate
Distance 11.3 km
3:30 h
306 m
356 m
325 m
15 m

Leave Drymen and begin to climb towards Conic Hill, which sits astride the Great Divide, separating the highlands and lowlands of Scotland. The climb is fairly steep but on reaching the summit you can enjoy fantastic views over Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest body of fresh water covering 27 square miles. You will descend a steep path towards Balmaha, a small village nestling in a protected bay on the shores of bonnie Loch Lomond. 

Author’s recommendation

 

 

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Author
Macs Adventure
Update: October 19, 2022
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
325 m
Lowest point
15 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Track types

Show elevation profile

Rest stops

The Oak Tree Inn
St Mocha Coffee Shop & Ice Cream Parlour

Safety information

Take your time coming down Conic hill as it is quite steep and can be busy with walkers coming in the opposite direction. Coming down hills can often be harder on your knees than going up them, if you sometimes use walking sticks it would be wise to bring them today.

Maps 

If you wish to carry a hardcopy map, we would recommend buying the West Highland Way map from Footprints. Alternatively, you may wish to print the daily maps directly from our app.

Guidebook

If you wish to bring a guidebook, we would recommend Trailblazer's West Highland Way: Milngavie to Fort William by Charlie Loram.

Macs Adventure Blogs

Using our decades of experience we have written several blogs containing helpful tips, daily wildlife information, lunch stops, where to eat, FAQ and more. Please follow the link below to read our West Highland Way insights:

https://www.macsadventure.com/walking-holidays/category/walking/west-highland-way/         

Tips and hints

Noted on the interactive map are a few notable points of interest. Click the icons on the map for more information.

 

Balmaha is a bustling little village and makes an excellent place to stop on your way to Rowardennan or as an overnight. In the village shop you can usually pick up forgotten items, just be aware they will be a little more expensive than Milngavie. There is also an ATM in the shop if you require cash, please note the ATM charges £1.55 per use.

 

 

Start

Outskirts of Drymen (10-minute trip from Drymen town centre) (64 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
NS 48208 88838
DD
56.068215, -4.439903
DMS
56°04'05.6"N 4°26'23.7"W
UTM
30V 410358 6214606
w3w 
///depending.stop.cubs
Show on Map

Destination

Town centre of Balmaha

Turn-by-turn directions

*** To help you follow the route with confidence we have provide these route notes to help you. The West Highland Way is well waymarked, but we strongly suggest that you follow the GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone app to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem-free day.  The daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app should you wish to take paper copies with you. ***

 

To rejoin the West Highland Way from Drymen leave Drymen by Stirling Road, which soon becomes Old Military Road (B858).  On your left-hand side look out for the thistle way-markers that will lead you north away from the road (at 0.60 km) on a track through the forest.  Follow the way-markers through the Garadbhan woodland and begin the short ascent of Conic Hill (361 m), despite its small size on a clear day you’ll have excellent views over Loch Lomond.  Pause at the summit for a break and take in views of the Highland Boundary Fault (600 million years old) that divides Scotland’s lowlands from its highlands.  Descend from Conic Hill to the village of Balmaha, home to the visitor centre for the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and the Oak Tree Inn. 

 

 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
NS 48208 88838
DD
56.068215, -4.439903
DMS
56°04'05.6"N 4°26'23.7"W
UTM
30V 410358 6214606
w3w 
///depending.stop.cubs
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required. The weather can change quickly so be sure to take all equipment even if the weather looks okay. If you sometimes use walking sticks it would be wise to bring them today for the decent of Conic Hill.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.


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Rating

3.5
(2)
Phil Livesey 
September 09, 2020 · Community
Apart from the crowds of people, a pleasant walk over Conic Hill.
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Conic Hill meeting
Photo: Phil Livesey, Community
Helen Tysseling
August 27, 2020 · Community
Walking with Storm Francis so didn’t go up Connie Hill
Show more
Thursday, 27 August 2020, 08:29
Photo: Helen Tysseling, Community

Photos from others


Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
11.3 km
Duration
3:30 h
Ascent
306 m
Descent
356 m
Highest point
325 m
Lowest point
15 m
Scenic Geological highlights Flora and fauna Linear route 'Healthy climate'

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  • 5 Waypoints
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