With funding raised from the Friends of Our park scheme and annual charity golf events, hosted by Cameron House and organised by Optical Express, the investment in access initiatives has been stepped up in recent years. Projects supported or under consideration include:
Three Lochs Way
This route, which has been developed by the Helensburgh and District Access Trust, has now been accepted as one of Scotland’s Great Trails as it now meets the criteria for long distance routes. The route, as the name implies, links Loch Lomond, the Gareloch and Loch Long. Support was provided by the Friends for waymarking, a replacement bridge, information signs and other promotional material.
Rob Roy Way
This 96 mile route, linking Drymen with Aberfoyle, Callander, Killin and Pitlochry, has now been waymarked along its entire length with support from the Friends, the Park Authority and others. The Rob Roy Way has also now achieved Scotland’s GreatTrail status as a result of this work and further plans to improve stretches of the route are under consideration.
Bracklinn Falls, Callander
This popular walk on the edge of Callander has been improved in recent years with the installation of a ‘landmark’ bridge’ across the river in close proximity to the Bracklinn Falls. This project has been led by the Callander Development Trust and further work is planned to upgrade the path on one side of the river to re-establish a high quality circular route and the Friends are financially assisting with this. New information/interpretation boards are also being installed.
This 57 mile walk links Portavadie on the western side of the Cowal Peninsula with the Three Lochs Way at Arrochar. It incorporates the best of Cowal but further work on upgrading stretches of the route and installing waymarking is required to bring it up to Scotland's Great Trails standard.
South Loch Lomond
A Friends working group is currently investigating the feasibility of creating a safe off road trail for walkers between Balloch and Gartocharn. This coincides with the purchase of Wards Estate by the RSPB which will also open up access for walkers and birdwatchers at the south end of Loch Lomond in a carefully managed way. There is also potential in the future to link Balloch, Gartocharn, Drymen and Balmaha providing visitors and locals with opportunities to see some of the finest views in the National Park.