A bike path on an old railway line, mainly easy cycling, great scenery.
This is a dedicated cycle route through some of the most beautiful scenery in Scotland. Most of it is on the former line of the Caledonian Railway Company. This was never a terribly successful operation, they were plagued by rock falls on to the line when it went up Glen Ogle and had to send an engine up early in the morning to check it out before they sent the passenger train up. The route is now part of National Cycle Network Route 7: Glasgow to Inverness.
Being mostly on a railway the gradients are generally reasonably gentle, though there are a few short steep sections at the access points. Watch out particularly for the zig zags near Loch Earn.
The main climb is getting over Glen Ogle. The A85 road climbs steeply at this point but the cycle route takes a easier approach. Most of the route is on a smooth dirt surface but there are a few tarmac sections.
Callander has a choice of hotels, shops and tea rooms and a large number of carry out food places. The Rob Roy Centre shares an old church building with the tourist office in the centre of the town. This has an audio-visual presentation about his life with translations in Spanish, French, German and Italian.
Lochearnhead and Strathyre are smaller but both have food shops and hotels. Killin is about the same size as Callander and has the same facilities including a youth hostel and a tourist office. There's an outdoor shop which hires bikes and carries some spare parts.
If you are coming from Loch Venachar and going north it is possible to avoid Main Street in Callander by following the cycle route signs after you cross the bridge over the River Teith, this takes you through a car park by the river.
If you are parking a car in Callander the main car park is by the Dreadnought Hotel which is unmistakable. Entry to the cycle route going north is about 100 metres north of the Dreadnought Hotel on the left.
South of the A821 the cycle route passes through a public park by the river. North of this it is clearly on the old railway line for the first mile. The railway crossed the river after that but the bridge is missing so the bike route continues on the west bank of the river using a path until just before Loch Lubnaig.
There is some car parking at the south end of Loch Lubnaig but it is often fully occupied by hill-walkers who are climbing Ben Ledi. Most of the route by Loch Lubnaig is flat with fine views of the loch and mountains. At the north end there is a short climb to join a forest road then a gradual descent, becoming steeper to Strathyre. There's a choice of hotels, pubs, tea rooms in Strathyre plus a shop.