Three Lochs Way: Tarbet to Inveruglas 6miles
After a long wait to accommodate Aaron completing the Dales Highway, we a last got round to the last section of this pleasant walk. We picked an absolutely cracking day to finally tick of this trail from our list. The Way had kept back its best offering to the last, all be it rather short, day.
D of E
We arrived in Tarbet and parked up in the Ben Lomond Cafe and Craft shop car park. There was a group of about 25 to 30 children from the Lomond School, Helensburgh, preparing for their Bronze DofE assessment. We moved off up to the Station car park for our own preparation of putting on boots and packing our sacks. Just before we were about to move off a group of six lads started out on their route, shortly followed by a far larger mixed group of boys and girls. The second group had not gone more than 100 metres before, instead of turning right under the railway, went straight on towards the main road (0h dear). I whistled at them to stop, took the map off the leader and tried to get him to see where he had gone wrong. No chance! He just couldn’t see that the track went under the railway, at this stage the the assessor appeared so I left it to him sort out.
Our own efforts
We proceeded through the Tarbet Station underpass and the path climbed up to the left, shortly to come to a junction. Here we turned left through a pleasantly wooded area dappled in sunlight.
The path sloped gently downward and it wasn’t long before we caught up with our young DofE group, still debating wether they were on right route. We pushed on to superb views of the Cobbler and Narnain with rhodedendron well in bloom.
Although this is a pernicious weed that swamps out native species it does look glorious at this time of the year. This one is just like Japanese Knot Weed and is a cautionary tale about introducing foreign species to this country without understanding the damage they do to native wildlife.
After rising to a viewing area, equipped with a nice wooden bench, the path swung north to enter the spectacular Glen Loin Woodland. This was a real treat in the delightful sunlight and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Unfortunately we saw nothing of the Red Squirrels reputed to populate the area, however we did get magnificent views looking back towards Arrochar and Loch Long.
The walking now was an easy stroll with Glen Loin stretched out below us backed by the peak of A’ Choirs.
After about 2 miles the path climbed up over a low bealach to Coiregrogain which is spectacularly hemmed in by the surrounding peaks of Ben Vorlich, A Chrois and Ben Vane. At times the Glen resembled Alpine pasture more akin to the Alps than Scotland.
This section is so reminiscent of my wifes favourite walk in Slovenia to Mostniski slapovi (the Mostnice waterfall). Unfortunately there is no mountain dom called Voje to serve a beer and freshly baked Strudel. This would make the walk absolutely perfect!
The route turned right, off the path, to cross Inveruglas water and climb to the hydro road, which we followed to busy A82.
Here the path crosses to the car park at Inveruglas, the northern terminus of the Three Lochs Way.
We settled down to a pleasant lunch in the cafe and awaited the Waterbus back to Tarbet. We had booked the Waterbus earlier in the day, on the drive up to Tarbet. This is essential as people are only picked up at Inveruglas by request.
The ferry runs across to Inversnaid before returning to Tarbet and takes between 45mins to an hour. In the good weather we had the sail was spectacular, if a little expensive at £8 a skull. On balance though it was well worth every penny.
After jumping off the ferry it was just a five minute walk back to the car after a super days walking.
This is by far the best section of the Three Lochs Way. Had the weather been as good on the other days the overall rating for the trail would have been greater. This is a great path as an introduction to Trail Walking.
Overall Rating 80%
This trail would make a perfect long weekend walk, particularly if the weather is set fine. Stage 2 isn’t particularly inspiring but this is a personal opinion that was very much coloured by the weather conditions on the day.
If you decide to walk this trail do it in the direction suggested on the website. We walked the first 3 sections in reverse as it was fixed in my mind that parking, then taking the train and travelling back to the car was the best option. However, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t do this in the opposite way to us.
The website has it right, Stage 3 and 4 would make a wonderful climax to the walk.
Obviously we can make no judgement on accommodation but I am sure that there will be plenty of suitable B&Bs. If you are camping there are suitable campsites and remember there are no restriction on wild camping in most areas of Scotland.