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Ben Ledi

Length
10.1 Kms
Elevation gain
804.3 m
Max elevation
879 m
Difficulty
***
Rating
***
Type
Loop
Route id
552
Main road
0 Kms
Country road
1.5 Kms
Dirt road
0.7 Kms
Dirt path
5.1 Kms
Trail
2.8 Kms
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Directions to start point
Ben Ledi is just outside of the village of Callander and its location makes it a very popular walking route. If you like solitude, then this is not the route for you. We first did this run during the old Ben Ledi hill race that used to be held up to 2017 and it's a cracker. The route described here is slightly different from the race as we take advantage of the small car park that's available rather than the field that was used for the race.
Once you are parked up you have a short distance on the small tarmac road before heading up hill on the well sign-posted trail route up the hill. This is one of those routes where it's all uphill with only the occasional and short sections where it levels off.
Just before the
1 Kms
mark the route crosses one of the forest roads. The sign informs you that the route to the top is not sign-posted from this point, but the path all the way up is good. Sections of the route from this point are stone stairs which can get very slippy especially on the way down if you decide to just come back the way you went.
All the way up the views are great. You see lochs Venachar and Lubnaig and if you look to the east you will see Stirling castle and the Wallace monument. The strange part of this is the views seem better lower down compared to the top.
The route climbs and heads south before turning back north and up to the top. Although the climb is relentless it's not too tough and a wee rest lets you take in the views. The top has its usual trig point and on this one a cross dedicated to a lost life from the mountain rescue people. The chances of getting the top to yourself are slim unless you are starting off really early. This is a popular route for the walkers after all.
Continuing the route from the top starts of a whole new challenge as for the most part the path is not obvious. The route becomes very boggy in parts and in all our attempts so far we have ended up on our backside at some point. This goes on for about
2 Kms
to
3 Kms
and is actually good fun so don't let it put you off. The route heads northwest before turning to the right and heads east back towards Loch Lubnaig.
A style over the fence marks the end of the faint route and from there a better path gradually improves downhill until you cross the forest road. After crossing the road you descend on a trail again through what used to be forest. This short section has a fair path but be careful as it does get slippy and is full of tree routes. During the days of the Ben Ledi race this was a favourite area for photographers.
The short trail section puts you on to a good quality forest and from there all downhill onto the tarmac rood outside the small forest village. A right turn onto this road leads you back to the car park after about
2 Kms
.
Route directions
Kms
1
From the car park head back along the tarmac road

0
2
Just over 100 m you take a left up the hill following the Ben Ledi signs

0.1
3
The trail path meets the forest road. Go straight over and follow the train path.

0.8
4
Getting close to the top now, keep on the path

3.3
5
The top. Follow the fence line the opposite way from which you came

3.8
6
You meet the forest road. Turn right for about 30 m

7.7
7
Take the trail path on your left

7.7
8
The trail path now meets a forest road heading right. Take this

8
9
This is the start and end line of the old hill race

8.6
10
Follow the dirt road heading towards the loch

8.7
11
At the tarmac road turn right

8.7
12
And you are back at the car park

10.1
Start and finish
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One of the small parking areas
Start and finish
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The small tarmac road near the car park
Start of the climb
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Good quality path marks start of path.
Start of the climb
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A foggy morning looking east
Start of the climb
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Mist staying in the glen, this on Christmas day 2019
Crossing forest road
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The path crosses a forest road
Climb
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Quickly gaining height
Back towards Loch Lubnaig
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Great views come with the height
Back towards Loch Lubnaig
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Loch Lubnaig below
Back towards Loch Lubnaig
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Early morning mist
Back towards Loch Lubnaig
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Not Loch Lubnaig, but looking east
Climbing higher
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Getting towards the end of the climb
Climbing higher
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Towards the east
Climbing higher
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View uphill
The high point
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View at the top
The high point
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Winter morning at the top
The high point
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Trig point at the summit
Start the descent
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The route starts to loop round the hill
Turning back towards the start
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The loch appears
Turning back towards the start
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Boggy section
Turning back towards the start
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Faint path can be seen
Faint path
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The path is initially hard to spot
Faint path
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More boggy section
Path improving
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Once beyond a gate the path improves
Last descent
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The last descent section is full of tree roots across the path.
Last descent
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Sometimes the path is good
Hill race start and end
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The start and finish line of the old hill race
Hill race start and end
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The hill race car park
Looking up at Ben Ledi
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From the tarmac road back to the car park
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