Be inspired by Loch Katrine
Loch Katrine is a unique place, steeped in history and set in magnificent scenery – this is the quintessential Trossachs landscape. It’s easy to see how it inspired writers like William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott, as well as artists and musicians. Indeed, Scott's famous poem 'The Lady of the Lake' was set here and sparked the interest of its Victorian readers, who began to travel to The Trossachs to see the sights for themselves.
Enjoy the loch and landscape from the deck of the Sir Walter Scott steamship and, if you’re feeling energetic, return along the shore by bike or on foot. Look out for part of the Art & Literature Trail along the north shore, which highlights historic points of interest along the way, or follow one of the shorter trails from the pier.
Find out more about Loch Katrine and the rest of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.
There are toilets, refreshments and shopping at Trossachs Pier, where you can catch a boat or hire a bike. There are sailings all year round, but there’s a more limited service in the winter season.
You’ll also find toilets, shopping and refreshments at nearby Aberfoyle. There’s a Tourist Information Centre in the village too.
Follow the beautiful oak-laced shore of Loch Katrine to the wonderful viewpoint on Brenachoile Point. Learn how the landscape and its history inspired The Lady of the Lake.
Wide, smooth tarmac surface with moderate slopes. Brief uneven grassy path to the viewpoint with short fairly steep slope. Includes gate and opening both 1.1m wide.
4 ½ miles / 7.1 km Allow 2½ hours
This easy tarmac trail to Brenachoile Point and back is ideal for gentle walking or cycling, and the views across the loch are breath-taking. Look out for 'book-style' information panels along the way, which are part of the area's Art and Literature Trail and reveal fascinating facts about how this landscape inspired artists, writers and musicians. Discover the story of the Lady of the Lake, the musical connection between the US President and Schubert and why this place sparked the travel bug in Victorian times.
Primrose Hill Trail
Climb up the primrose-covered hillside above Loch Katrine for some of the most spectacular views in the Trossachs. Look out at Ben Venue, Ben Lomond and the Arrochar Alps.
Long steep slopes for up to 400m on uneven grassy and rocky paths. Includes some muddy sections and a narrow kissing gate.
6 ½ miles / 10.5 km Allow 4½ hours
This trail is a great way to appreciate Loch Katrine’s seasonal spectacles: vivid green hills over deep blue waters in spring and summer, a stunning show of autumn colour from the native oaks and birch, and a wild snow-capped mountain backdrop in winter.
This dramatic landscape is part of The Great Trossachs Forest, a major native tree regeneration project. This area has been planted with Scots pine and broadleaf species like rowan and aspen: trees that would have grown naturally here in the past and are essential for native wildlife.
Mountain biking trails
Take to the water
You can cruise on Loch Katrine all year round. There’s the historic steamship Sir Walter Scott, which has been sailing these waters for over a century, and The Lady of the Lake, a smaller vessel with a heated saloon (perfect for crisp winter days!).
Get on your bike
The undulating shore of Loch Katrine is a great place for family cycling. Have an unforgettable adventure by taking your bike on board one of the boats for the morning sail from the Trossachs Pier to Stronachlachar, then cycling back along the scenic shore road. Enjoy the magnificent views and perhaps have a picnic as you meander back along the length of the loch – it's about 13 miles (21km) from Stronachlachar to the Trossachs pier. You can bring your own bike or hire one at the Pier – there are even tandems and electric bikes available!
Remember: this route is open to other users – walkers, horse riders and light traffic. Please follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code's responsible cycling guidance.
Follow the Art & Literature Trail
Discover more about the poets, writers, artists and musicians inspired by this dramatic landscape by following this fascinating trail linking Inversnaid and Callander.
Say hi to the hairy coos!
Look out for Highland cows as you explore Loch Katrine. They play a very important part in enhancing the forest environment around the loch. The cattle graze on the move and trample the undergrowth, which helps birds and butterflies move about and feed. Their manure is a natural fertiliser for the soil and also attracts insects, which are a food source for many birds and mammals such as shrews, hedgehogs, foxes and bats.
Discover a native woodland project
Around Loch Katrine, we’re working with partners to create one of the largest areas of native woodland in Scotland, The Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve. It's a unique native woodland partnership project, covering over 160 square kilometres at the heart of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, where a mosaic of woods is being restored for the benefit of wildlife and people.
How to get here
From Aberfoyle follow the A821, The Duke’s Pass, to Loch Katrine.
From Callander take the A84 to Kilmahog and then the A821 via Brig o' Turk.
The Trossachs Pier car park is at grid reference NN 495 072.
FK17 8HZ is the nearest postcode.
Forest Park highlights close to Loch Katrine include:
The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre – a great place to find information about what to see and do in the Forest Park. It also has a café with fantastic views, as well as parking, toilets, trails and a giftshop. It’s also home to Go Ape.
The Duke’s Pass – reach The Lodge via the public road to Aberfoyle known as the Duke's Pass. This popular route, regarded as one of Britain's best drives, leads you through some of the most scenic parts of the iconic Trossachs landscape. The road was originally built by the Duke of Montrose in the 19th century to improve access to his estate.
Three Lochs Forest Drive – the perfect way to reach the heart of Loch Achray Forest and enjoy stunning Trossachs views without needing to walk very far. The route – reached from The Duke’s Pass – follows a quiet forest road and is suitable for most vehicles. There are car parks, toilets, play features and scenic trails along the way. Open Easter to October.
Loch Ard – The Great Forest of Loch Ard stretches from Aberfoyle to the foothills of Ben Lomond. One of the best ways to enjoy this forest is to cycle the shore of picturesque Loch Ard – the trails are ideal for families and there’s lots of fun things to see and do along the way.
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