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three lochs way

three lochs way

Postby noodle » Mon Jun 27, 2022 11:53 am

Route description: Three Lochs Way

Date walked: 19/06/2022

Time taken: 4 days

Distance: 57 km

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Day 1 Balloch to Helensburgh
Train to Balloch and followed our noses to the lochside. Burgers and candy floss abound. Jet skis and speed boats. Lots of people out enjoying the sun in the beautiful Loch Lomond setting.
Route well signposted out of Balloch over the A82 and up the hill. Looking back over Loch Lomond gave a different view at every turn. There's a steep bit through woods which we didnt expect. After the highest point the John Muir Trail heads north and the Three Lochs Way heads west and down through a lovely old wooded glen and the academy to Craigendoran. We then had a 2k walk along the busy A814 to Helensburgh which was a bit of a downer after such a lovely walk.
Chippy on the promenade, people watching, stroll around the town square with lots of historical references. Very enjoyable and interesting.
Accommodation: Travelodge. Cheap, cheerful clean and central.

Day 2 Helensburgh to Garelochead
Route well signposted straight up Colquhoun Street to McIntosh's Hill House. Wee detour to see the gardens. The house is shrouded in metal and mesh protection which is really ugly but am told is necessary to protect the fabric of the building. At the top of Colquhoun Street the Three Lochs Way meets the John Muir Way coming down. This way would miss the Craigendoran stretch but also the lovely glen down.
The route took us up over a wooded then moorland path, remembering to check out views behind over the River Clyde as well as in front with glimpses of Loch Lomond and then into Glen Fruin. This was a lovely stretch alongside the River Fruin. Quiet road with some farm traffic including sheep until it reaches the A817. We crossed over the A817 to a straight military path. Here we could see Faslane down on Gareloch and a lovely rugged skyline up to the left. We were looking for the waymarker after the trees on the left. It's up the bank on a wobbly wooden frame with barbed wire. Not easy to negotiate. Followed a path with trees on our left to a stone dyke and broken signpost. Best path on the far side of the dyke down to woods with stepping stones over muddy bits to the roundabout for A817 and A814. We crossed over to a good cycle path which took us into Garelochead.
Lovely evening to relax overlooking Gareloch watching small boats and paddleboarder. Slight breeze to keep midges away.
Accommodation: The Anchor Inn. Really nice, comfortable, modern room. Very friendly helpful staff. Great breakfast and they made up rolls for our lunch as the Spar sandwiches didn't look too great.

Day 4. Garelochead to Arrocher
Retraced our steps up to the military road over the barbed wire fence, (ripped fleece) to start our long walk along Loch Long. The longest walking day. Pleasant day walking along good paths with smashing views over the loch, the Arrocher Alps and up Glen Douglas. A lot more ups and downs than expected! Loose stones on the paths made some walking hard going and concentration was needed. Clear trail markers and a painted Arrocher stone marked the way down to the church.
Evening with a smashing meal at the Lochside Inn then just sitting enjoying the views over Loch Long.
Accommodation: The Lochside Inn. Top notch. Great value.

Day 5. Arrocher to Inveruglas
Short day walking to finish the Three Lochs Way as we were going over Loch Lomond to start the Great Trossachs Way in the afternoon. A really huge breakfast at the Lochside Inn made the going quite leisurely.
This is a lovely stretch of the walk. Just ignore the electricity pylons and see the beautiful hills around. The walk was straightforward and well signposted. Very enjoyable. Arrived at Inveruglas happy and satisfied with our adventure.
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Joined: Nov 1, 2015

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