On a hot summers day we finally got round to doing something we had on our list for a while, climbing Conic Hill in Balmaha, Loch Lomond.
Only a baby compared to the nearby mountains, it may lack in height but the panoramic scenic views during the climb and at the summit are spectacular! This Scottish hill sits at 361 metres high, is short and fairly easy and is great for a day out soaking up the very best that Scotland has to offer.
Conic Hill is located in the picturesque village of Balmaha on the eastern bank of Loch Lomond, it is also located on the Highland Boundary Fault Line, which separates the lowlands and highlands of Scotland, and is part of the famous West Highland Way.
To start your adventure, park at the carpark in the centre of Balmaha (we recommend arriving early in peak months) here there is an information centre which will help you find out information about the surrounding lands. The walk begins at the back of the car park, follow the track to the right and at the next junction turn left onto a path which takes you through stunning woodlands. As you wander through the forest you will start your climb upon some large steps.
Soon you will see Conic Hill in view and already you can see the beautiful landscape below you. Stay on the main track and soon you will reach the half way point, the first classic view of Loch Lomond and its islands, noting the Highland Boundary Fault Line which zig zags its way around the group of islands in front of you. This section of the walk will have taken around 20 minutes.
Stop and rest here or carry on to the summit, the path is good the whole way but near the top there is a bit of short rocky scramble. The summit is the highest point to the left. Reaching the top will have taken around 25 minutes from the halfway point. Once you have marvelled at the unrivalled stunning views of Loch Lomond, it is also worth heading along the boggy ridge line to the slightly lower summit, this is where you have the best views.
You can continue your journey on the West Highland Way, however the simplest return route is to retrace your steps, this time the views are in front of you to marvel at the whole journey back down. The descent should take around 45 minutes (if you aren’t stopping for photographs along the way, which of course you will be.)
And some photos of us three...
Spend time exploring Balmaha by popping in to St Mocha coffee shop or enjoy a bite to eat or a refreshing drink at the oak Tree Inn. If your legs can take a little more stroll, we recommend wandering down to the loch side and view the statue of Tom Weir – the famous Scottish climber, author, TV presenter and lover of the great outdoors. Carry on your stroll for 10 minutes, hugging the waters edge to view the islands from this perspective.
We personally love Loch Lomond and hope you do too!
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* Comprehensive Loch Lomond Itinerary *