Putting your best foot forward

A new long-distance path that offers a gateway to the wildlife, scenery and history of the Trossachs was officially opened today (April 17). 

The Great Trossachs Path is a 30-mile long route running from Callander in the east to Inversnaid at Loch Lomond in the west, passing through landscapes that have put Scottish tourism on the map for over 200 years.

Mike Cantlay, Chair of VisitScotland, announced that The Great Trossachs Path has been named as one of Scotland’s Great Trails, joining existing routes including the West Highland Way, the Cateran Trail and the Fife Coastal Path.

He said:

“I am delighted to officially open The Great Trossachs Path and to announce its inclusion in the Scotland’s Great Trails network.

"The Trossachs is a jewel in the Scottish tourism crown, having drawn visitors since the Victorian times and this path, along with the two new Visitor Gateways, means the future of this stunning area is secure Tourism is at the heart of the Scottish economy, helping to sustain communities, so it is vital that we continue to sell this country to the world.”

The Great Trossachs Path, is part of The Great Trossachs Forest Project (TGTF), one of the UK’s most significant native woodland regeneration ventures. The project is a partnership between RSPB Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, and the Woodland Trust Scotland.

Sue Morris, TGTF project manager said:

“It is fantastic that the path is now officially open. Creating the Great Trossachs Forest has so far involved a huge amount of habitat improvement. But a big part of the project is also about opening up the area for locals and tourists, so that everyone can come and enjoy the spectacular landscapes for themselves.

“The path connects the Rob Roy Way with the West Highland Way, so long-distance walkers will now be able to undertake an extraordinary journey across the centre of Scotland. But it’s also accessible to cyclists, and has numerous smaller walks, which should appeal to families, or those just looking for an amazing place to take a weekend stroll.”

The path links two new Visitor Gateways built with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund: one at Glen Finglas, Brig o’ Turk, the other at Inversnaid. These will provide facilities and information for visitors.

A new Great Trossachs Forest App has also been launched, giving smart phone users a wealth of information about the area’s wildlife, geography and history. Or for those who prefer something more traditional, local firm Harveys have produced a map.

The TGTF began in 2009 and has created an area of woodland the size of Glasgow through planting and natural regeneration. The project has also undertaken the construction of new paths, the installation of an art and literature trail, outreach work with local schools, and improvements to visitor facilities, including new play areas and leaflets.

The woodland, which will take many years to grow to maturity, will create new habitats and nature corridors, benefiting wildlife such as black grouse, otters, water voles, golden eagles, red squirrels and pearl-bordered fritillary butterflies. 

Scotland’s Great Trails are nationally promoted trails for people-powered journeys. Each is distinctively way marked, largely off-road and has a range of visitor services. At least 25 miles in length, they are suitable for multi-day outings as well as day trips.

Collectively the 26 different routes provide over 1,700 miles of well managed paths from the Borders to the Highlands, offering great opportunities to explore the best of Scotland’s nature and landscapes, and to experience our mazing history and culture.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. The Great Trossachs Forest is one of the most significant woodland regeneration projects to take place in the UK for a generation. It covers 16,500 hectares, an area the size of Glasgow, between Loch Lomond and Callander in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The Great Trossachs Forest is a partnership project between Forestry Commission Scotland, RSPB Scotland, and The Woodland Trust Scotland.
  3. The Gateways Project is creating new visitor facilities at Glen Finglas Estate and Inversnaid Nature Reserve, improving existing interpretation to help local people and visitors learn about the cultural and natural heritage of the area, and is restoring nearly 400 hectares of native woodland creating corridors of habitat for wildlife. This project is supported by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
  4. Tha FCS pàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba; a' riaghladh nan 660,000 heactairean ann an Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta, a' dìon, a' cumail smachd air, agus a' leudachadh choilltean gus buannachdan a choileanadh dha coimhearsnachdan, dhan eaconamaidh agus ag obair an aghaidh atharrachadh sa ghnàth-shìde.
  5. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.