22nd June 2021
New information signing and website to help visitors now in place.
The first phases of plans to upgrade the Trossachs Trail have recently been completed as part of an ambitious Trossachs Visitor Management Programme being led two local charities - Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs and Sir Walter Scott Steamship Trust.
This has involved a refresh of directional signs and the installation of useful new information panels around the 40 mile long Trossachs Trail highlighting where car parks and public toilets are as well as the top 20 things to see and do by bike, boat and on foot. This has been augmented by the creation of a new website www.trossachstrail.co.uk
Funding for these early phases of works has been provided by the Friends, the Steamship Trust, Love Local and the Strathard and Callander Community Hydro Funds and more substantial improvements that involve car park and toilet expansion schemes in the heart of the Trossachs are planned for later in the year.
James Fraser, Chair of the Friends and CEO of the Steamship Trust said: ’’Following a massive influx of visitors to the Trossachs last year and an anticipated repeat this year, due to Covid 19 and overseas travel restrictions, we considered it was essential urgent steps were taken to improve the visitor management infrastructure in the Trossachs and let visitors know where facilities are as most simply want to visit a loch shore or take a walk in the knowledge they can park safely and have access to toilets.
We see the refresh of the award-winning Trossachs Trail, that was first developed almost thirty years ago and was the first official geographic tourist trail in Scotland, as an important first step in helping visitors make the most of their time in the area in responsible ways.’’
Frank Park, Chair of Callander Hydro said: ‘’ We were pleased to support this initiative as it showcases the Callander and wider Trossachs area in effective ways and should help encourage visitors to stay longer and explore the wealth of things to see and do locally. It augments our recent support for a range of local tourism and recreational projects such as the Callander Landscape Partnership and Callander Visitor Information Centre.’’
The Trossachs Tour
The Trossachs Trail is based on the famous Trossachs Tour popularised by Sir Walter Scott and other writers in the 1800s which led to the growth of popular destinations such as Callander and Aberfoyle and the development of other small villages with hostelries along the way.
Meanwhile, work on major car park and visitor hub infrastructure projects at Ben A’an, Trossachs Pier and Stronachlachar Pier, backed by a conditional grant of £375,000 from VisitScotland, has stalled awaiting the outcome of a planning application which involves the reinstatement of the historic Roderick Dhu Watchtower path and scenic lookout, adjacent to Trossachs Pier Car Park, with stunning views of Loch Katrine, Ben A’an and Ben Venue.
This signature element of the Trossachs Visitor Management Project has captured the imagination of the public and enjoys the support of a number of local community and conservation groups as well as many visitors and locals who have lodged supporting notes with the Park Authority who are due to determine the application shortly. This is a site that was originally opened up in the 1790s with a rock blasted road and the placement of two wicker huts on the knoll overlooking Loch Katrine which were visited by many famous poets and painters who helped the area become famous as ‘the birthplace of Scottish tourism’.