Ben Lomond is the most popular mountain for hill walking in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. With views on Loch Lomond, the Southern Highlands and the lower hills and forests to the east, it is worthwhile climbing this munros. Ben Lomond is the most southerly munro in Scotland. Situated next to the east shore of Loch Lomond no peaks with a similar height are in the direct surroundings. The highest point has a height of 974m and can be climbed within 2.5 hours in good weather conditions.
Ben Lomond's fascination
Ben Lomond’s fascination is not of recent date as literature about this mountain peak appeared in the end of the late 18th century. John Stoddart, for example, described Ben Lomond as “exciting a degree of surprise, arising almost to terror…”. Even though some paths of Ben Lomond are described as dangerous and difficult in early literature, the official routes are without difficulty during normal weather conditions. John MacCulloch described the route from Rowardennan in 1811 as “an ascent without toil or difficulty: a mere walk of pleasure.”
The Walking Routes
There are 3 different starting points from where you can climb Ben Lomond: Rowardennan, Inversnaid and Loch Dhu (in the West). The most popular route starts from Rowardennan where thousands of tourists make the pilgrimage in the summer. There is a car park at the Rowardennan Pier where you can also find a map of the walk. Before climbing the mountain, the walking route goes through the forest. After a while the path starts ascending and you get the first impressions of the beautiful landscape. On top of the mountain at 974m you will have an impressive 360° view. For those who don’t like climbing until the peak of Ben Lomond there is also a low-level walk from Rowardennan. The distance from the start of the walk until the summit is about 5km and takes about 2.5 hours. An alternative is to park the car in the village of Inverbeg at the West side of Loch Lomond from there you can take a ferry to Rowardennan.
For those who start from Inversnaid the path to Ben Lomond goes along the East shore to the South until Cailness cottage where you climb up the Culness Burn. Walking this route leads you through forests and therefore it will take some time until you have views down to the Loch.
An alternative path starts at Loch Dhu, which is a small loch situated in the south-east of Loch Chon. To get there just follow the B829 from Aberfoyle and pass Kinlochard. The private road South of Loch Dhu is the starting point of this route. Even though the walking route from the East of Ben Lomond is steeper, it offers one of the greatest views with the contrasting appearance of Lowlands and Highlands. The map above shows the summit of Ben Lomond and the 3 start points from where you can reach Ben Lomond.
Ben Lomond is probably not only popular among hill walkers because of the beautiful views it offers; also becauset it can be accessed easily from Glasgow and Edinburgh by car. Because of Ben Lomond’s location it is even possible to leave from Glasgow in the morning, climb up the peak and be back in Glasgow in the evening again. Anyway, it is advisable to spend some days in the beautiful area because there is a lot to see and a good variety of different accommodations. For those who like to use public transport, Balmaha village (situated south to Rowardennan) has bus connections to Balloch and Drymen from where you get connections to Glasgow.