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Fitness
Hiking trail

Rowardennan to Crianlarich

Hiking trail · Stirling
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Walkers on the Way
    / Walkers on the Way
    Photo: Macs Adventure
m 300 200 100 30 25 20 15 10 5 km Ben Lomond RSPB Nature Trail & Reserve Crianlarich Hotel Ben Lomond Beinglas Farm Falls of Falloch Inversnaid Hotel The Drovers Inn Rowchoish Bothy Rob Roys Cave

Initially the path rises high above the loch giving excellent views of the Arrochar Alps before passing the Inversnaid RSPB reserve and Rob Roy's cave. From Inveranan to the village of Crianlarich look forward to spectacular views north of the Highland mountains and south over Loch Lomond.

 

 

difficult
32.2 km
10:00 h
447 m
237 m

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. After passing Doune Bothy the path improves but it may seem a long two miles from Ardleish to Inverarnan.  

The Way climbs out of Inverarnan beside River Falloch towards Crianlarich. Mighty Ben More and Stob Binnean provide a fantastic backdrop to your walk, and the views back down Loch Lomond are first class. The way bypasses Crianlarich, but if you need any supplies or are staying in Crianlarich, then follow the signs down to the town. 

Author’s recommendation

 

 

 

 

 

outdooractive.com User
Author
Macs Adventure
Updated: February 17, 2020

Difficulty
difficult
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
256 m
Lowest point
14 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Rest Stop

The Clansman Bar
Inversnaid Hotel
Crianlarich Hotel
Beinglas Farm
The Drovers Inn

Safety information

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

Please take your time walking alongside the Loch and be sure of your footing as the trail can often be slippy.

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, hints and links

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

 

Crianlarich

If you are staying overnight in Crianlarich then it makes sense to take advantage and stock up on supplies. There is a small convenience store which is also home to the post office and a cash machine. 

Start

Rowardennan Hotel (24 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
56.149380, -4.641110
UTM
30V 398047 6223918

Destination

Conifer plantation outside Crianlarich (15-minute walk to town centre)

Turn-by-turn directions

***To help you follow the route with confidence we have provided the below route notes to help you find your way. The West Highland Way is well-waymarked and being able to stay on track, while following the GPS tracks on the Macs App, will ensure you have a safe, enjoyable and problem free day. Additionally, if you wish, the daily maps can also be printed from the web version of the app.***

 

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 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.  Take your time on this rocky section of 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 the ferry for Ardlui Hotel arrives at a small jetty. 

At the end of the loch the path bears left and passes through Beinglas B&B and campsite .

***N.B. If you wish to visit the Drovers Inn take the left hand access road for Beinglas across the bridge to the A82 turn left and follow the path for five minutes until you locate the Drovers Inn reception on the left hand side.***

Rejoin the trail at Beinglas, from the restaurant turn left at the junction to begin following the thistle way-markers north along River Falloch.  The West Highland Way route doesn’t pass by the Falls of Falloch, but around at 25.60 km you should get spectacular views of this 30 ft high waterfall.  Here the trail makes use of a restored military road as you cross the railway and A82 to trace the lower slopes of Kirk Craig. At the end of todays route at 32.20km you will reach a large gate which passes through a deer fence. Once through the gate turn right and follow the 2km trail to Crianlarich.

 

Note


all notes on protected areas

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. 

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.


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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
32.2 km
Duration
10:00h
Ascent
447 m
Descent
237 m
Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical value Faunistic highlights Healthy climate

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