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Loch Lomond, Trossachs & Glasgow

Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park is the most accessible national park in Scotland with a fantastic combination of lochs, glens, and mountains. With 22 lochs including the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain by surface area, Loch Lomond, and puts the mountains into mountain biking with 21 munro's and19 corbetts.

LLTNP Credit Scotty Laughland

LLTNP & Glasgow Highlights

Aberfoyle

We were tempted to call this section 'Gravelfoyle' due to the success of developing the gravel scene and offer by the local community group, Bike Trossachs.

And what an offer Aberfoyle has for gravel riding with over 200km of forest roads and trails within just a 12km radius and several loops for all levels of fitness and rider heading out from the town. The group has big plans for the area and it will be exciting to see how this growing scene keeps on developing.

It is not just for gravel riding though with the town sporting a small but fun bike park and several enduro (v.steep & slidey) trails - there is good riding for lots of different types of mountain bikers.

LLTNP Isla

Isla Short riding her home town trails near Aberfoyle. Credit: Scotty Laughland


Balquhidder

The historical home of none other than Rob Roy McGregor, Balquhidder is now home to a unique set of natural trails which have been built and maintained by the community.

Thanks to the Balquhidder Trail Crew there are 5 natural singletrack trails, a 1.7k XC loop with singletrack and B road, and 2 big hill days out with 16-20k of mountain riding which can be extended or shortened depending on how you are feeling.

LLTNP Credit Scotty Laughland 2

Scotty on the Balquhidder Trails.


Glasgow

Thanks to Scotland hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2014, we got a new venue for riding in our largest city, Cathkin Braes.

Since the course was built and launched in 2013, the trails haven't stood still with the introduction of a tarmac pump track, jump line, and new sections of trails.

There are also trails in Polock Park and a small set of trails and pump tracks at Cunnigar Loop (also features awesome bouldering walls and children's playpark)

If you fancy getting your BMX on then Glasgow is an excellent place to be with the race track, with pump track alongside, at Glasgow BMX Centre, a quality skatepark at Kelvingrove Park, and indoor parks at the Loading Bay and Unit 23.

LLTNP Cathkin

Big Mountain/Adventure Riding

Many of the mountains in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park are ridable and are an amazing day out.

Being so accessible to the big population bases in Scotland, the main paths in LLTNP can get really busy. As such, riders should consider, as always, how that will affect your ride, especially descending, and that you will need to be ready to give way to walkers on the paths. Often it is better to plan your rides on these hills on quieter days and consider sunrise or sunset expeditions to avoid the busy times for both your enjoyment and other users.

At times the paths in LLTNP can seem less remote and wild than some other areas of Scotland however the weather can change quickly, the descents can be rough and challenging and you (or a member of your group) could have an accident. Good preparation can really help you stay safe on the hills.

Highly recommend reading our 'Into the Wild' page to help you prepare for your ride.

LLTNP Scotty and D Og

Big views and fun paths in the national park


Inspiration for your LLTNP & Glasgow Trip

To minimise our environmental impact we are promoting riders to visit our key destinations and stay for as long as possible.

We hope that riders will consider their impact - travel as sustainably as they can, eat and drink local, give back to the trails they ride, and ride responsibly - considering their impact on other users, mountain rescue teams, landowners/managers, and the environment.

The easiest way to see all travel options into and around LLTNP in one place is by using the National Park Journey Planner (available online or as an iOS/Google Play app). This tool makes it easier to research, plan and book your day trip. You can even compare the carbon emissions of different transport modes too.

More information including flights, ferries and more can be found on the LLTNP website.

The National Park also have this handy guide on how to combine your ride with public transport.

Train: You can access Glasgow via most lines of the Scotrail service. From Glasgow, you can access the North of the National Park via the Scotrail Highland Explorer which now has a dedicated Bike Carriage with the capacity to store 20 bikes including e-bike charging points. The train stops at Arrochar, Ardlui, Crianlarich, and Tyndrum which are all in the park.

You can also access the South end of the park via the Balloch line although there is currently limited availability for bike storage and we recommend (attempting) to book your bike onto the train in advance of travelling. If you are unable to book your bike on the train, and although it is not guaranteed, we do find the train guards and staff generally take a reasonable approach to taking your bike on a train. If there is no space then please be polite and considerate towards all staff (we know you will but just in case)

Bus:

There are two Citylink bus routes that cross the National Park.

  • one of them going to Fort William/Skye from Glasgow has stops at Balloch, Duck Bay Beach, Luss, Inverbeg, Tarbet, Inveruglas, Ardlui, Inverarnan, Crianlarich and Tyndrum
  • the other route going to Oban/Campbeltown also has stops at Arrochar, Ardgartan, Rest & Be Thankful and Benmore Botanic Gardens

See the Citilink coach timetables.

The official line from Citylink is that bikes will be allowed in luggage compartment with a 'bike sock/cover' put over it - if there is space.

Car: We recognise that a car, or van, is a really flexible and handy option for mountain biking trips. Covid considerations/restrictions should be taken into account, however, when possible we would recommend sharing lifts and minimising any unnecessary journeys. Where possible, park up and ride from your accommodation.

The LLTNP is brimming with local, healthy, and delicious food and drink options - check out this comprehensive guide.

If you are planning on riding around Glasgow and fancy a night out then there are so many options from Michelin star restaurants to quality and reasonably priced experiences. And Glasgow never disappoints for night life! Check this out on the People Make Glasgow website.

Hotels: There is a good selection of hotels across Glasgow and LLTNP. Please consider booking with Expedia through this link - so, 5% of your booking will go to either Bike Trossachs or Balquhidder Trail Crew to help them maintain and develop the trail network you will be riding.

Camping: We highly recommend staying in a recognised campsite where there will be facilities including toilets, showers, and waste disposal on site.

Please be aware that the LLTNP has camping bylaws where, at certain times of the year, you are not permitted to wild camp. Please find more information including where, when, and how you should camp responsibly in the park.

Campervans: We highly recommend booking your campervan into a recognised campsite. Access rights do not include motor vehicles. For more information visit our friends at Nature Scot.

Self-catering: There are plenty of self-catering options too. So if you are looking for a quiet secluded getaway for two or a large property for a gathering of friends - check out our friends at VisitScotland for some fantastic options.

Bike Trossachs manage the Aberfoyle Bike Park and are developing a series of gravel routes from Aberfoyle.

The Balquhidder Trail Crew manages its local trail network.

With the exception of the Aberfoyle Bike Park and the trails in Glasgow which are purpose-built trails, all the other trails, and paths in the area you are riding under the right of responsible access as defined in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

We highly recommend reading through all elements of our Do The Ride Thing guidance to understand your rights and responsibilities.

due to its accessibility, the area's paths can seem less remote and wild than some other areas of Scotland however the weather can change quickly, the trails can be challenging and you (or a member of your group) could have an accident. Good preparation can really help you stay safe on the hills.

The area is also very busy with other users of the outdoors please be respectful and friendly at all times, make sure other users know you are there and be ready to give way at all times, and we can all enjoy this beautiful area together.


Trail Maps & Apps For Destination

To help you plan your visit to the area we have collated the official trail centre maps and rider-driven apps which can help you discover the best trails across the area.

Rider populated apps are a great way to discover new trails however they may not be up to date with trail conditions and we recommend doing further research before you ride.

Please ride responsibly on all trails - follow our Do The Ride Thing guidance.



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