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Inversnaid >  Google™ Map May 2015+  RSPB Logo

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May 2015+

"RSPB™ Nature Reserve where Atlantic oak woodland rises steeply from the loch and gives way to open moorland with spectacular views", they say.


It's an RSPB™ Nature Reserve where Atlantic oak woodland rises steeply from the loch and gives way to open moorland with spectacular views, alright, but more on that in a minute.

It's a rather randomly allocated area that's done in two parts so head for the hotel that's right on Loch Lomond to ha-ha at some hikers before heading back home via a farmyard. That way, the time will fly by unlike any of the wildlife that's mostly of the musty, four-legged variety, phew-ey!

Inversnaid is a known stopping-off point on the West Highland Way, you know, the 100-mile-long trek from Milngavie to Fort William? It's welcome as well, the leg up the east bank of Loch Lomond is gruelling although more start, stumble then stop than steep.

You can follow part of the way north before a woodland loop brings you back on yourself. Here is where you can smugly snigger at those less fortunate, content in the knowledge you're not going all of the way, today.

It's also remote, about 13 miles on a single track road from Aberfoyle and you really don't want to meet a coach coming the other way.

The refreshment-serving hotel caters mainly for the coach-bound hordes as well as walkers and ferried day-trippers from Tarbet.

It was reputedly mooted as a potential location for the shooting of  The Shining but, unlike the coach, Kubrick did a u-turn because nowhere can be that creepy and isolated, eh?

There's another option for a wander via the footbridge south of the hotel over Inversnaid Falls. It's a bit of a lug up the Great Trossachs Path for a restful view of the Sloy Hydro-Electric Power Station, last seen over the loch and closer up from Inveruglas.

Near Inversnaid - Great Trossachs Path
Near Inversnaid - Great Trossachs Path

Once back on the flat, it's a fine walk through woodland but don't forget to close the gate behind you. That's to stop deer and goats, yes goats, from nibbling the saplings but there's no sight, nor smell, of any herbivorous herds today but more on that in a minute.

On reaching an area of parking, it's either back the way you came or down via the busier-than-you-might-like road. Saying that, you could head to the RSPB™ reserve from here making you realise this really wasn't particularly well-planned, was it?

There's an unmanned RSPB™ hut back up the road from the hotel with limited parking at Garrison Farm who can also put you up for the night. They'll let you out along their track but the only sign of any wildlife, of sorts, is their Highland Coos and calves.

Near Inversnaid - Garrison Farm Track
Near Inversnaid - Garrison Farm Livestock

Nothing feathered showing, so far, not that any notice would have been taken of a talking golden eagle. You too will be too busy trying to frame some Ben or other in this nice bit of woodwork.

Near Inversnaid
Near Inversnaid

Unlike SlyBob, however, it hasn't aged well and this is how it looks eight years later.

If you're a bit more daring, you could head for the humps that overlook Loch Lomond.

Near Inversnaid

They're home to a feral herd of goats but don't forget the gas masks, it can be vouched that these ammonia spraying herbivores don't half stink close up.

They're fond of a wander, this just one of a group spotted on the way home near Loch Chon.

Near Inversnaid - Goat(s)

They're also fond of the rich woodland habitat and, unfortunately for them, has called for a controversial cull by the RSPB™ of all people and they now number not much more than 30.

Half of them are already hobbled and it looks like Shearing™s could finish the job on the RSPB™'s behalf?