Rowardennan to Inverarnan
Macs Adventure Verified partner Explorers Choice
Walkers on the WayPhoto: Macs Adventure
On this section of the West Highland Way, the path rises high above Loch Lomond giving excellent views of the Arrochar Alps. Shortly after leaving Inversnaid the trail passes the RSPB reserve and Rob Roy's cave before reaching Inverarnan.
Leaving Rowardennan, the West Highland Way follows forestry roads and gently climbs high up above Loch Lomond, giving fantastic views over the water and towards the peaks of the Arrochar Alps. As you close in on Inversnaid the path narrows and becomes more undulating, passing over a spectacular bridge and waterfall as you arrive at Inversnaid Hotel.
The path from Inversnaid to the head of the loch is undulating with a generally rough surface, it does, however, improve after you pass Doune Bothy.
If you are staying across Loch Lomond at Ardlui Hotel, look out for the sign pointing to the little ferry (2 miles before the end of this section). Walk down to the loch shore to the Ardleish slipway and take the ferry.
The ferries depart from Ardleish slipway at 10 minutes past the hour from 09:10 until 13:10 then 15:10 until 19:10.
The ferrymen will, of course, take you back the morning so that you can continue your walk. The following morning for the ferry returns from Ardlui on the hour from 09:00. If you are starting out later, please be aware that the last ferry before lunch is at 13:00
If you are not staying in Ardlui then Beinglas Farm marks the end of your day. Leave the way and follow the signs for Inverarnan.
Rest stopsThe Clansman Bar
The Drovers Inn
Take your time walking alongside the Loch and be sure of your footing as the trail is rocky and can be slippery.
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.
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:
Tips and hints
Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest. Click the icons on the map for more information.
*** To help you follow the route with confidence we 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. ***
Pick up the trail from Rowardennan Hotel as you leave the car park and turn left onto the road to follow the thistle way-markers (take care of traffic on this short section of the Way as you walk with the road on your left-hand side). In 300m pass some public toilets and the Rowardennan War Memorial then follow a well-defined, but undulating and rocky path, through the forest with Loch Lomond on your left-hand side. Make sure you keep on track here and ignore any signs for Ben Lomond – a popular Munro accessed from this car park.
At 3.00 km you’ll reach a junction – if you have found the underfoot conditions up to here challenging we recommend you take the right-hand fork to follow a wide gravel track through the forest, a straight-forward although somewhat less scenic route compared to the left-hand fork which hugs the loch shore and winds its way through the forest on a rocky and undulating path. Our route description follows the left-hand fork (the right-hand fork rejoins this route at 7.60 km).
Continue along the loch shore to cross the little bridge over the waterfall next to Inversnaid Hotel. Here you can leave your boots in the porch and pop in for some refreshments if you have time before following the thistle way-markers along the loch shore once more.
After leaving Inversnaid, take your time on this rocky section of the trail, taking special care during or after rain, and keep an eye out for Rob Roy’s Cave and Doune Bothy at 18.30 km, followed by Ardleish in a further 1 km where for those of you who are staying in Ardlui hotel, can catch the ferry across the water to Ardlui. If you are not staying at Ardlui then ignore the turn off to the small jetty and continue on the Way and follow the signs for Inverarnan.
At the end of the loch, the path bears left and passes through Beinglas B&B and campsite heading for the A82 (the main road on the western shore of Loch Lomond) where you’ll find the Drovers Inn. Check your tailored accommodation sheet for details of your overnight stay.
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 OK. A waterproof cover for your rucksack is also useful.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it would be beneficial to bring a power bank.
- 10 Waypoints
- 10 Waypoints
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