Sitting directly behind the lodges at 1000ft high is Conic Hill. Right on the Highland Boundary Fault, this short hill walk offers truly fantastic views over Loch Lomond and its many islands. You don’t need to be the fittest of people to summit The Conic, but with a little bit of determination and motivation those that reach the summit will be rewarded with some of the best views of Loch Lomond and the Boundary Fault. We recommend taking a small rucksack with some snacks and refreshments to enjoy on the summit – or in the colder months a hot flask of tea, hot chocolate or even a hot toddy, is the perfect reward.
Departing from your lodge you can take the short 100 meter walk to the start of the forestry track. Follow the track up a short hill and then continue round to the left. Continue through the Millenium Forest and you’ll come across a track that heads off to the right. Take the right turn, through the trees and you’ll soon come across a style which marks the start of the climb. For keen photographers, the forest provides plenty of opportunities to take some magical pictures.
The first steps
The start of the climb follows the route of a small burn with steps to help you along the way. In the Spring and Summer breath in the coconut aromas of the bright yellow Gorse bushes and don’t forget to stop and look around at the views behind you – you wont be disappointed. As you continue up the mountain, the views just get better and better. Once you reach the end of the steps the land plateaus out slightly. From here you have two choices. Once you have stopped to take some pictures you can head back down towards your left (if standing facing up hill) towards Manse Bay. The chimneys of The Manse are just visible through the trees. Once back down to level ground, you can walk back to the Lodges along the shore line which is part of the West Highland Way.
Heading for the heights
Alternatively, we recommend heading for the top. The path continues up the mountain, getting a little steep in places, but still gentle enough for all novice hikers. You’ll soon reach a false summit, but don’t be fooled, the real summit is just over the brow. It’s definitely worth that little extra effort.
Reaching the peak
Once you reach the summit sit back, enjoy your refreshments and take in the breathtaking. On a good day you can see right across to Glasgow and even beyond to the Isle of Arron. However an easier view to catch is the Highland Boundary Fault which is marked by a string of Islands starting from Inchcailloch and continuing to the western shores of the loch.
Choose your descent
Walkers can choose to descend to the lodges by the same path or for a longer circular walk the route continues down to the right around the northern side of the mountain and follows the West Highland Way. After crossing two footbridges you’ll reach a signed junction of forestry tracks. Take the right turn and head down the track which leads on to Crietyhall Road and eventually to the small village of Milton of Buchanan. Head down the hill towards the Old Mill and the small primary school and then up past the church. From here you are just one mile from the lodges with a footpath taking you along the road all the way back to base.
Find out more at Walking Highlands