Take a walk with us to Loch Lomond’s beautiful RSPB nature reserve

editorial image

RSPB Loch Lomond is one of the best places for wildlife in Scotland and is located on the south east shores of Loch Lomond.

The site forms part of the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve and was acquired by the RSPB in April 2012.

It can be visited in a lovely four mile circular walk from Gartocharn, a small village on the A811 between Balloch and Drymen.

Car parking is available in Gartocharn after turning off the A811 opposite The House of Darroch and following the road round to either the car park beside the church or opposite the Kilmaronock Millenium Hall).

Opposite the hall in the distance is the 500ft high Duncryne, ‘the dumpling’, which from its top commands a fantastic view of Loch Lomond, its many islands and the Highland summits.

The walk turns left at the hall and follows the footpath sign, “Aber Right of Way Nature Reserve”. It takes the narrow grass path through a gate into a field and along the side of a hedge with views ahead of Ben Lomond and the Cobbler. It enters a small wood and after passing through another gate emerges into a field to follow the side of the Aber Burn. At the next gate on the left, pause on crossing the wooden bridge and observe where the Burn was dammed, Aber Dam, to provide water to power the local mill.

At the end of the path and through a gate the walk turns right onto a minor country road. It follows the arrow marker on the signpost, turns left at the road junction and right at the pillar box triangle signed, “Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve”.

It then ignores the road on the left, passes the tree plantation and turns left at the next junction. Ahead the road changes to a rough track, “no cars beyond this point”, and the reserve along the shore of the Loch is soon entered through a side gate. The reserve is a habitat for a wide range of birds and small animals. The path stretches along the shore between the trees and after passing through the 2nd gate, the Net Bay Viewpoint presents a lovely picture of the Loch, the Islands, Conic Hill, Ben Lomond and the surrounding hills. Balmaha is in the distance and in the foreground is the Ring Promontory which marks the mouth of the River Endrick. A bench seat is in place to sit and admire the scenery.

The walk retraces the path to the start of the reserve and turns left on exiting at “no unauthorised vehicles”. It then takes the 2nd track on the right into Lagganbeg Caravan Park, passes the 5mph sign to exit the Park and turns left onto an uphill country road. Looking ahead and slightly to the right is Duncryne with an impressive house being built in the foreground.

Near the top of the road just before the junction for the A811, the walk turns right onto a track and passes by a house with views looking over to the Loch, Ben Lomond, the Cobbler and the surrounding hills, (pictured). Continuing on this track back to the start.