4.5 of 5 (2 votes)

Ben Lomond Hike: using train and ferry

A leisurely walk (mountain (above 600m)) in national park Loch Lomond and the Trossachs in Argyll and Bute, Scotland, about 9.48km (5.89 mi) long with an estimated walking time of about 4:30. It is suitable for families with children, but unsuitable for prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs.
Elevation Profile
Gain 920m (3018ft)
Loss 918m (3011ft)
Max. Elevation 910m (2985ft)
Elevation (total) 1838m (6029ft)
Start & End
Rowardennan
Distance 9.48km
(5.89mi)
Duration ~4:30
Difficulty  
Leisurely
Created by Phillip on 07 Nov 2011
Ben Lomond, the most southerly of Scotland's Munros is widely regarded as "Glasgow's Munro"ť and, given that it's less than two hours out of the city by public transport – admittedly not your average commute, but an hour on the magical West Highland Railway, then a water bus across Loch Lomond – it’s an appropriate and well- deserved accolade. Arriving back at Tarbet Pier at 17.30, we take full advantage of the gorgeous evening, chilling out with  fish and chips and a great vista across the loch, before taking the short walk back to the station for the return to Queen Street at 20.08. (On Saturdays between March and September, an additional train calls at Arrochar at 18.02, arriving  Queen Street 19.20.)  Photos of the walk along with more eco-friendly cycling touring, trekking, walking trips, by boot, bike and using public transport, with advice on kit, accommodation and best cake stops, visit: www.bootandbike.co.uk

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Walk Map

Waypoints

OS Grid NS357986
From Arrochar & Tarbet station, turn left for the 10 minute walk down to the pier at Tarbet to catch the water bus operated by Cruise Loch Lomond (between April and October) that links Tarbet with Rowardennan and Inversnaid on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond. Sailing at 10am, the boat – fellow passengers include ornithologists, photographers, sightseers, walkers for the West Highland Way to Inversnaid, climbers for the Ben, cyclists for the heart of the Trossachs and Rufus, the black field spaniel, who looks up for all of these activities – reaches Rowardennan in about 45 minutes.
Rowardennan Car Park About 0.33 km (~0.21 miles) from
OS Grid NS360985
From the pier a few steps through the car park towards the toilets brings you to the path marked “Ben Lomond”. And, from here, just stick to the obvious, well-surfaced path. But remember, it can still be a bleak and potentially dangerous climb in poor weather, so do ensure you always carry a map, navigation aid, wet weather gear and adequate food and water.
Through the woods About 1.07 km (~0.66 miles) from
OS Grid NS369991
The climb starts in woodland, for about a mile until we emerge into the open hill through a gate. Don’t be too surprised if you meet some unimpressed-looking Hielan coos monitoring your progress at this point.
Sron Aonaich Ridge About 2.20 km (~1.37 miles) from
OS Grid NN372013
Although fairly steep to begin with, the route levels out along the Sron Aonaich Ridge and after about two miles, reach a final, steep section of switchbacks to the summit.
Ben Lomond summit About 1.61 km (~1 miles) from
OS Grid NN367028
After some well-earned rest and another wondrous circular panorama – this time taking in the Arroachar Alps, Lochs Lomond, Sloy and Katrine, the Campsie Fells to the south and Lomond Hills to the east - either retrace your steps or head north west from the summit.
Ptarmigan ridge About 1.04 km (~0.65 miles) from
OS Grid NN358022
Descend steeply along a rocky ridge, then across some stepping stones to the Ptarmigan Ridge. Here you will enjoy more breathtaking views of the loch on a straightforward route.
Rowardennan Hotel About 3.23 km (~2.01 miles) from
OS Grid NS358990
The return boat sails from Rowardennan at 16.45, so it is essential to work out your timings carefully, particularly if the weather turns inclement: in our case, despite spending too long sunbathing and admiring the views from the summit, we make it back with enough time to enjoy a cold drink at the Rowardennan Hotel (www.rowardennanhotel.co.uk). Light refreshments are available on board the water bus, and there are a number of hotels, restaurants and tea rooms in Tarbet.

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