Loch Goil, situated in the Cowal area, is a steep-sided fjord type sea loch that branches off Loch Long which is sourced by the river Clyde. It is surrounded by hills and mountains of the Arrochar Alps and can be accessed from the Rest & Be Thankful pass via a 6 mile single track road called Gleann Mor, or from Loch Fyne through Hells Glen. The small village of Lochgoilhead sits at the northern end of Loch Goil. This is also where the Goil River flows into the loch, coming from nearby Ben Donich and Beinn Bheula. 5 miles down the road, sitting on a rock at the side of the loch, you can find Carrick Castle. Its ruins date back to the 14th century and are worth a visit.
There are several walks leading to the castle and around the loch and also through the beautiful Argyll Forest Park. Many visitors also enjoy hiking up the mountains which offer stunning views of the loch and the whole area. For the more adventurous the Lochgoilhead Centre and the Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre offer activities such as canoeing, abseiling, archery and mountain biking. For those arriving by boat, the Carrick Castle Boat Club has some visitor moorings that can be booked in advance. Boats can also be hired from local providers such as D.M. Auto-Marine boat hire and Loch Goil Cruisers Motor Boat Hire. The Loch Goil Watersports Club is organising activities throughout the season and it is possible to apply for a temporary membership.
With its depth of 85m, Loch Goil is a deep water mud bottomed loch, which offers good fishing opportunities. Fishing is available free of charge all year and can be done either from a boat or the shore. Fishing can also be undertaken at the Goil River during summer (June – October). Here permits are needed which can be purchased from the Lochgoilhead post office.
Loch Goil has a rich wildlife which can be spotted from the loch and also ashore. There are ducks, gannets, cormorants, oystercatchers, herons and porpoises but also seals in and around the loch and deer can be found on the hills.