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Overview

Distance:
18.5 miles, 29.6 km
Average time to complete:
8 hours' walking, 3 hours' cycling

Description

Make your way through Balloch Castle Country Park taking in the fantastic views from the shores of Loch Lomond.

The walking route then takes you over the Kilpatrick Hills giving an upland experience and real sense of wildness. This is the highest point of the whole route and the most remote, so be warned that the weather can often be challenging! The cycling route takes you along a lower level and easier route, but this is also challenging in places and you may need to get off and push. Look out for the Glengoyne Distillery and Beech Tree Inn if you fancy some refreshments.

Terrain

From Balloch the route follows relatively flat quiet roads, tarmac and stone surfaced paths for about 7.5 miles before it splits. The walking route heads south over the Kilpatrick Hills on often steep, loose stone surfaced path, farm and forest tracks. Be aware that the walking route commits you to roughly 8 miles of remote 'upland' path which is relatively steep and challenging in a few places. The alternative cycling option continues on quiet roads to Croftamie, from where it follows fairly flat and narrow paths leading to a steep section of stony farm track after Dumgoyne (cyclists should be prepared to push here) before reuniting with the walking route for a further short but steep, stony section (most cyclists will need to push briefly) and the descent towards Strathblane.

 

Accessibility

The main route over the Kilpatrick Hills is fairly hilly but is accessible on foot, mountain/gravel bike or horseback and potentially (with some effort) with an all-terrain wheelchair or buggy. Note that it is the most remote section so planning ahead is advisable. Most of the waymarked cycle alternative is less hilly but still has rough and steep sections and numerous gates, which are not without their challenges for horse riders and wheelchair users.

For detailed information about potential access restrictions along this section, see the Accessibility Storymap.

Alerts

Diversion at Burncrooks Reservoir

Due to felling operations, the path to the east of Burncrooks Reservoir is currently closed. There is a signed diversion in place around the north side of the reservoir. Alternatively, there is another diverted route that can be followed via Kilmannan Reservoir, also signed on the ground.

Getting There

By rail: there are regular trains from Glasgow to Balloch

By bus: First Greater Glasgow service 1B operates between Glasgow and Balloch, while Strathblane is covered by the X10 Glasgow-Stirling route.

By car: there is plentiful free parking at Lomond Shores Retail Park in Balloch and a small car park opposite Strathblane Parish Church.

Points of interest

Glengoyne Distillery

See how the whisky is made and sample it on site.

Visit Website
Dumgoyne Hill

Iconic hill above the distillery, affording an excellent viewpoint of nearby mountains and lochs.

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Balloch Castle Country Park

Discover scenic walks, a fairy trail, the castle and fantastic views over Loch Lomond.

Visit Website
The Whangie

Iconic hill walk up to Auchineden summit in the Campsie Fells, giving great hill and moorland vistas.

Visit Website
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https://johnmuirway.org/assets/routes/walkingRoutes/0b8a1a2ca4/2_Balloch-Strathblane_WA.txt
https://johnmuirway.org/assets/routes/CyclingRoute/44f70e4b15/2_Balloch-Strathblane_cycling.txt