The Trossachs hold in store for you an amazing day out in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and The Great Trossachs Forest, each part of two National Scenic Areas. There are walks to enjoy for everyone and fantastic wildlife to see. Before you embark into the world of trees however, the visit to Inchmahome Priory, reached by a passenger boat, starts your day off on a highlight.
Located on an island on the Lake of Menteith (Scotland’s only lake!) by the Port of Menteith village is Inchmahome Priory. This peaceful monastery was founded in 1238 and much of the 13th century building remains.
If you are coming from Callander take the A81 signposted for Glasgow. Follow the A81 for 6.5 miles/10.5km when you reach the signposted turn-off for Inchmahome Priory (on your left).
If you are travelling from Glasgow, follow the road signage for Aberfoyle. Just before your reach Aberfoyle on the A81 you will see Inchmahome Priory signposted at the roundabout. Follow the signage by exiting the roundabout to the right, staying on the A81. From here it’s about 3.4 miles/5.5km until you reach the signposted turn-off for Inchmahome Priory (on your right).
Turn left on leaving Inchmahome Priory car park and head back up to the main road. Turn left onto the A81 signposted for Glasgow/Aberfoyle, but also for the ‘Trossachs Trail’. When you come to a roundabout after 3.4 miles/5.5km follow the ‘Trossachs Trail’, exiting the roundabout to the right onto the A821 and you will reach Aberfoyle. Shortly after you pass the Co-op and Post Office the A821 takes a sharp corner to the right. Follow this change of direction and continue along the ‘Trossachs Trail’ up the hill. After just under a mile/a little less than 1km you see the entrance to The Lodge car park on your right. The Lodge is a great base with plenty of activities to enjoy from here.
A little further up the hill, on the right hand side, you can join the Three Lochs Forest Drive, a 7¼ miles (11.5km) long one-way route that follows a quiet forest road taking you past Loch Achray and Drunkie, as well as another smaller loch, Reòidhte.
Leaving The Lodge (or Three Lochs Drive) turn right back onto the A821 and drive over the Duke’s Pass in the direction of Callander. After 7 miles/11km on this very scenic road you reach Brig o’ Turk. You can also stop over at the beautiful Loch Katrine on your way to Brig o’ Turk or (if time allows and if you are appropriately equipped) you can climb Ben A’an. A very steep path, rocky at times, with stunning views from the top (allow 2-4hrs; car park is off the A821 just after the turn-off for Loch Katrine). This mountain walk is for fit and experienced walkers. Read more about The Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve here.