Drymen to Rowardennan

After a good night’s rest and a chance to reflect on the previous days walk, you are hopefully raring to go for day 2, Drymen to Rowardennan, a slightly longer 14 mile trek. The highlight of the day is sure to be the view of Loch Lomond from Conic Hill. As you will soon see for yourself, this view is about as picturesque as it can get.

To get back on track for day 2 you will need to go past the old school house and onto the A811 before rejoining a pathway marked by the familiar thistle logo. You will now need to pass through a number of gates before the path takes you into Garadbhan Forest which leads to a cross roads that offers two options. One is to go over Conic Hill and the other to navigate around it. Navigating around is an inclement weather option and a one that should be taken only when necessary. Missing the view from Conic Hill would be a great shame as it is truly stunning.

Assuming the weather is not an issue, a pair of gates will follow leading onto some open moorland which offers the first views of Loch Lomond. The path can be a little unsteady underfoot in this area and the two small bridges can be slippery when wet.

Once across the second bridge, the path will start to slope upwards which can be hard work for the less fit, but as always, there is no need to rush. When the path levels out, you will be cheerfully greeted with some stunning views of Loch Lomond as a reward for your exertions. Interestingly, you will pass the fault line which exists in this area and geographically separates the highlands from the lowlands.

If climbing to the 358m high summit of conic hill lacks any appeal, there is an easier detour at this point which begins the descent to the forest below. After a few kilometres you will exit the forest and find yourself in the car park of Balmaha Visitor Centre. Balmaha is itself a popular tourist spot and offers amenities such as hotels, pubs and a small shop.

To continue on with your journey you now need to cross the main road and turn left at the junction which goes past the B&B. On the right hand side you will come to some stone steps which will take you up and over a small hill and leads to a shoreline path via some more woodland. Pass through Arrochymore Point and the car park in front of you, this leads on to a bridge which in turn will lead you back onto the shoreline. You should now be heading in the direction of Ben Lomond National Memorial Park and the path will take you up into more woodland before bringing you back onto the road.

The rest of the day will be spent sticking close to the shore of Loch Lomond along with pathways through the trees. It is important to be aware that some of these sections can become incredibly slippery and care must be taken when wet. After passing an area dominated by pine trees, you will find yourself in Rowardennan and at the end of day 2.