Today’s walk from Rowardennan to Inverarnan will be slightly shorter than Day 2 but could feel a little bit more difficult due to the previous couple of days walking. There will be lots of forestry today and more great views of Loch Lomond as you approach the Highlands.
You will start on a minor road which heads towards the visitor’s centre and the beginning of the path to ascend Ben Lomond. Keep on going and at the youth hostel take the path to the left which leads into the forest, again looking out for the thistle logo.
There will shortly be a metal gate to go through shortly proceeded by a building. Upon passing this building the path will split into two. The thistle logo follows the route up towards more forestry but there is the option of taking the longer, lower route which follows the shoreline. However, be advised that while taking the lower route will let you see much better scenery, it will add around an hour onto your journey.
The forest path takes you on an upward gradient and can get muddy after it has rained. Once the path levels out the trees become much less dense and there is the opportunity to observe some great views across the loch. This section of path requires several small burns to be crossed, usually by small bridges and have a number of short uphill and downhill sections. This can be tiresome for those who are already becoming tired but most will manage this without any problems.
As you make progress, and especially on the summer time weekends, you may come across a marked increase in tourists. This is due to the area being popular with Loch cruise boats and bus tour groups. This is good for two main reasons: 1. The area is popular because of its natural beauty which you can enjoy. 2. There is a nearby hotel which is always welcoming to hikers and serves a wide range of refreshments.
After you have taken a break and enjoyed some refreshments, go past the hotel and rejoin the trail heading north. You are about to encounter a more difficult section which sometimes catches tired hikers out. The ground becomes more uneven and you must be wary of tree roots and loose stones, which can act as tripping hazards. There is also a series of ups and downs which can help test a walker’s endurance. Along this section is a chance to take a detour to visit Rob Roy’s Cave which is signposted from the West Highland Way path.
From here the path will stay close to the shoreline before coming to some wooden steps which are fairly steep, and can be very slippery when wet. However, once these have been climbed you will find yourself on an open expanse of grass and steadier footing.
After some more bridges and gates there is a short climb which leads onto some stunning views of Loch Lomond’s northern mountains. From here it is just a short walk to the northern tip of the loch and Beinglas Farm which offers camping, wigwams, B&B along with refreshments and a small shop.