First of all this was only deliberately part of the second section (Balloch to Strathblane) of the John Muir Way as we made the decision that 18 miles would be too long and glad we did. We had the benefit of two cars as this section is fairly exposed and with very limited if any public transport links, other than maybe where we started.
We started at Carbeth Loch and the first part of the walk meandered through the infamous Carbeth Huts which have an interesting history and demonstrate some great examples of people’s creativity. Next highlight was a stop for coffee at The St Mocha “drive thru” as the route crosses the A809. The next stage starts with a flat and pleasant stage that then continues on to and up to Edenmill Farm on what looks like a hastily prepared access road. We did not stop here but it appeared to be a coffee and farm shop with possibly other facilities. There was a slightly confusing JMW way mark here perhaps a legacy of what looks like a recent development.
The next stretch is a steady climb to Burncrooks Reservoir and on reaching that the visible so long and at points a bit up and down path round the reservoir. Once you are in the vicinity of the reservoir ‘building’ you will see a stile ladder slightly down to your right that goes over the fence - that IS NOT the route, stay on the path which bends upwards and slightly to the left. We had parked the car (responsibly) on the road that services Gartlea Farm so from here it was pretty much downhill and through de-forested and forest areas until reaching the farm and up a short hilly section that takes you on to the road that serves Balloch. We did the point where we had parked the car to Balloch (about 6.5miles) two days previous and this stretch is fairly straightforward on minor roads and through Balloch Country Park.
So summary. Glad we we did not to do the full 18 miler. It is a route of contrasts with great and different views of Ben Lomond and surrounding hills and mountains.
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