This walk from Helensburgh to Garelochead should take you around 2 and half to 3 hours to complete and it is walking on roads, and tracks, through woodland and scenic countryside. This is a gentle walk, so it will appeal to all levels, including beginners. There might be some muddy parts and the Highlandman’s Road is not recommended for dogs during spring and summer, due to the cows and their calves.
The walk begins from the Hillhouse car park in Helensburgh, through woodland and it is a pleasant route crossing a number of footbridges and with views over the Firth of Clyde and The Muirshield Regional Park. A right turn at the waymark, takes you over a stile and into an open field, this might be muddy, but it doesn’t stay that way for long, soon you will reach a track and then a minor road, heading downhill towards Fruin. After a left turn over the Black Bridge at Fruin water you will have a pleasant hour or so walking through the open countryside.
At Strone House you might be lucky and see some Peacocks, Hens and Cocks. Keep walking and you’ll come to the boulder that commemorates the Battle of Glen Fruin, which took place in 1603, between the Colquhouns and the MacGregors. It is said to be one of the last major battles between the Scottish clans. Further along and there are Military Buildings from World War II and beyond them, is Yankee Road, this road was built by the Americans in a Lease/Lend agreement at the start of the Second World War. Today the land leads into an MOD training area.
The final descent into Garelochead is 2 km further along Yankee Road, over a fence and along a steep untracked trail which is waymarked with red and white tape. It leads down to the roundabout on the A814. Take the cycle track through the metal self- closing gate and you will find yourself in Station Road and close to Garelochead Railway Station. If you are staying at Garelochead and don’t want to do the last leg of the walk, your hosts can pick you up at the Southern entrance to the MOD training area.
Garelochead is a small village on the Gare Loch, close to the Clyde Naval Base. It has a rail station and a bus station and it used to be a busy tourist resort, but in the Second World War it became an American army base and today there is an MOD training centre just outside the village.