Great Trossachs Path | Day 4
Today we completed the Great Trossachs Path! Approximately 30 miles and the first of Scotland’s Great Trails. It felt brilliant to reach our first milestone of this adventure, and on such an beautiful day.
Only 28 trails and 1870 miles left to go 😂
The scenery was seriously impressive, giving us the most amazing views over Loch Lomond and the magnificent and imposing Arrochar Alps.
We woke to a frost this morning. Not a particularly hard frost, but enough to blanket everything in white. It was a beautiful clear day, with blue skies and bright sunshine. A perfect, mild winters day, but still unseasonably warm.
We drove to the Stronachlachar and decided to start at the white gates where the Great Trossachs Path leaves the backs of Loch Katrine. Yesterday we finished at the car park on the banks of Loch Katrine, which was actually an extra few hundred metres off trail. This saved a little bit of road walking, which after yesterday was very welcome!
Eve seemed tired this morning. Not surprising really after the hiking yesterday and then attending her Brownie meeting. She still got up from bed with enthusiasm, just at a slightly slower pace.
Sarah was not working today which also made the morning feel calmer. We were not working to a strict deadline, which always makes for a more relaxed start.
After our usual kiss and cuddle with Sarah we set off walking. We walked down the road for a few minutes before heading off to the right and onto a small path that ran parallel to the road most of the way.
It’s a well maintained and easy to follow path. Well signposted although not really needed.
This area of the national park is popular with people who are into bouldering. This area has lots of huge boulders that are easily accessible from the road and make for great challenges.
Local legend says that Rob Roy often hid around these boulders as they provided cover as well as a great look out spot to see over the lochs and glens that linked Loch Katrine to Loch Lomond.
The path was gently undulating with a few wee bridges that cross gentle burns. There are a few information plaques on route giving information on the area and it’s history.
One of the things to do on this section is to try and find a carved stone that was used by the original cartographers of what is now Ordinance Survey. We didn’t find it!
The horizon in-front of us gave the most spectacular views all day over to the Arrochar Alps. This was poignant to us as our next trail, The Three Lochs Way, will be taking us through this mountain range, the village of Arrochar (where they get there name) and finishes at Inveruglas.
I’ve probably unfairly focused on the horizon too much in this description when the hills around us, although smaller, are no less impressive.
From our experience of hill and mountain walking, some of the lower and less well knows routes and peaks are often the best.
At one point Eve started to complain about her foot hurting so we briefly paused to check it. She had a small blister on her little toe. We patched it up and headed off. Eve was a lot happier and walked faster.
On this section of the Great Trossachs Path you walk passed the old Garrison. It's now a private house and small holding with little left of the original structure. It was originally built 1745 to house English soldiers whose duty was to calm the local rebellious clans including Rob Roy.
One of our hikes will be the Rob Roy Way which we hope to hike in the next few weeks.
After a few miles of easy walking we crossed the road and went over a bridge, up a hill and into the car park aptly named Rob Roy car park!
From here the trail started to drop down onto the banks of Loch Lomond and into Inversnaid.
This section of trail was hard. It was steep, wet, muddy and slippery. Eve fell on her bottom at one point, in slow motion, laughing all the way SPLAT. I went to hug her only for her to turn around and try to smear the mud from her bottom onto me, thinking it was terribly humorous. I had to agree with her and we both got covered.
The views over Loch Lomond towards the Sloy Hydro Electric Dam were spectacular. Eve stood for a long time just looking, almost mesmerised by the awe inspiring scenery in front of us.
I had to give her some gentle encouragement to keep walking as Sarah was now in the car park below waiting for us.
As we walked we could hear the roar of the Inversnaid waterfall. Inversnaid Falls is genuinely impressive and huge. It is also dangerous as people underestimate the ferocity of the water. Living locally we had heard of a number of fatalities here, where people go swimming in the pools and get carried away or trapped. We admired the falls from a safe distance.
As we approached the bottom on the hill and dropped down onto the West Highland Way to walk into Inversnaid Hotel car park, we saw Sarah.
As usual Eve wanted to run for a cuddle, but couldn’t. The trail was too wet and slippery so we walked together to give Sarah a big kiss and cuddle.
One of the things Eve and I do when we are getting picked up by Sarah is have a competition to see who will get to cuddle Sarah first. I always lose!
We walked across the bridge, down the steps beside the hotel and to the car.
We had a quick photograph with Loch Lomond and the Arrochar Alps behind us in our Scottish Autism T-shirts.
Thank you to Scottish Autism for the awesome T-shirts. They are epic and although a bit snug on me 😂 we actually wear them all the time. In the summer I hope they will be on display a lot more.
By this point the time was only about 12.30 so we were able to have lunch together. Cuppa soup and bread.
Tomorrow is a day off so we can plan and prepare for the next trail, The Three Lochs Way, that we will start on Saturday in Balloch.
Please can I just say a huge thank you to everybody who has donated so far to our Just Giving page. Thank you so much!
Also thank you to everybody who has donated on GoFundMe too. We have had to order new shoes, and jacket for Eve already so thank you very much for making this possible.
And of course thank you to everyone who has donated on Buy Me a Coffee. There hasn’t been a single place open on this trail to grab Eve a hot drink or snack but I am hoping there will be on the next one! So your kind generosity will be used then and I will be able to tell Eve that there are amazing people out there supporting us on our charity challenge. Thank you
Lastly, we have prepared another set of patches/badges that we will put in the post tomorrow. So you will hopefully get them soon
Have a great night and see you all tomorrow.
Ian, Eve and Sarah