Loch Lomond is a popular place for leisurely day trips, weekend getaways or longer escapes among the mountains and lochs of the Scottish Highlands. Plan an epic trip with this post full of ideas for things to do in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park – from scenic hiking routes, thrilling outdoor activities, the most scenic places in the area and charming villages to visit!

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The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is Scotland’s first national park. It spans from the hills and glens of the Southern Highlands to the remote corners of the Scottish west coast and is split into two parts by the Highland Boundary Fault.

Across this variety of landscapes, the park is packed with places to visit and things to do. Its location just north of Glasgow and within easy reach from Edinburgh makes it an incredibly popular getaway in Scotland.

While many road trippers come through the park on their way to the west coast, the islands or northern Highlands, it is well worth exploring the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs in more depth.

Whether you are planning a day trip (or a few) or looking into planning a staycation in the Scottish Highlands, this post will help you make the most of your time in the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park.

This post is an inspiring guide for planning trips to the national park and includes 40 things to do in all four regions of the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park:

  • Places and activities to enjoy the beautiful scenery,
  • Charming villages to visit,
  • The best walks and hikes in the national park,
  • Fun outdoor activities to try in the area,
  • Where to soak up local history, heritage and art,
  • Ways to learn about the national park,

and some practical tips for your trip!

Contributors: This post would not have been possible without the help of two absolute experts – Ksenia Zizina from For All Things Creative and Erin Doogan from Beauty Creep. Both know the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park really well and shared many of their favourite places to visit in my Instagram Live series #WildForScotland. Watch our conversations here!

You might also like: Responsible Tourism in Scotland – 14 Travel Tips for a Positive Impact

Loch Lomond, Scotland

Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Travel Guide

Where is the national park? 

Located about an hour north of Glasgow, the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park covers a large area of the south-western highlands. It has four regions: Loch Lomond at the centre, the Trossachs east of Loch Lomond, Breadalbane in the north and north-west of the park, and Cowal in the west and south-west.

Explore Scotland’s national parks and natural beauty with my ready-made Mountains & Lochs itinerary!

How much time to spend in the national park?

You can visit the national parks on day trips from Edinburgh or Glasgow, or stay for a week or more – there is plenty to see and do!

Getting around the national park

A car will give you the most flexibility, but you can also travel around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs by public transport (bus, train and boat/waterbus) which is much more sustainably and minimises the impact you have on the environment and local communities.

Try the free Journey Planner app to plan your trip and compare route options:

Visitor Information

It is free to enter the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, however, many car parks charge a fee. There are lots of facilities around the park, from visitor centres to toilet facilities, petrol stations and information boards.

Respectful behaviour

It is important to treat the people, flora and fauna of the national park with respect. Adhere to the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and follow park-specific guidelines around camping, wildlife and mountain safety. Find out more here.

For a more detailed travel guide for the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park including detailed information about transport, places to stay, the best eateries, and visitor facilities (parking, toilets etc.) – CHECK OUT THIS POST!

Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park map

Things to do in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park

I’ve split my suggestions for things to do in the national park in categories which makes it easy for you to pick depending on your mood. 

Check out the map above to see where they are and plan how to connect some of them.

Places to enjoy the scenery

The best ways to immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery of the national park.

♥ Cruises on Loch Lomond 

There are two boat companies that offer scenic cruises on Loch Lomond.

  • Sweeney’s Cruise Company offers a variety of cruises from Balmaha and Luss: 1-hour explorer tours, evening/sunset cruises on the loch and more.
  • Cruise Loch Lomond has a wider range of cruises available from different departure points all over the loch. This includes cruises under 2 hours for all who are pressed for time and full-day explorations around the loch.

♥ Firkin Point

Firkin Point is a scenic area on the banks of Loch Lomond. There are picnic benches, public facilities and 3 miles of level surfaced path, which is accessible to wheelchair users. The spot offers stunning views across the water towards Ben Lomond.

From March to October, Firkin Point is part of the Camping Management Zone, so in order to camp here between 1 March and 30 September, you require a permit

♥ Scenic seaplane flights

Book a scenic seaplane flight with Loch Lomond Seaplanes. Flights last 45 or 60 minutes, cover between 60 and 90 miles and fly high above Loch Lomond, the Cowal peninsula, Loch Fyne and the Isle of Bute. Views can reach as far as the isles of Islay and Jura on the west coast. The Highland Boundary Faul line will be particularly clear to see from the air.

Flights depart from Cameron House near Balloch and cost from £125 per person.

♥ Falls of Falloch

The Falls of Falloch are tucked away from the busy A82 road, it’s easy to miss the turn off onto the tiny car park – but worth it! A short trail leads to the roaring waterfall as it drops 30 ft into a pool below. There is a pretty art installation/viewing platform called Woven Sound and several other good photo spots.

A waterfall in the Scottish Highlands - Falls of Falloch by Loch Lomond.

♥ Steamship cruise on Loch Katrine 

Loch Katrine in the Trossachs is a popular beauty spot in the national park, steeped in Scottish history and an Outlander location (from season 2). Come here for a walk and a picnic, or hop aboard the steamship SS Sir Walter Scott for a scenic cruise with mountain views.

♥ Road Trip on Duke’s Pass

The mountain road across Duke’s Pass links the charming village of Aberfoyle with Brig o’Turk and Loch Katrine in the heart of the Trossachs. The drive is beautiful, if a bit winding, and offers very rewarding views. It was originally built by the Duke of Montrose to improve access to his estate, hence the name.

♥ Rest and Be Thankful Viewpoint

Easily one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, Rest and Be Thankful is the highest point of the A83 road from Tarbet towards Inveraray. The pass in the heard of the Arrochar Alps separates Glen Croe (east) from Glen Kinglas (west). During the summer, a small snack van sells refreshments which makes this a great spot for a picnic with mountain views.

You might also like: The best outdoor activities to try in Scotland

♥ Loch Lubnaig

Nestled in the far east of the national park, Loch Lubnaig is said to be one of Scotland’s most beautiful lochs. The beaches along its shore offer stunning views of Ben Vorlich in the north and Ben Ledi and Benvane in the south. This is a popular spot for kayaking, canoeing and wild swimming and there are many easy access points around the loch.

Loch Lubnaig, Scotland

Charming villages to visit

♥ Callander

Callander is a bustling Highland town on the eastern edge of the national park. Its location on the Highland Boundary Fault means it’s steeped in history as a natural meeting point between Highlands and Lowlands. The town centre is lined with shops, tea rooms and restaurants and the surrounding area offers beautiful nature walks, waterfalls and scenic hills.

♥ Killin

Killin is a small village near Loch Tay, perfectly located to explore the national park, the nearby Ben Lawers nature reserve and of course Loch Tay. At the western entrance of the village, make sure to stop and visit the Falls of Dochart, an impressive series of rapids rushing over smooth rocks. 

♥ Balloch

Located on the southern edge of Loch Lomond, Balloch is a great place to visit on a day trip from Glasgow. Loch Lomond Shores features a variety of restaurants, shops and activities and many attractions are within walking distance from the village. I particularly like the boats bobbing in the canal towards the loch. 

♥ Luss

Luss is possibly the most famous village on Loch Lomond. The charming houses of the village are adorned with beautiful flower displays and little shops are packed with pretty souvenirs and local crafts. The beach of Luss is a popular spot for families and many activities, like boat trips or kayaking tours, start from the pier.

Sometimes it's just easier to book a guided tour than drive yourself. Find out why in this review of my day in the West Highlands with Timberbush Tours!

♥ Arrochar

The sprawling village of Arrochar is nestled at the feet of the Arrochar Alps and stretches along the shores of Loch Long. Combining the best of seaside town and mountain village, it is the perfect place to visit for a mix of activities.

♥ Dunoon

Once a bustling seaside resort, Dunoon has lost none of its charm. Built around the historic Castle Mound and with its picturesque promenade, it is a beautiful stop on a road trip around the Cowal peninsula – particularly if you are into seafood!

Walks and hikes in the national park

Exploring the scenic trails throughout the region is one of my favourite things to do in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park.

♥ Conic Hill 

Conic Hill is an iconic small hill on the Scottish Highland Boundary Fault. It’s part of the West Highland Way and offers stunning views of Loch Lomond and its islands. The trail begins in Balmaha. 2-3 hours, description here.

♥ Ben Lomond

Ben Lomond is the southernmost Munro in Scotland (mountain over 3,000 ft) and also one of its most popular. Even though it is quite a challenging hike, many chose this as their first Munro hike. The trail starts at Rowardennan car park and is easy to follow. 4-6 hours, description here.

You might also like: A Beginner’s Guide to Munro Bagging in Scotland

♥ Loch Sloy Dam

The dam at Loch Sloy is part of a hydroelectric power plant in the Arrochar Alps. The trail leaves from the hydropower station at Inveruglas and follows the small paved road all the way to Loch Sloy. 3-4 hours, description here.

Loch Sloy Dam near Inveruglas on Loch Lomond, Scotland

♥ Arklet Trail and Rob Roys View

Unless you approach from the eastern side of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs national park, start by taking the waterbus from Inveruglas to Inversnaid (or drive to Inversnaid). The Arklet Trail is a short but steep trail that leads from the shores of Loch Lomond up through the woodlands to Rob Roys Viewpoint. This spot offers breathtaking views across the loch towards the Arrochar Alps. 1.5 hours, description here.

♥ Ben A’an

Ben A’an is one of Scotland’s most popular small hills, but its views can definitely keep up with the bigger mountains in the area. After a short, but steep ascent, the rocky summit of Ben A’an offers stunning views of Loch Katrine below (2-4 hours).

For a more challenging hike nearby, try Ben Venue. 5-6 hours, description from Loch Achray here.

Read my detailed post about hiking Ben A’an to plan your trip!

You can't leave Scotland without climbing at least one mountain. On a sunny day there is nothing better than spending a day hiking in the Trossachs north of Glasgow. This is a complete guide to hiking Ben A'an with a trail description, what to bring and what else to get up to in the area!

♥ Three Lochs Forest Drive

The Three Lochs Forest Drive is a 7-mile loop through Queen Elizabeth Forest near Aberfoyle. Along the drive, there are three lochs – Reòidhte, Drunkie and Achray – which all offer small trails to discover the woodlands. You could spend all day, driving and walking in this area. The gate at the entrance to the drive is open from 9 am to 4 pm, 7 days a week. Description here, watch Erin’s vlog about the drive here.

♥ An Caisteal and Beinn a Chroin

For a challenging day in the hills, bagging not one, but two Munros – head to An Caisteal and Beinn a’Chroin near Crianlarich. Great for more experienced hikers who are comfortable with scrambling. 6-7 hours

Read my detailed post about hiking An Caisteal and Beinn a’Chroin to plan your trip!

♥ Callander Crags & Bracklinn Falls

A short but sweet loop trail leads from Callander to the Bracklinn Falls. Perfect for families. The trail leaves from the Bracklinn Falls car park. 1.5 hours, description here.

The trail up the Callander Crags is an enjoyable circuit through woodlands with sweeping views of Callander and the moorlands north from here. You could easily combine this hike with the walk to Bracklinn Falls. The trail begins at the Callander Crags car park, 1km outside of Callander. 1.5-2 hours, description here.

♥ Ben Ledi

Ben Ledi is the tallest mountain in this part of the Highlands. It’s a very popular hike, so try to come here early or later in the day to avoid crowds. 4-6 hours, description here.

♥ The Arrochar Alps

The Arrochar Alps are a mountain range between Loch Lomond and Loch Long. The most popular peak among them is Ben Arthur, also known as The Cobbler, which features a steep ascent and a rocky needle-like feature at the top (4-6 hours). Other popular hikes in the Arrochar Alps include Beinn Ime, Beinn Narnain, Ben Vane and Ben Vorlich. Find descriptions for hikes in the Arrochar Alps here.

You might also like: 21 of the best hiking routes in Scotland

Rest and Be Thankful viewpoint in Scotland

♥ Beinn an Lochain

Also one of the Arrochar Alps peaks, Beinn an Lochain is the summit that rises behind the Rest and Be Thankful viewpoint. Whether you follow the trail to the top, or just high enough to gain some altitude, the views down Glen Croe and Glen Kinglas are even better from up here! 3-5 hours, description here.

♥ Puck’s Glen

Puck’s Glen is a dark, but magical little valley tucked away on the Cowal peninsula. Small waterfalls are dotted along the path as it wanders deeper and deeper into the glen. Can you feel the magic? 1.5 hours, description here.

Other outdoor activities at Loch Lomond

♥ TreeZone Loch Lomond in Balloch

TreeZone Loch Lomond is an aerial adventure course in Balloch with high rope obstacles and ziplines among the treetops. It’s great fun, a physical & mental challenge. While you rest on the platforms, you can enjoy fantastic views of Loch Lomond which get better until you reach the final zipline platform.

This is a brilliant family-friendly activity on Loch Lomond, great for birthday parties of all ages, hen dos or simply a fun day out with your friends.

Minimum height: 1.1m (1.3m for the taller course), minimum age: 7 yrs. From £24 for under-18s, £33 for adults.

♥ Go Ape Aberfoyle

Go Ape in Aberfoyle offers not only a fun Treetop Adventure Park with high ropes, obstacle challenges and Tarzen swings among the trees of Queen Elizabeth Forest, but also the longest zipline in the UK! Minimum height: 1.4m, minimum age: 10. From £25 for kids, £33 for adults.

Read more about my thrilling day trip to Go Ape Aberfoyle in the Trossachs!

♥ Kayaking, Canoeing and Paddleboarding

The national park is littered with beautiful lochs – it would be a shame not to discover them up close from the water!

If you don’t have your own equipment, there are numerous activity providers in the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park who can take you kayaking, canoeing or paddleboarding.

Most recently I went sunset canoeing on Loch Lomond with In your Element which are only available in March, September and October, but they run daily canoeing sessions on the loch throughout the summer.

Other local providers include Loch Lomond Leisure or Paddlepower & Adventure. Expect to pay around £40 for a 2-hour tour.

For more unusual water activities, try river sledging or gorge walking with In Your Element on a river near Luss.

Time for micro-adventures! → The best Outdoor Activities in Argyll

♥ Exploring by bike

The Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park is very popular among cyclists, whether they are looking for challenging mountain bike routes or family-friendly trails along the lochs. You can bring your own or hire bikes in various places around the park – find all options here.

The National Cycle Route 7 is a particularly popular and scenic bike path to follow from Loch Lomond and through the heart of the Trossachs.

♥ Speed boat trip from Luss

Speed boat cruises are every bit as much about the thrilling experience as they are about enjoying the scenery of Loch Lomond. Leaving from Luss, the speed boat trips with Loch Lomond Leisure take in views of nearby islands on the loch, the remote eastern shore and the tall peak of Ben Lomond. From £5 for kids, £10 for adults.

Luss pier at Loch Lomond

History, art and heritage in the national park

♥ Balloch Castle Country Park

While the castle itself is derelict and not open to the public, the sprawling country park offers gentle nature trails in beautiful surroundings and great views over Loch Lomond.

♥ Rob Roy’s Grave

Visit the grave of Rob Roy MacGregor, the Robin Hood of the Highlands. The famous Scottish outlaw was born near Loch Katrine, spent most of his life in the Trossachs and is buried on a churchyard near Lochearnhead.

♥ The LookOut at Loch Voil

The LookOut is an art installation between Loch Voil and Loch Doine. It features a mirrored box designed by architects Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler, that reflects the beautiful surroundings right back at you. Find out more here.

♥ An Ceann Mòr in Inveruglas

An Ceann Mòr, the pyramid installation in Inveruglas was designed as part of the Scottish Scenic Routes pilot project. Despite its height, the timber structure blends perfectly into the environment and provides a calming viewing platform to soak up the scenery of Loch Lomond around you.

Want more? Just outside the national park, you can visit Stirling and Doune Castle, the ruins of Kilchurn Castle or stop for a dram & tour at Glengoyne whisky distillery!

Where to learn about Scottish nature

♥ Balmaha Geological Trail

The Scottish Highlands looks back at hundreds of millions of years of geological history – it’s mind-boggling to think that the rocks that make up the southern highlands in the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park have been here for over 600 million years!

The Balmaha Geological Trail from the national park visitor centre follows the geological journey of the Highlands, while also exploring a particularly beautiful stretch of Loch Lomond.

You might also like: 11 Educational & Science-Based Tourism Experiences in Scotland

♥ The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre

The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre near Aberfoyle is a great place to spend the day learning about the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, which covers much of this part of the Trossachs. The centre offers information about the park and is the starting point for several scenic trails through the woodland trails.

The 1-mile long Waterfall Trail leads to a dramatic waterfall and is wheelchair accessible. There are also several longer and more strenuous trails. A highlight is the easy-to-reach Red Squirrel Hide as well as the wildlife camera feed that can be viewed at the centre.

The visitor centre has a shop, a cafe and other public facilities.

The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre in the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, Scotland

♥ Glen Finglas Visitor Gateway

Glen Finglas is a beautiful woodland estate between Loch Achray and Loch Venachar. Its landscape features mountains rivers, glens, woodland and moorland, as well as old-growth upland wood pasture. As such, it provides a very unique habitat in the Trossachs. The visitor centre is a great place to learn about the estate and its conversation work to make sure this special woodland habitat is preserved.

♥ Hire a nature guide

Hire an expert nature guide for a guided walk around the RSPB Loch Lomond, which is home to a plethora of bird species and lots of other wildlife. Tours can be tailored to your interests and last around 3-4 hours. From £40 for two people and £10 for each additional person, find out more here.

♥ Benmore Botanic Garden

Nestled in the south-easternmost corner of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Benmore Botanic Garden features a massive collection of plants from around the world. From North American Redwood trees to East Asian Rhododendron, there is barely a species of plant you won’t find here.

The garden is particularly spectacular in autumn when the trees turn red and yellow and orange. Open from 1 March to 31 October. Admission: £7 for adults

Redwoods at the Benmore Botanic Gardens in Scotland

As you can see, there are A LOT of things to do in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park. One day trips won’t cut it!

I hope you find a lot of inspiring ideas on this list and will spend some time exploring the national park and the southern highlands in depth. 

Happy adventuring! 

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4 thoughts on “40 Things to do in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park

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