Three Lochs Way

The Three Lochs Way is a 55 kilometres (34 mi) long-distance path in Argyll and Bute in Scotland that links Balloch and Inveruglas.[2] The path crosses the Highland Boundary Fault, which divides the Scottish Highlands from the Lowlands, and is named for the three major lochs linked by the route: Loch Lomond, the Gare Loch and Loch Long.[3] About 1,500 people use the path every year, of whom about 300 complete the entire route.[4]

The route was first conceived of in 1991 by Alan Day, secretary of the Helensburgh & District Access Trust. The trust began promoting the route in 2010, and have since undertaken work across the route to improve the signage and path conditions,[5] leading to the route now being designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage.[1] The Three Lochs Way links directly to the Cowal Way (also designated as one of the Great Trails), which shares the section along Glen Loin between Arrochar and Inveruglas.[6] The Way crosses the route of a second Great Trail, the John Muir Way, either side of Helensburgh. The West Highland Way, Scotland's first officially designated long distance trail can also be linked to the Three Lochs Way via a ferry over Loch Lomond from the start/finish point of Inveruglas, joining the West Highland Way at Inversnaid.[6] By combining sections of the three paths and the ferry, a circular walk around southern Loch Lomond is possible.[3]

In April 2018 an ultramarathon was due to be held along the route of the Three Lochs Way, but was cancelled with less than 24 hours notice due to the company organising the event going into administration. Around 60 of the 700 people entered in the event chose to complete the course despite the lack of any organised support.[7]

Three Lochs Way
Three Lochs Way Signpost
The Three Lochs Way near Craigendoran.
Length55 km (34 mi)[1]
LocationArgyll and Bute, Scotland
DesignationScotland's Great Trails
TrailheadsBalloch (56°00′11″N 4°35′02″W / 56.003°N 4.584°W)
Inveruglas (56°15′07″N 4°42′36″W / 56.252°N 4.710°W)
Elevation gain/loss1,560 metres (5,120 ft) gain[1]
Hiking details


  1. ^ a b c "Trails". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Three Lochs Way". Scotland's Great Trails. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b "The Three Lochs Way Official Website". Helensburgh & District Access Trust. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Scotland's networks of paths and trails: key research findings" (PDF). Scottish Natural Heritage. August 2018. p. 6. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  5. ^ "About us". Helensburgh & District Access Trust. Retrieved 20 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Three Lochs Way". Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Three lochs challenge went ahead despite company going bust". Dumbarton Reporter. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.

External links

Glen Douglas Halt railway station

Glen Douglas Halt railway station was known as Craggan in the line's construction reports, also Glen Douglas Siding, Glen Douglas Platform (Private), Glen Douglas (Private) and finally Glen Douglas Halt. Opened by the North British Railway in 1894 or 1895 its status has changed several times along with its official name. The form Glendouglas was also sometimes used, such as on the platform name board.

Great Trossachs Path

The Great Trossachs Path is a 48 km long distance footpath through the Trossachs, in the Stirling council area of Scotland. It runs between Callander in the east and Inversnaid on the banks of Loch Lomond in the west, passing along the northern shores of Loch Katrine and Loch Arklet. The path is suitable for walkers and cyclists; much of the route is also suitable for experience horse riders, although the middle section along the shoreline of Loch Katrine is tarmacked and so may not be ideal for horses.The path is listed as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage, and also links to two of the other Great Trails, the West Highland Way and the Rob Roy Way. It is also possible to link the path with two further Great Trails via the ferry across Loch Lomond from Inversnaid to Inveruglas, which is the terminus of both the Three Lochs Way and the Cowal Way. The path also links to National Cycle Route 7 at Callander.

Launched in April 2015, the path lies almost completely within the Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve. The reserve is considered to be a "forest in the making", and is managed jointly by Forestry and Land Scotland, RSPB Scotland and Woodland Trust Scotland. The national nature reserve project aims to deliver a varied landscape that provides habitats for species that are otherwise rare in Britain, including black grouse, golden eagle, osprey, wildcat, pine marten, red squirrel, water vole and otter.


Helensburgh (; Scottish Gaelic: Baile Eilidh, lit. 'town (or burgh) of Helen') is a town within the Helensburgh and Lomond Area of Argyll and Bute Council, Scotland. It also has its own Community Council. Until local government reorganisation in 1996 Helensburgh was in Dumbarton District and hence also in Strathclyde Region; prior to 1975 it was a small burgh with its own town council within Dunbartonshire. In the Middle Ages it was within the Earldom of Lennox, an area sometimes referred to as the Lennox. It lies on the north shore of the Firth of Clyde and the mouth of the Gareloch is close to the western boundary of the town.

List of long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom

There are hundreds of long-distance footpaths in the United Kingdom designated in publications from public authorities, guidebooks and OS maps. They are mainly used for hiking and walking, but some may also be used, in whole or in part, for mountain biking and horse riding. Most are in rural landscapes, in varying terrain, some passing through National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is no formal definition of a long-distance path, though the British Long Distance Walkers Association defines one as a route "20 miles [32 km] or more in length and mainly off-road." They usually follow existing rights of way, often over private land, joined together and sometimes waymarked to make a named route. Generally, the surface is not specially prepared, with rough ground, uneven surfaces and stiles, which can cause accessibility issues for people with disabilities. Exceptions to this can be converted railways, canal towpaths and some popular fell walking routes where stone-pitching and slabs have been laid to prevent erosion. Many long-distance footpaths are arranged around a particular theme such as one specific range of hills or a historical or geographical connection.

Loch Lomond and Cowal Way

The Loch Lomond and Cowal Way is a waymarked footpath through the Cowal peninsula, in Argyll and Bute, between Portavadie on Cowal and Inveruglas on Loch Lomond side. It was formerly known as the Cowal Way, but was renamed in December 2018 to reflect the fact that half of the route lies with the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The way is 92 kilometres (57 mi) long, and is suitable for both walkers and mountain bikers. Much of the route is also suitable for experienced horseriders, although in some places steps, narrow footbridges and gates may restrict access for horses. A review to identify these obstacles and suggest alternative routes and/or remedial measures was undertaken in 2016.The route was first established in 2000, and is managed by the Colintraive and Glendaruel Development Trust. It was renamed in 2018 to in order to increase usage of the trail, as the Trust considered that Loch Lomond had higher brand recognition in the target markets.Since 2016 the trail has been listed as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage. The route is fully waymarked with the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way logo, which depicts a stylised image of a path in a landscape of hills and lochs. The trail links directly to another of the Great Trails, the Three Lochs Way, which shares the section between Arrochar and Inveruglas. There are also indirect links to three further Great Trails at both end points of the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way: at Portavadie there is a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry service to Tarbert, which is one of termini of the Kintyre Way, whilst at Inveruglas there is a passenger ferry across Loch Lomond to Inversnaid, which is one of the termini of the Great Trossachs Path, and lies on the West Highland Way.As of 2018 around 45,000 people use the way each year, of whom over 3,000 walk, cycle or run the complete route. The top five markets for users are Scotland, England, the

Netherlands, Germany, and North America.

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park

Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park (Scottish Gaelic: Pàirc Nàiseanta Loch Laomainn is nan Tròisichean) is a national park in Scotland centred on Loch Lomond and the hills and glens of the Trossachs, along with several other ranges of hills. It was the first of the two national parks established by the Scottish Parliament in 2002, the second being the Cairngorms National Park. The park consists of many mountains and lochs, and the principal attractions are scenery, walking, and wildlife.The park is the fourth largest in the British Isles, with a total area of 1,865 km2 (720 sq mi) and a boundary of some 350 km (220 mi) in length. It includes 21 Munros (including Ben Lomond, Ben Lui, Beinn Challuim, Ben More and two peaks called Ben Vorlich) and 20 Corbetts. There are two forest parks (Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and Argyll Forest Park), and two national nature reserves (NNR) (Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve and The Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve) within the National Park. The Loch Lomond NNR is managed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), and The Great Trossachs Forest by a partnership of the Forestry and Land Scotland, RSPB Scotland and Woodland Trust Scotland.The park straddles the Highland Boundary Fault which divides it into two distinct regions - lowland and highland - which differ in underlying geology, soil types and topography. The change in rock type can most clearly be seen at Loch Lomond itself, as the fault runs across the islands of Inchmurrin, Creinch, Torrinch and Inchcailloch and over the ridge of Conic Hill. To the south lie green fields and cultivated land; to the north, mountains.

Long-distance footpaths in Scotland

This page lists long-distance footpaths in Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage have defined such paths as meaning a route that is at least 32 kilometres (20 mi) long and primarily off-road, or on quieter roads and tracks. This definition is consistent with that of the British Long Distance Walkers Association.

Scotland's Great Trails

Scotland's Great Trails are long-distance "people-powered" trails in Scotland, analogous to the National Trails of England and Wales or the Grande Randonnée paths of France. The designated routes are primarily intended for walkers, but may have sections suitable for cyclists and horse-riders; one of the trails, the Great Glen Canoe Trail, is designed for canoeists and kayakers. The trails range in length from 40 to 340 km, and are intended to be tackled over several days, either as a combination of day trips or as an end-to-end expedition.In order to be classified as one of Scotland’s Great Trails, a route must fulfil certain criteria. Each of the routes must be at least 40 km in length, and clearly waymarked with a dedicated symbol. It is expected that visitor services will be present along the way, and that the route has an online presence to help visitors in planning their journey. Trails are required to run largely off-road, with less than 20% of the route being on tarmac. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the custodian of the brand, maintaining the official list and providing some of the finance and publicity, but responsibility for creating and maintaining each route lies with the local authority(ies) through which a route passes. There are 29 routes, offering 3000 km of trails in total. Additionally, the northernmost 10 kilometres (6 mi) of the Pennine Way between the Anglo-Scottish border and Kirk Yetholm lie within Scotland, but are designated as one of the National Trails of England.

The route of each of the Great Trails is marked with coloured diamonds on Ordnance Survey Explorer (1:25000) and Landranger (1:50000) maps; the SGT logo of a thistle within a hexagon is also used to highlight the routes at the 1:25000 scale.

West Island Way

The West Island Way is a waymarked long distance footpath on the Isle of Bute. The route opened in September 2000 as part of Bute's millennium celebrations, and was the first waymarked long distance route on a Scottish island. As of 2018 it was estimated that between six and seven thousand people were using the trail each year. The route is designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by Scottish Natural Heritage.

National Trails
(England and Wales)
Scotland's Great Trails
Long-distance path
(Northern Ireland)

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