Drymen to Rowardennan.

Start. Drymen.

Route. Drymen - Gateside - B858 - Blarnavaid - Garadhban Forest - Burn of Mar - Conic Hill - Balmaha - Craigie Fort - Arrochymore Point - Milarrochy - Anchorage Cottage - Ross Wood - Rowardennan.

Notes. The drizzle of yesterday seemed to have slipped south, according to the weather forecast the citizens of southern England were getting a good soaking, we basked in sunshine as we re-traced our steps of yesterday to the east of Drymen. A rather inconspicuous gap and way-mark announced we'd reached the days starting point.

North through lush green pastures we walked soon stepping onto the busy B858, the noise of the traffic was short lived, on reaching Blarnavaid Farm we entered an avenue of gorse(whin), this time of year a blaze of yellow. A short colourful walk up hill saw us step onto forest tracks to start the long walk through the Garadhban Forest, a rather large amount of forestry work is in progress, lucky for us West Highland Way walkers this opens up stunning views over the Loch Lomond basin, the islands marking the Highland Boundary Fault clearly visible, dominating the scene the hogs back of Conic Hill, our gateway into the Highlands.

On leaving the woods the way crossed moorland descending the deep tree filled ravine cut by the Burn of Mar, a wooden foot-bridge spanned the burn, we crossed to start the short ascent of Conic Hill, take a look at your feet as you ascend, you'll find you're walking over sea washed pebbles, the remains of a beach thrust upward to almost the one thousand foot contour when Scotland collided with England. To the south, the Lowlands, the north the Highlands, to the north east and south-west the Highland Boundary Fault cuts across Scotland from Stonehaven to Arran visible from Conic Hill.

The vistas are stunning commanding centre stage Loch Lomond with it's many islands, on the skyline the hills that would dominate the next day, Beinn Narnain and The Cobbler. After a quick brew we descended to Balmaha (village by the water). For the next few miles the path hugs the shore of Loch Lomond, passing through semi natural woodland typical of Lochlomond Side, the path rounded Arrochymore Point before traversing the shingle beach at Milarrocky Bay, we followed the road passing lonely Anchorage Cottage before struggling with the ascents in Ross Wood, eventually the white washed buildings of the Rowardennan Hotel tilted into view. Tonight we'd sleep like logs.

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The start of today's section of the way, just before Gateside on the walk back from Drymen.

Sue ascends the first climb of the day, the way-marker can clearly be seen on the skyline.

Iconic Loch Lomond seen from the Garadhban Forest.

With vast tracts of forest felled aren't we the lucky ones with stunning views like this.

Views to some of the islands marking the Highland Boundary Fault, Inchmurrin, Torrinch and Clairinish not forgetting the most famous of all, Inchcailloch.

On the ascent of Conic Hill with stunning views across Loch Lomond, Beinn Dubh and Cruach Dhubh guard the entrance to Glenn Luss.

Looking down on Inchcailloch from the shoulder of Conic Hill.

Wonderful vistas from the 1,000ft contour, grey on the far horizon the hills of Arran.

The marina at Balmaha looking to Inchcailloch.

Another magical view over Loch Lomond, across the skyline Beinn Narnain and The Cobbler with Ben Lomond to the right, all seen from Craigie Fort.

Beinn Dubh across Loch Lomond.

Seen from the shingle beach at Milarrochy, Ben Lomond rises above the Rowardennan Forest.

Looking south to Arrochymore Point taking in the islands of Inchfad and Inchcailloch.

From the path through the birch woods near Cashel views to Ben Lomomd.

Viewing Inchlonaig from the approach to Anchorage Cottage.

Lonely Anchorage Cottage, backed by the Rowerdennan Forest with Ben Lomond overlooking the scene.

Sue drags tired legs to the top of the final climb....

....to be gifted with views over the tree tops to Ben Lomond.

Day turns to night, the Scots call this the glomming, I've been sent outside to sober up so I took the camera with me, here's a shot of Beinn Narnain over Rowardennan pier.

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