SIR Walter Scott certainly got about and his legacy is in large part one of tourism. When he wrote The Lady Of The Lake in 1810 he set the poem on Loch Katrine, and from that a flood of tourists began.
It is still continuing to this day, attracted by an access road on one side of the loch, making it a good place for low level walking and biking, as well as boat trips out on the loch from the Trossachs Pier.
On a recent visit with a friend to take in the fine “mountain in miniature” that is Ben A’an, I noticed a new trail had been added to the paths in the area.
Returning on a blustery Sunday a little exploration revealed a great walk which takes you high above the loch – expanded into a reservoir in the mid 19th century – on paths and tracks. The views are superb, especially across to Ben Venue and back to the pointy top of Ben A’an. It is no wonder the Victorians loved this area so much.
DISTANCE: 6 miles.
HEIGHT CLIMBED: 400ft.
TIME: 3 to 4 hours.
MAP OS: Landranger 57.
PARK: From Callander go north along the A84 to Kilmahog and turn left onto the A821. About seven miles down the road, go right at a sharp bend, following signs for Loch Katrine. At the end of the road is the car park at the Trossachs Pier. From Aberfoyle, drive over the Duke’s Pass (A821) to a sharp bend, where you turn left to reach the car park.
IN SUMMARY: Leave the car park and follow the access road that runs around the right (north) side of the loch. Once past the pier and some waterworks, a good view opens up down the water. A couple of miles from the start you reach Brenachoile Point, and it is worth taking a detour down the spit of land jutting into the loch for more views.
Continue along the access road for a few hundred yards and cross a grid on the road, used to deter deer. After passing driveways for a cottage and a lodge, look for a marker post with a green flash on it on the right side of the road – halfway along a straight section. Five yards further on go right, up a grass path with a single gate post at the bottom and a stake with a green flash just above it.
The path leads up through woodland largely made up of birch, eventually reaching a grass-covered track, where you go right. About 20 yards after passing through a gate in a deer fence go left at another marker post with a green flash. A path leads up steeply, high above the loch, to reach two wooden barriers at the end of a track.
Follow the track down, ignoring a grass track going up to the left and another sweeping down to the right further on. Lower down look for a small cairn and go right to drop down a steep, twisting path. This leads back to the access road, where you go left to retrace your steps for the last mile back to the start.
REFRESH: The Trossachs Pier is well served with a hut serving tea, coffee and ice cream as well as the Brenachoile Restaurant on the hill above.
WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AREA: At Loch Katrine you can go on a cruise on the Clyde-built steamship Sir Walter Scott, hire mountain bikes or enjoy some refreshments. www.lochkatrine.com