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Hiking trail recommended route

Rowardennan to Inverarnan

· 5 reviews · Hiking trail
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  • Walkers on the Way
    / Walkers on the Way
    Photo: Macs Adventure Ltd
m 100 50 20 15 10 5 km Beinglas Farm The Clansman Bar Inversnaid Hotel The Drovers Inn Rowchoish Bothy RSPB Nature Trail & Reserve Ben Lomond Rob Roys Cave
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.
moderate
Distance 22.7 km
7:00 h
216 m
229 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, it does, however, improve after you pass Doune Bothy. 

Author’s recommendation

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. 

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Author
Macs Adventure
Update: September 07, 2020
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
108 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
Beinglas Farm
The Drovers Inn

Safety information

Take your time walking alongside the Loch and be sure of your footing as the trail is rocky and can be slippery.

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

Please see the interactive map for notable points of interest.  Click the icons on the map for more information.

Start

Rowardennan Hotel (24 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
NS 36031 98329
DD
56.149380, -4.641110
DMS
56°08'57.8"N 4°38'28.0"W
UTM
30V 398047 6223918
w3w 
///heat.wooden.rollover

Destination

Beinglas Farm in Inverarnan

Turn-by-turn directions

*** 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. 

 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
NS 36031 98329
DD
56.149380, -4.641110
DMS
56°08'57.8"N 4°38'28.0"W
UTM
30V 398047 6223918
w3w 
///heat.wooden.rollover
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 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.

Basic Equipment for Hiking

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

Questions and answers

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Rating

3.8
(5)
Jennifer Bionda
September 24, 2021 · Community
Sadly, the restaurant/bar at the Inversnaid Hotel is closed at lunch, due to staffing shortages ( as per notice at entrance). There is no food/beverages for purchase, however the lunch room, toilets and water tap(outside) are still accessible for hikers.
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Eddie Driscoll
May 31, 2021 · Community
As previous comment was 16.4 miles not 14 But nice walk
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Andy Quick
September 29, 2020 · Community
Tough days walking lots of repeat ups and downs along the lake shoreline. On reflection should have taken upper route for more variety.
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Loch Loman
Photo: Andy Quick, Community
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Photos from others

Loch Loman

Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
22.7 km
Duration
7:00 h
Ascent
216 m
Descent
229 m
Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical interest Flora and fauna Healthy climate Linear route

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