Loch Ard loop via Uamh Mhor
A medium medium-sized loop from Aberfoyle and one that mixes it up a good bit. There is a very short section on the small country road before this route becomes well maintained dirt roads. For most of the route it stays that was though there is a couple of short trail sections, but these too are well well-formed.
The first highlight is Lochan Spling which is set amongst the trees and includes come local art work such as the fish shown in the main picture. On a still and sunny morning a camera is a must. From the lochan you have a short climb and loop before hitting the first trail section that leads to the forest car park. The car park can be used as an alternative starting point for this route.
After the car park you are starting to climb steadily before heading off on the steep trail path on the right and up Uamh Mhor. Although this is steep the trail does have steps to help you on your way and even a bench at the top to rest. You can see the Wallace monument in Stirling from this vantage point and also pick out at least one of our tougher routes on the hills to the north.
From the top a short downhill on the trail takes you back onto the larger paths and a run through the trees all the way to Loch Ard where numerous picture opportunities come up. The path then heads back up hill and soon you are heading back to Aberfoyle.
There are several place where you pass the Victorian viaducts on the way. These used to supply water from Loch Katrine to Glasgow and are still very impressive today. At around
14 Kmsyou have the main climb of the route but it is not too bad and if you take a stop then look back towards the old Victorian pumping station. Once at the top you have a mostly downhill
4 Kmsor so all the way back to Aberfoyle.
The start at the Aberfoyle main car park
Out of the car park and across the small bridge.
Turn right going up Duchray road. A small letter box on the corner marks this single track road.
Road goes from tar to dirt
Turn right past the barrier keeping Lochan Spling to your left
Turn left following the path around Lochan Spling
At the tee turn right, signs for Inversnaid
Once at the car park, follow the road marked for Inversnaid. A car barrier marks the entrance.
After a climb, take the small path on the right. This is marked by one of the forest route markers - we think it is meant to be dark blue. This is a short sharp climb
Once over the small hill turn left back onto a main dirt path.
Take the road heading down to the right. And keep on this main path
Keep on the main path and avoid paths heading off to the right.
What a spot - enjoy it before starting a longish slow climb
At the tee in the road head up to the left and stay on this road.
A cross roads. Turn to the right and the road drops slightly
Just after the viaduct turn left and stay on this road
At the tee, turn left following signs to Aberfoyle
Just after Duchray cottage you turn up the hill forking to the right. Do not follow the road marked for Aberfoyle - much too easy.
Start the main climb in the route. Not steep but long
And now mainly downhill to Aberfoyle
At cross roads turn left and stay on this path.
Keep on the main path avoiding turns to the left.
Road turns to single tarred road
Road forks to the left and takes you all the way back to Aberfoyle. Not far
And that is you done.
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