Cycling in The Trossachs and around Loch Lomond
One of the best ways to explore the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is by bike. Besides all the walking paths, the Park has literally hundreds of miles of cycling routes. Cycling is healthy, environmentally friendly, and fun at the same time. You can choose from easy paths suitable for families to very challenging mountain biking routes through hills and mountains. On this page you can find general cycling information as well as a List of Cycle Routes. Many long distance walking routes are also suitable for cycling. These includes some of the West Highland Way as well as the Rob Roy Way. You can find more information about both routes on the walking page.
Cycling Safety and Equipment
Cycling can be dangerous especially on roads with other users and vehicles so always ensure you have the right protective gear and always wear a helmet. Whilst not compulsory in Scotland its always a good idea to wear one even in the forest. Check this out for information about helmets. Also ensure that other users are aware of your presence by making you and your bke stand out. Good lighting is essential for this and will help road users to see you and give you room to pass. Get some great lights here. Stay Safe on a Bike, don't take risks!
You can find bike shops and cycle hire services in some of the towns and villages such as Wheels Cycle Centre in Callander. For those who are interested in a guided cycling tours there are organisations in the Park that offer this service. Cycle Stirling promotes cycling in the city and provides lots of useful information on their website.
If you like you can become member on their website and exchange your cycling experiences with others. On the bottom of this page you can find useful links to cycle service providers and websites with detailed cycling information.
The West Loch Lomond Cycle Path is one of the long-distance routes and starts near the train station in Balloch. It follows the West shore of Loch Lomond to Tarbet. Most of the way is traffic free. The path is suitable for cycling, walking as well as horse riding.
On the way you pass beautiful villages such as Luss with its pretty streets. At Firkin Point you will cycle through ancient oak woods where you can spot some wildlife if you are lucky.
As this route starts in Balloch, the National Park’s gateway town, it is very easy to get to the start of the route from Glasgow, Edinburgh or Stirling. The length of the West Loch Lomond Cycle path is 17 miles (27.2 km)
The Sustrans National Cycle Route 7 is an excellent long distance cycle network allowing you to see the most stunning scenery of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. As it connects many towns and villages throughout the Park you can decide where you want to start and end your tour. For families or those who don’t want to cycle very long distances, the route can be broken up with stops at the picturesque villages or picnic areas.
For those who want to follow the National Cycle Route through the entire Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the starting point is in Balloch and end point is the village of Killin. From Killin you can continue following the cycle route outside the National Park boundaries to Inverness. The List of Cycle Routes shows you all towns and villages in the National Park that are connected by the National Cycle Route 7.
Sustrans began life as Cyclebag, a charity set up in July 1977 in response to an energy crisis. Sustrans is an elegant blending of the words sustainable transport. Sustrans is a charity and relies on funding from a variety of sources including charitable trusts, lottery funding, government and the private sector. Their biggest project, the National Cycle Network was made possible with a lottery grant of £43.5 million.
The organisation is working directly with people who would like to be more active in their daily lives, to enable them to discover or re-discover the joy of walking and cycling in their local area, to the benefit of their health and our environment.
Cycling to the National Park from Glasgow
The Clyde and Loch Lomond Cycle Way is part of the National Cycle Route 7 and situated mainly outside the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. However it is an interesting route for those who want to get to the Trossachs from Glasgow by bike.
This entirely traffic-free route starts at the Bell’s Bridge close to the Glasgow Science Centre. From there the distance is 20 miles until you reach the main gateway of the National Park in Balloch. From Balloch you can decide whether you want to stay on the cycle route 7 towards Killin or prefer the West Loch Lomond Cycle Path along the West shore of Loch Lomond.
Cycling in the Heart of the Trossachs
One good cycle route to explore the heart of the Trossachs is from Aberfoyle to Callander. The route has only a distance of 13 miles and can be done completely off road and allows you to enjoy stunning views around Loch Drunkie, onto Loch Achray and then Loch Venachar.
The route follows the Duke’s Pass which goes through the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park or its possible to start in Aberfoyle and enter the Achray Forest through Dounans Center and follow the route uphill towards the 3 Lochs Forest Drive. Whatever route you take its a hard slog to begin with for the first 2-3 miles and then levels off.
Near the end of the Forest Drive turn right and follow the South shore of Loch Venachar until Callander. A route information sheet of the Aberfoyle to Callander section of NCR 7 is available here for download as a PDF file.
Another option is from Aberfoyle to Stronachlachar (instead of Callander). In this case exit the Forest Drive and turn right or continue on the Dukes Pass until the T junction at Loch Achray and turn left towards the popular Loch Katrine which has an excellent private cycle road along the North shore. There you can have a break and take a loch cruise with your bike on the SS Sir Walter Scott to Stronachlachar where you can then cycle back to Aberfoyle. About 35 miles for the whole trip and can be strenuous! but the views and routes are worth the effort.
The Family Friendly Sculpture Trail in the Loch Ard Forest is another great day for all the family with stunning views, fascinating scultures by a local artist, and a children's game to do on the way round the route. The Trail is equally suitable for cyclists and walkers and has an excellent map with lots of information about the Trail.
Maps are available at the David Marshall Lodge in Aberfoyle or at the Information Post at Milton, one of the start points for the trail. There are many possibilities to combine routes with each other. Below you can find some of the cycle/walking routes in the Trossachs area.