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Drymen to Rowardennan

· 3 reviews · Hiking trail
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  • View from Conic Hill
    / View from Conic Hill
    Photo: Fraser MacRae, Macs Adventure Ltd
m 400 300 200 100 -100 20 15 10 5 km The Oak Tree Inn Loch Lomond … Sculpture Summit of Conic Hill Inchconnachan Island (Wallaby Island) Ben Lomond Tom Weir Statue The Clansman Bar Loch Lomond
Walk through pine forest, and enjoy the views from the summit of Conic Hill before following the West Highland Way along the shores of Loch Lomond to reach Rowardennan. 
Distance 23.4 km
7:00 h
460 m
489 m

Leave Drymen and walk through a forest plantation before the ascent of 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. 

From Balmaha the path alternates between the loch shore, natural forest, and headlands. There are numerous short steep climbs along this section of the route. The scenery, forest, and birdlife between Balmaha and Rowardennan are outstanding.

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Macs Adventure
Update: August 18, 2020
Highest point
325 m
Lowest point
12 m
Best time of year

Rest Stop

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

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 poles it would be wise to bring them today.

At a few points the path joins or crosses the road which can be busy. Please be careful if stepping out or taking photos when close to the road. 


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.

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


Outskirts of Drymen (10-minute trip from Drymen town centre) (64 m)
OS Grid
NS 48208 88838
56.068215, -4.439903
56°04'05.6"N 4°26'23.7"W
30V 410358 6214606


Rowardennan Hotel

Turn-by-turn directions

*** To help you follow the route with confidence we have provided 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 – a favourite of ours, and a good place to stop for lunch or refreshments. 

Before leaving Balmaha you’ll pass a statue of the well-loved Tom Weir – a hardy walker who hosted the TV programme “Weir’s Way” to popularise hiking in the highlands, in which he almost always wore the same red knitted beanie hat. From Balmaha follow the well way-marked trail as it flits between hugging the shore of Loch Lomond and following the country road towards Rowardennan.  Enjoy the peaceful paths through woodlands which have been restored to allow native species to thrive. 

At 23.40 km arrive at Rowardennan Hotel – a casual country inn located between the road on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond and the loch shore itself.  


all notes on protected areas


OS Grid
NS 48208 88838
56.068215, -4.439903
56°04'05.6"N 4°26'23.7"W
30V 410358 6214606
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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. If you sometimes use walking poles it would be wise to bring them today for the descent of Conic Hill.

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.


Questions and answers

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Andrei Denisovich 
September 04, 2020 · Community
Quite tough for a lakeside walk! There's a lot of up and down on rocks that are slippery when wet.
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Mugove Edwards
September 02, 2020 · Community
This track had some lovely sections through some forestry tracks and the loch side walking can be challenging but so rewarding! We had a wee picnic in Cornick Hill and took in the majestic views and we were very glad to make it to the Rowardennan Hotel and sit by the fire. Enjoyed another brilliant day of walking.
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Arnaud Gautier
October 13, 2019 · Community
Bit from Balmaha to Rowardennan is longer than it appears...
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Photos from others

23.4 km
7:00 h
460 m
489 m
Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Geological highlights Flora and fauna Healthy climate Linear route


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