Gallus Running
Loch Ard forest

Loch Ard forest

Length
27.5 Kms
Elevation gain
416 m
Max elevation
155 m
Difficulty
**
Rating
***
Type
Loop
Route id
485
Main road
0 Kms
Country road
4 Kms
Dirt road
20.5 Kms
Dirt path
3 Kms
Trail
0 Kms
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Directions to start point
Another run from the town of Aberfoyle and this is one of the ones which we have done many times as it is a good length, not too hard and varied views. The route takes you for about
1.5 Kms
on a small tar road before turning into a dirt road as you head into the forest. If you don't know Loch Ard forest then a map or GPS is a must as it seems like paths are heading off in all directions. A lot of the paths do fizzle out, even when shown on ordinance survey maps so be careful in planning alternative routes.
The route is flat and in the trees until about
2.5 Kms
when you start the first of the hills. This gets the heart rate up before heading back down the hill with views of Ben Venue in distance. The path then has a few ups and downs before opening up just after
7 Kms
with the Duchray Bridge. You cross the bridge which is part of the old Loch Katrine to Glasgow water supply and then a sharp serious of zig zags to get you up to face the old pumping station. All the Victorian engineering on display here is very impressive as you pass several of the old aqueducts.
You are now mainly out of the trees and the path swings back towards Aberfoyle and you start to gain wonderful views over Loch Ard. You'll see a track down by the loch, you'll be there soon. We head back into the trees but the path starts to become mainly downhill. A sharp turn to the left takes us back the way we came but descending towards the loch. Although you are in the trees if the weather is good you can get some wonderful views across the loch. A small loop exists just before the
15 Kms
mark where you can add a little more distance and stay beside the loch for longer. At marker 22.
Shortly after the
15 Kms
mark you are right beside the loch and this is such a wonderful place that we always have a little break here and just enjoy it. And now you are heading back up hill and actually come to a junction you went through earlier, but you are taking a different route back. The route is open and parts of it can seem like a bit of a slog but not long before you pass the Duchray Bridge and start the last and highest hill climb. Always a blow when the big climbs come late. The path in this section does become a little worse and can get wet and muddy in winter but nothing too bad.
There are several climbs during the run with the largest being close to the end at about
20 Kms
. There is a total climb of about
590 m
but the last few kilometres are a gradual downhill to the finish - real good opportunity to stretch tired legs.
Route directions
Kms
1
Start at the car park. Head out of the car park towards the old bridge. This is the other direction from the Woolen Mill.

0
2
Turn left over the bridge

0.1
3
The road goes from tarmac to trail. From here there is no more tarmac.

1.1
4
Keep to the right of the fork and follow the path as it swings round.

1.6
5
At the fork follow the path to the right.

1.8
6
At the T juntion turn left. The next turn is about 10m away.

2.5
7
Turn to the right and follow the path up the hill.

2.6
8
Keep following the path as it starts the descent.

3.6
9
At the bottom of the hill facing the stables turn left.

4.7
10
Turn left up the hill at the junction with the entrance to the castle. Keep on this path.

5.2
11
At the bottom of the hill turn left at the T junction.

6.1
12
Keep on the main path. You can now see the Duchray water bridge.

7.3
13
Cross the bridge turn left, and follow the zig zags all the way up.

7.7
14
At top of the hill turn left and follow the path.

8.2
15
At the four way junction follow the path to the right.

9.9
16
Keep on main path and enjoy the views.

10.9
17
Keep on main path, heading down hill.

11.2
18
Follow the path to the left going downhill.

12.7
19
Turn left again and keep going downhill.

12.9
20
Keep on the main path heading left

13.3
21
Keep on main path

14
22
At the fork turn left.

14.7
23
Keep following the path as it starts to round the top of the loch.

15.5
24
Turn left a the top of the hill. Kinlochard is in the opposite direction

16.6
25
Follow the main path up the hill, don't take the path on the right.

16.7
26
Turn right at the top of the hill at the four way junction. Head down the trail and under the viaduct.

16.9
27
After the viaduct take the first path on the left.

17.3
28
Keep to the main path, over the bridge and up the hill.

17.9
29
At the bottom of the hill turn left.

18.9
30
Keep on the main path. You are now on a short section of path you have been on already.

20.1
31
Take the path to the right going up the hill. There is a big iron pipe here.

20.2
32
Go up the hill, the toughest part of the route but it is not too long.

20.9
33
At 3 way junction turn left and stay on this main path.

23.6
34
Keep following the main path.

24.9
35
You are now back to a part of the path you started on. So follow this path all the way back to Aberfoyle

25.5
36
Follow the main path heading left.

26.6
37
Once over the bridge the car park is on your right.

27.4
38
The end of the route.

27.5
Aberfoyle car park
Loch Ard forest. Parking is free in the large town car park and shops are close by if you have forgotten anything.  There is also the tourist infromation centre at the main entrance to the car park.
Parking is free in the large town car park and shops are close by if you have forgotten anything. There is also the tourist infromation centre at the main entrance to the car park.
Coming down the hill towards stables
Loch Ard forest. This is the first real open view on the route and can offer some glorious photo opertunities.  That said, this seems to be one of those places where the picture doesn't do it justice.  This is a gradual slope downwards and is a great part
This is the first real open view on the ro
Coming down the hill towards stables
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Coming down the hill towards stables
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Coming down the hill towards stables
Loch Ard forest. When it is snowing the run down this section can be hard going.  It seems to have either too much snow or thick ice - perhaps one day we will get it with just a small fresh covering.
When it is snowing the run down this section can be hard going. It seems to have either too much snow or thick ice - perhaps one day we will get it with just a small fresh covering.
Duchray water bridge
Loch Ard forest. Bridge and viaduct over Duchray water.  A fine example of Victorian build.
Bridge and viaduct over Duchray water. A fine example of Victorian build.
Duchray water bridge
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Duchray water bridge
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Pump house
Loch Ard forest. Heading towards the old pump house for the viaduct.
Heading towards the old pump house for the viaduct.
Pump house
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
View from pump house
Loch Ard forest. Take a little detour and climb the grassy slope up to the pump station.
Take a little detour and climb the grassy slope up to the pump station.
Viaduct
Loch Ard forest. One of the many viaducts this route takes you past.
One of the many viaducts this route takes you past.
Second viaduct
Loch Ard forest. Another viaduct on the route
Another viaduct on the route
Viaduct
Loch Ard forest. More Victorian engineering
More Victorian engineering
View point
Loch Ard forest. First of the views overlooking Loch Ard
First of the views overlooking Loch Ard
Main view point
Loch Ard forest. Depending on the weather the views from this high point can be superb
Depending on the weather the views from this high point can be superb
Main view point
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Main view point
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Main view point
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Main view point
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Main view point
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Turning point
Loch Ard forest. Although you turn left here, the route to the right can provide some lovely photos.  Take 0.5Km down to the loch and then return.
Although you turn left here, the route to the right can provide some lovely photos. Take 0.5Km down to the loch and then return.
Down at loch level
Loch Ard forest. The path is right at the loch edge
The path is right at the loch edge
Loch ard
Loch Ard forest. Our favourite spot and offers great photo opertunities.
Our favourite spot and offers great photo opertunities.
Loch ard
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Loch ard
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Loch ard
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Loch ard
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Loch ard
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Path from Kinlochard
Loch Ard forest. A really nice spot on the run in amongst the trees
A really nice spot on the run in amongst the trees
View from up top the viaduct
Loch Ard forest. Climb up the grassy slope to get some intersting pictures
Climb up the grassy slope to get some intersting pictures
View back toward viaduct
Loch Ard forest. Another viaduct view
Another viaduct view
Last hill
Loch Ard forest. The last climb on the route, which is also the highest.
The last climb on the route, which is also the highest.
Last hill
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
Not a gravestone
Loch Ard forest. Looks a little like a gravestone, but is actually a marker for one of the vent shafts on the water route.
Looks a little like a gravestone, but is actually a marker for one of the vent shafts on the water route.
Back to Aberfoyle
Loch Ard forest. Aberfoyle looking very splendid in the winter sunshine
Aberfoyle looking very splendid in the winter sunshine
Back to Aberfoyle
Loch Ard forest. Image from Loch Ard forest
Image from Loch Ard forest
End and back at the car park
Loch Ard forest. Shops are available on the main road from the car park.  Also a good picnic area and tourist information centre.
Shops are available on the main road from the car park. Also a good picnic area and tourist information centre.
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