The dramatic landscape around Callander is ideal for walking. The area also offers a wide range of walks suitable for all levels of fitness, ages and interest. Whatever walks you choose you can be sure of spectacular views and interesting flora and fauna. The Callander area is also steeped in history. The town was once on the front line of the Roman occupation of Britain, and the remains of a Roman camp can be seen to the south of Callander. Rob Roy McGregor trod the paths around this area and is buried in the kirkyard at nearby Balqhuidder.
This pack contains details on some of the walks on offer in the area and some background to allow you to choose which activity you want to undertake. More details are available from the staff at the hotel or from the local tourist office.
At the back of this pack are a series of questions about some of the things you may see or visit whilst out walking. By answering these questions correctly and returning it to reception at the Dalgair you can win a prize! Ask the hotel staff for more details.
These are a selection of walks in and around Callander and are easy to moderate.
An easy and pleasant walk to view these lovely falls produced where Keltie Water crosses a hard band of sandstone and conglomerate rock, the bedding planes of which have been tilted to a nearly vertical angle; the falls are at their best after some rainfall. The name derives from the Gaelic ‘breac’ meaning trout and ‘linn’ meaning pool. The return trip from the nearby car park takes less than an hour. Look for deer, hares, foxes and birds of prey especially in the early in the morning.
Callander Woodland Walks
Overlooking Callander is the steep rocky ridge known as the Callander Craigs, the lower slopes of which are thickly wooded with several excellent paths that provide Leny River, near the Falls – 6ktranquil woodland walks. These walks may be as short as fifteen minutes or several peaceful hours. If you feel fit, take your choice of two paths that take you up to the top of the Craigs in about an hour. This is highly recommended, especially for the views of Callander spread out below, Ben Ledi in all its glory, Loch Venachar, and also of the Forth Valley with Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument visible to the sharp eye. Access to the Lower and Upper Woodland walks can be made from several points within minutes of the high street. Any of these Craigs or woodland walks may be combined with a visit to the Bracklinn falls.
Start at the western end of town. The footpath is accessed at the side of the Callander sports Centre on Tulipan Crescent. Take the left hand path and climb steeply through mixed woods containing some magnificent beech trees. Take care since beech mast provides a soft loose surface and much of the old wooden steps are rotten. After crossing a small bridge and passing several points where the trees open out to provide views over Callander, cross a final bridge to the summit where a cairn commemorates Queen Victoria. You may return from the summit to the bridge from which a steep descent can be made to the Upper Woodland Walk. On reaching the Forestry track, cross it heading slightly to the right and follow a path down to a bridge where you can go right to return to the starting Loch Venachar from Ben Gullipen – 6kpoint or straight on to descend to the Main Street.
For really excellent views over Callander, Loch Venachar,The Trossachs and the Forth Valley, walk up Ben Gullipen, a relatively gentle walk to a mast topped summit at 414 metres. Park at a large lay-by on the left of the A81 just about 6 km. from Callander. Cross the road and climb the gated track.
Bailefuil Walk, Strathyre
Starting from OS reference NN558173, as the previous walk continue to the point where a footpath leads right indicated by a green waymark. Take this path and continue along a forestry track with fine views over the valley. On reaching a major forestry track going left follow the sharp hairpin bend right. This track continues to the point at which you crossed it near the beginning of the walk. Watch out for the path ascending right, waymarked, and continue on 100 metres and descend left to the starting point. An easy, enjoyable walk, approximately 5 kms.
Creag an Tuirc
Starting at Balquhidder Church, the site of Rob Roy’s grave, this 3 km. walk offers stunning views down the Glen with Loch Voil stretching away into the distance. Follow the Kirkton Glen path steeply up through forest and turn right just after the water supply building on the right. Ass you approach a small hill on the right look for a signposted path leading up it to the top of a rocky outcrop overlooking the church. This is a pleasant spot for a picnic with plenty of grassy areas for a quiet siesta. Descend by the alternative woodland path back to the church.
A nice easy walk through a lovely glen though with a steep start if commencing from Ardchullarie More on the west shore of Loch Lubnaig at grid reference NN584137. This is the best end start from if very wet or icy since the gradient is gentle on the descent to Loch Earn at the other end of the walk. Beware of the river ford approximately 0.6 km. south of Glen Ample Farm at grid reference NN597198. After heavy rainfall or a thaw in winter this crossing can be extremely treacherous and it is advisable to take the higher forestry track to the west.
Ben A’an – 461m
This small peak is a little gem which offers rewarding and magnificent views far out of proportion to the effort required to reach its summit. Ben A’an overlooks Loch Katrine and immediately below you can view the boat stage from which the steamship S.S. Sir Walter Scott sails. If you are there at 11 am during the season you will see the steamer sail down the loch, passing below the towering mass of Ben Venue.
As an alternative to the Achray Forest Drive there are many walks through this part of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. One of the best starts at the Brig of Turk and continues up to the view point near Dukes Pass and the through the forest and onto Loch Achray, and along its shores back to Brig of Turk.
Queen Elizabeth Forest Park Visitor Centre
Visit the Visitor Centre, learn about the local wildlife, the Great Highland Fault and walk the woodland trails. A pleasurable way to spend the afternoon. Combine it with a boat trip to Inchmahome Priory or a drive through the Achray Forest. There are three waymarked walks here all of which have information boards at points of interest.
Distance 0.5 miles, duration 20 minutes, easy. A short easy walk, with handrail all the way, to a lovely waterfall concealed in the forest. Information boards at various points along the walk. Follow the yellow waymarks.
Oak Coppice Trail
Highland Boundary Fault Trail – 9kDistance 1.25 miles, duration 45 minutes, moderate. See how oak woods were managed 200 – 300 years ago. Follow the green waymarks.
Fault Distance 4 miles, duration 2 hours, strenuous – boots advised. A beautiful forest walk with information boards at various points along the walk giving introductory notes to local geology, the main feature of which is the Highland Boundary Fault. At the highest point of the trail you can take a steep side-trip up to the radio mast at 312m for fine views in to south, west and north. Follow the blue waymarks.
A circular walk along the shores of Glen Finglas Reservoir and up the Glen. Good views south, and most enjoyable. Not difficult but about 13 miles long with a highest point of approximately 460m. Allow 5 – 6 hours.
Advanced walks – The Bens
Ben Ledi – 879m
Visible from almost everywhere in Callander, especially looking along the High Street, Ben Ledi towers magnificently above the town honouring its Gaelic name which means ‘Hill of God’. Given a clear day good views from the summit include, Loch Katrine, Ben Lomond, The Arrochar Alps, Ben More, The Tarmachans, Ben Lawers, Beinn Each, Stuc á Chroin and Ben Vorlich. To the south, the Forth Valley can be seen stretching away with Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument clearly visible. The usual ascent is up the south ridge starting from the car park just south of Loch Lubnaig on the western bank of the River Leny, grid reference NN586092. Take the turning marked Stank Road. The round trip takes about 3 hours.
Ben Venue – 727m
Towering over The Trossachs, this peak offers stupendous views of Loch Katrine, Loch Achray, and Loch Venachar. To the north can be seen Ben More, The Crianlarich Hills, The Tamarachans and Ben Lawers to name just a few. This is a serious peak, not to be tackled lightly. The peak may be ascended from the south, 8 miles, and returning by the same route, or by starting from Loch Achray Hotel to the east and ascending via the Coire nan Uruisgean. The descent is then made south easterly into the Achray Forest.
Ben Vorlich – 985m
Ben Vorlich from Stuc á Chroin – 5kThis Munro can be approached from a number of directions; southwards from Ardvorlich on the shores of Loch Earn; eastwards from Glen Ample over Beinn Each and Stuc á Chroin, more serious owing to the steep rocky descent required of the latter; and northwards from Callander either via Stuc á Chroin or along Ben Vorlich’s southern ridge. The return route may be similarly chosen according to transport arrangements. The best alternative, if Callander based, is bus to the South Loch Earn Road and walk back to Callander via Ben Vorlich and Stuc á Chroin or the south ridge and hence to Callander.
Stuc á Chroin – 972m
A lovely spot with good views especially of Ben Vorlich. Can be reached directly from Callander via Braeleny Farm, Arivurichardich and the southern ridge, from Glen Ample via Beinn Each, or directly from Ben Vorlich. For this alternative ascend Glen Vorlich from Loch Earn and then descend the southwest ridge to the foot of the steep rocky face of Stuc á Chroin. Can be ascended by a precipitous path or turned on the right avoiding the difficulty.
Ben Each – 811m
A peak with good views along Glen Ample, this ascent provides an alternative access to Stuc á Chroin – 972m and Ben Vorlich. Take the Glen Ample path from Ardchullarie More on Loch Lubnaig ascending through the forest to the forestry track. Turn left and continue to climb less steeply following the stream deeply cut on your left. This is the same route as for the Glen Ample walk. Continue until you reach a prominent stream crossing the path and turn right shortly after. Ascend the hill heading towards a large boulder and then zig zag up. Depending on the time of year and usage a footpath may be visible, however to reach the summit just continue to climb upwards. Return the way you came or descend to the north and follow the footpath along the knobbly ridge line until you can reach the col leading to the west face of Stuc á Chroin – 972m. Ascend this and on to Ben Vorlich , to Callander via the south ridge, or back the way you came.
Ben Lomond – 974m
Standing tall above Loch Lomond, this peak offers the opportunity of wonderful views of the Loch, the Arrochar Alps, Loch Katrine and Ben Venue, Ben More and many others. You can approach from Rowardennan in the south up the long steady southern ridge, approximately 5 hours, or more steeply from Loch Dhu to the east. In summer the ascent is straight forward, but in winter it becomes a much more serious proposition.
The Crianlarich and Balquhidder Hills
This group of mountains is bordered to the south by Loch Voil and Loch Doine, to the north by Glen Dochart, to the east by Glen Ogle and to the west by Glen Falloch. The mountains are separated into several groups by glens running from north to south and these offer interesting walks in their own rights and in particular Kirkton Glen with the hidden Lochan an Eireannaich tucked below the looming crag Leum am Eireannaich which sits high up the head of the pass. Try climbing the impressive Rob Roy’s Putting Stone , just below the lochan to the south. The jewels in the crown though, are Ben More (1174m) and Stob Binnein (1165m) the highest peaks in the area, dominating the group and visible from as far away as Glasgow. These peaks look easier than they are and represent a lengthy excursion; in winter they become an extremely serious proposition and should not be taken lightly.