The Three Lochs Way
The Walking Gateway to Argyll and Bute
And a Great Trail* linking Loch Lomond, The Gareloch and Loch Long
Gentle pastoral landscapes around Balloch are gradually replaced by the scenic drama of mountain, crag and loch as the the Three Lochs Way crosses the Highland Boundary Fault and heads towards the mountains of the Southern Highlands. With Loch Lomond, The Gareloch and Loch Long as recurrent scenic backdrops, the Three Lochs Way takes you on a fascinating journey through place and time as it links a necklace of communities strung along the Clyde Sea Lochs fringe of Scotland’s first national park.
Rarely rising above 250 metres, the route's 55 kilometres (34 miles) can easily be walked in 3 to 4 days and with the West Highland railway line never far away, it also offers plenty of options for people seeking shorter day walks. Total ascent is approximately 1,000 metres.
Works currently under way on the Highlandman's Road will soon greatly improve links between Glen Fruin and Helensburgh and Rhu. We apologise for any temporary inconvenience which this will cause and ask walkers to try and avoid walking or riding on the parts of the path where the clay is still very soft. Meantime from Helensburgh, to avoid using the new path by the forest edge, there is still a wet but passable route which is a continuation of the access road from Rhu slightly to the north west of the new path. From Glen Fruin this route can be accessed by veering slightly to the right after you enter the forest area through the new gate. Helensburgh & District Access Trust thanks SCORE Environment, Helensburgh & District Round Table, Love Loch Lomond and Argyll & Bute Council LEADER who have provided the funding for this work.
Some short trackless sections still exist in the Goukhill Muir area between Balloch and Helensburgh where waymarking can be rudimentary and a map and compass or GPS unit may require to be used. Work associated with the John Muir Way project has now started here and extra care should be exercised near any earth moving plant which may be operating.
Website last updated 17/10/13 Apps last updated June 2013
Top Ten Highlights
1. Stoneymolan Road, a delightful ancient route linking Balloch and Cardross.
2. The stunning view over Loch Lomond when you cross the Highland Boundary Fault at Goukhill Muir.
3. Helensburgh’s beautiful tree lined streets, especially colourful in Spring and Autumn.
4. Charles Rennie Macintosh’s elegant domestic architectural masterpiece, "The Hill House".
5. Peaceful Glen Fruin (but not in 1603 when 300 Macgregors routed a much larger force of Colquhouns in a major clan battle at the head of the glen).
6. Great views north of Garelochhead over Loch Long to the knobbly skyline of ‘Argyll’s Bowling Green’ and the ‘Arrochar Alps’.
7. The deserted ‘ferm toun’ of Morelaggan, beautifully sited overlooking Loch Long.
8. The craggy ‘Cobbler’, the area’s finest mountain and a must climb ‘Corbet’.
9. Delightful Glen Loin Woodlands, Site of Special Scientific Interest and home to red squirrels.
10. The impressive Sloy hydro electricity installations, built at the end of WWII with help from German POWs.
Links to other long distance routes
In Balloch the Three Lochs Way links with National Cycle route 7. At Inveruglas, Inverbeg and Tarbet there are summer ferry links to the West Highland Way and at Arrochar you can join The Cowal Way which in turn links via the Portavadie -Tarbert ferry across Loch Fyne to the Kintyre Way . Click on the links for more information.
Make it a round trip
The Three Lochs Way is managed and maintained by the voluntary efforts of members of Helensburgh & District Access Trust which urgently requires funding for improvements to the route. Click here to donate on this site via Paypal. Alternatively donations can be sent to Alan R A Day, Secretary, Helensburgh & District Access Trust, 4 Sutherland Place, Helensburgh G84 8BF. Cheques should be made payable to Helensburgh & District Access Trust.
Advertising on this website
All proceeds from adverts on this site go to Helensburgh and District Access Trust to be used for the maintenance of the Three Lochs Way together with the rest of the Trust's path network in the Helensburgh area.
Find out how little it costs to advertise by clicking on this Advertising Rates Page link.
Dogs on the Three Lochs Way
Dogs allowed to run freely can create problems for wildlife and land managers. In spring and early summer, lambs, roe deer and ground nesting birds are all especially vulnerable. At other times of year dogs on the loose can cause problems for the people whose job it is to keep deer numbers under control. Dog fouling has also become a problem on some parts of the route, especially the section close to the Hill House car park in Helensburgh. Please think of others - bag and bin it responsibly and please keep your dog under close control at all times!
In developing and promoting the Three Lochs Way, Helensburgh and District Access Trust (The Trust) wishes to point out that the physical activity and remote locations which may be experienced while traversing the Three Lochs Way route can involve an element of risk, in respect of which, Helensburgh and District Access Trust accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever.
Furthermore, while Helensburgh and District Access Trust has produced this website in good faith and works hard to make sure that the information it contains is up to date and accurate, The Trust accepts no responsibility or liability arising from any error or omission contained therein.
Still free! New improved version is here!
Links and QR codes below
View My Stats
Our Funding Partners