The water board road by Loch Katrine has the unique feature that it has no cars, bikes however are allowed. Add to this that it is one of the loveliest roads in Britain and you have thirteen miles of pure delight. Pootling along for the first mile or so is a fine thing for little children as it is flat, but after that you meet a short hill.
The circular route is via Lochs Arklet, Chon and Ard. On normal roads this time but still very attractive. It doesn't matter which direction you bike it but cyclists doing the long distance route would need to do it clockwise starting at Aberfoyle. The pleasure steamer S.S. Sir Walter Scott sails on Loch Katrine, and combined cycle rides and steamboat sailings are possible.
Loch Katrine is 10 miles long and was the inspiration for Sir Walter Scott's The Lady of The Lake. Glengyle is the birthplace of the notorious outlaw or hero Rob Roy MacGregor. Loch Katrine has provided a water supply for Glasgow since 1859.
Steamboat sailings - The S.S. Sir Walter Scott which sails on Loch Katrine was built by Wm. Denny at Dumbarton and taken in sections up Loch Lomond by barge in 1899, then hauled up by horse and cart from Inversnaid; think of this if you cycle up. The original steam engines are still in use. Sailing times, from Trossachs Pier: 11.00am, 1.45pm, 3.15pm. From Stronachlachar: 12 noon only. Saturday afternoon sailings are 15 minutes later. No Saturday Stronachlachar sailing (to check times phone: 01877-376316).
Cycle Hire - In the summer cycle hire is available at Trossachs Pier; 01877 376284. Cycle hire is also available at Trossachs Backpackers near Callander. If you want to reserve your bike in advance phone: 01877 331200. They also have accommodation.
(Described as Stronachlachar to Aberfoyle.)
This is eleven miles, with a possible diversion of four miles each way to the Inversnaid Hotel on Loch Lomond for a bar lunch. The drop to Lochlomondside is long and steep.
The road to Aberfoyle is mainly downhill once you have climbed up to the T junction by Loch Arklet. There is some up and down by Loch Chon. There is a shop and post office at Kinlochard. Shortly after that you pass the Altskeith Hotel which serves bar food, tables outside with views of the loch.
After this there is a slight climb, then a descent to enter Aberfoyle which has a good choice of tea rooms and pubs. Aberfoyle has a tourist office, B&Bs, hotels and shops, some serving carry-out food.
The Scottish Wool Centre is in Aberfoyle. They have weaving demonstrations and often sheepdog demonstrations with live sheep. Naturally the product is for sale in the form of sweaters etc; there is a tea room.
If you have left a car at the Trossachs Pier you will have to return to it via the Duke's Pass, four more miles and a climb of 210 metres - good views though.
The S.S. Sir Walter Scott which sails on Loch Katrine was built by WM. Denny at Dumbarton and taken in sections up Loch Lomond by barge in 1899, then hauled up by horse and cart from Inversnaid; think of this if you cycle up. The original steam engines are still in use.
To check sailing times phone 01877 376316.
In the summer cycle hire is available at Trossachs Pier. Cycle hire is also available at Trossachs Backpackers near Callander.
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