Trossachs Self-Catering

 Local activities


Walking and hiking
The forests around Loch Ard have numerous tracks ideal for walking, hiking and cycling (see www.trossachs.co.uk/googlemap.php and www.forestry.gov.uk/website/recreation.nsf), along with a number of nature trails (see www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/ and www.nnr-scotland.org.uk/).

Those who prefer a somewhat longer walk (and who can navigate with a map) might attempt the 79-mile (127 km) Rob Roy Way (www.goscot.co.uk/rob_roy_way.htm). This relatively new path is not way-marked, but starts at Drymen and passes through much of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. At Killin it leaves the park and enters the area of Loch Tay. It terminates at the town of Pitlochry on the Southern edge of the Cairngorm National Park.

For part of its length, the Rob Roy Way runs along the trackbed of the old Callander, Killin and Oban Railways – noteworthy walks in themselves.

Ben Lomond (the most southerly of the Munros at 3,196 feet or 974 m), Ben Venue, Ben Ledi and Ben A’an (near Brig o’ Turk) provide popular walks with amazing scenery. There are also excellent trails and tracks around other local lochs, including Loch Lomond (see photo top), Loch Katrine, Loch Venachar and Loch Achray.

The spectacular Bracklinn Falls bridge and waterfall at Callander (see photo right) is worth a visit, and offers a variety of short walks. Access is about 500 yards (450 m) beyond the golf course in Bracklinn Road at the east end of Callander Main Street (www.incallander.co.uk/walks/).

Cycling, mountain biking and quad biking
Cycle hire is available in Aberfoyle, Kinlochard (at the Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel and Spa) and Balmaha on the shores of Loch Lomond – all through Go Country (www.gocountry.co.uk/).

The nearby Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel and Spa (www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/our-hotels/macdonald-forest-hills-hotel-spa/) also offers mountain biking and quad biking. The complex has its own quad bike track, and activities are supervised by LANTRA-trained instructors. A supervised quad bike trek is also offered.

In addition, cycles are available for hire on nearby Loch Katrine (www.katrinewheelz.co.uk/). We recommend you take your bike aboard the 'Sir Walter Scott’ or the 'Lady of the Lake' for the morning sail up to Stronachlachar, and then cycle back on the road along the Loch's scenic shores.

Sailing, boating, canoeing and kayaking
Loch Ard provides excellent sheltered-water sailing. Loch Ard Sailing Club at Kinlochard (www.cs.stir.ac.uk/~kjt/sailing/lasc/) is a dinghy sailing club affiliated to the Royal Yachting Association. Visitors are allowed to use the club's facilities and launch their own boats upon application to the club-house and payment of a fee.

As well as cycle hire, Go Country (www.gocountry.co.uk/) organises canoeing and other watersports on Loch Ard. It also offers climbing/abseiling, cliff jumping, archery, orienteering and more.

Canoes and kayaks may in addition be hired at Balmaha on Loch Lomond (www.balmahahouse.co.uk/) – photo left.

Note that multi-hulls, jet-skis and power boats are not allowed on Loch Ard.

Swimming
Hardy souls may swim in the fresh waters of Loch Ard and other local lochs, but should be wary of canoes and boats, as well as deep and cold water in places.

Fishing
There is excellent fishing on Loch Ard from the banks or a boat. In fact, the current coarse fishing record for perch in Scotland is on the Loch, and was for a 4lb 14oz (2.21kg) fish (www.sfca.co.uk/go-fishing/). The Loch also offers excellent trout and pike fishing.

The Lake of Menteith (7 miles/12 km) is reputed to be the best location for fly fishing for rainbow trout and brown trout in Central Scotland. A fleet of small fishing boats is available for hire, and the fishery cabin – with wood burning stove and tea/coffee – is available to anglers (www.menteith-fisheries.co.uk/).

The River Teith is said to be one of the best salmon and trout rivers in the region, and provides excellent spring and autumn salmon fly fishing. Originating in Loch Venachar (13 miles/21 km), the Teith joins the Forth just north of Stirling (www.trout-salmon-fishing.com/).

Horse riding and pony trekking
Horse riding and pony trekking centres are available throughout the National Park (www.visitscotland.com/see-do/activities/horse-riding/). The Park Authority has worked with the local Trossachs Riders Access Group and the Forestry Commission Scotland to create ten rides in the east of the Park. The closest start at the Forestry Commission Scotland's car park at Milton. There are three routes: Lochan Spling, Duchray/Deer Craig and the south side of Loch Ard (www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/visiting/horse-riding/).

Golf
Aberfoyle has its own very scenic golf course (www.aberfoylegolf.co.uk/) and there are many other such courses across the region (www.goscot.co.uk/golf.htm). Gleneagles, with its three championship golf courses – including The PGA® Centenary Course (host venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup) – is only an hour away by car (www.gleneagles.com/golf/).

Adventure parks
Blair Drummond Safari & Adventure Park (17 miles/27 km) is open from March to October (www.blairdrummond.com/) and offers attractions for all the family – including wild animal reserves, an adventure playground, boat trips around chimp island, pet farm, lemur land, flying fox, giant astraglide, sea lion shows, bird of prey centre and pedal boats.

Thrill seekers may also appreciate Go Ape at the Forest Visitor Centre, Aberfoyle, which boasts two of Britain's longest zip wires – each over 435 yards (400 m) – which fly customers 150 feet (45 m) above the ground and over a 90 foot (28 m) waterfall (goape.co.uk/days-out/aberfoyle/).

Xscape at Braehead, near Glasgow (29 miles/47 km) has a cinema, bowling alley, climbing wall, indoor skiing… oh, and lots of shops! (www.xscape.co.uk/braehead/)

For further information about activities in the area please see:
destination-lochlomond.co.uk/phocadownload/nature/loch%20ard.pdf
www.aberfoyle.co.uk/
www.stirling.co.uk/
www.visitscotland.com/

Open plain page for printing (all local activities).
Local activities datacard