Helensburgh to Balloch

Helensburgh to Balloch

Helensburgh to Balloch
The start/finish of the route is marked by a seat made from Scottish oak and a circular stone plinth with engraved footprints and a John Muir quote. Starting out from this seaside holiday town is a treat. There are more than enough cafes and eateries to choose from in this west coast holiday town before you set off up the hill on your trip. Take time out to look seawards and imagine sailing off to America from those waters like John Muir did well over a century ago. If you’ve time, why not visit the National Trust for Scotland's Hill House and enjoy some arts and crafts splendour. Once up onto the hill you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of Loch Lomond against the National Park mountain backdrop. With that tremendous view, the route winds its way down to Balloch, where your first set of home comforts lie.

Path Quality

The Way uses pavements, gravel & grassy paths and quiet roads. Walkers and cyclists share the route for some of the way until just outside Helensburgh where the walkers route heads up over Gouk Hill. 



Key things to note about this route section.

9 miles, 15 km
Average time to complete
4 hours' walking, 1.5 hours' cycling

Periodic Walkers' Diversion

The main route is currently open.

From time to time, a section of the John Muir Way for walkers between Helensburgh and Balloch is diverted via the Three Lochs Way to avoid forestry operations at Bannachra Muir.

The main route and the periodically diverted route are shown on this map. Both routes are currently open and waymarked and walkers can choose which to follow.

This notice will be updated when the main walking route is closed and the diversion is fully in place. The cyclist route is unaffected by any walker route diversion.

Points of interest

VisitScotland Information Centre
Scotland's national tourism operator centre.
The Waverley Paddle Steamer
The Waverley is the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world. Magnificently restored with towering funnels, timber decks, gleaming varnish and brass.
The Hill House
Managed by the National Trust for Scotland, the finest of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's domestic creations, The Hill House sits high above the Clyde, commanding fine views over the river estuary.
Sweeney's Cruises
Luxury cruise options for exploring Loch Lomond.
The route starts or finishes by the engraved circular stone plinth and seat at the entrance to Helensburgh Pier at the start of the West esplanade.
Maid of the Loch
Loch Lomond's own steam ship experience.
Loch Lomond Shores Retail and Leisure Centre
Retail and leisure centre by Loch Lomond.
Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre
Dive in and let us take you on a fascinating journey from the coastline to the depths of the ocean. Discover a magical underwater world filled with a dazzling array of amazing creatures.
Helensburgh Upper Railway Station
Visit this station if only for the wildflower displays. Planted by local volunteers, the flower collections are designed to attract the maximum number of wildlife species, making a good contribution to creating biodiversity in the area. Helensburgh Upper is part of the West Highland Line.
Helensburgh Town Centre
Helensburgh owes its creation to Sir James Colquhoun of Luss; in 1776 he built spa baths on the site of Ardencaple Castle, and as the town took shape, modelled on the Georgian sensibilities of Edinburgh's New Town, he named it after his wife Helen.
Helensburgh Heroes Centre
The Heroes Centre is an inter-generational and inclusive facility at 28 Sinclair Street in Helensburgh, featuring a 50′s themed Cafe, Visitor Centre, Exhibition Space and Merchandise area.
Helensburgh Golf Club
With stunning panoramic views across the Clyde Estuary towards Arran and over Loch Lomond to the Trossachs, our exciting moorland course is a 'Must Play' experience.
Helensburgh Central Railway Station
Duchess Wood Local Nature Reserve
Often known as Bluebell wood, Duchess Wood is a rich and diverse woodland with a variety of different plant and animal species.
Craigendoran Railway Station, Helensburgh
Station south of Helensburgh travelling from Glasgow.
Cameron House Hotel
Luxury hotel, leisure complex with golf course and restaurants for visitors.
Balloch Railway Station
Alexandria Railway Station


John Muir Way Baggage Transfer Services
Let someone else share your load and transport your luggage. Tel: 01324 879172
Helensburgh's selection of restaurants, cafes and take-away food.
Helensburgh Cycles
Gemini Walks Tour Operators
Provide guiding services along several long distance routes.
Can You Experience Bike Hire
Can You Experience have a large fleet of Scott mountain bikes, together with children's tag-a-longs (for children aged 4-7) and trailers (for children aged 1-4) for hire. Bikes can be hired from 3 hours to a full day or longer.
Balloch's selection of restaurants, cafes and take-away food.


Helensburgh's Hotel and B&B Accommodation
Balloch's Hotel and B&B Accommodation