Total distance – 12 kilometres
Ascent – 300 metres
Walking conditions – Good, well defined footpath. No difficulties
Time required – Around 3.5 to 5.5 hours
Nearest town – Crianlarich
When I was a teenager, I somehow managed to convince one of my friends to accompany me on the West Highland Way. With no tent and minimum equipment the plan was to get from Milngavie to Doune Bothy by the end of the first day. We didn’t make it. At around 11pm, whilst sliding and falling about in a pitch black, rain-sodden Rowardennan Forest we opted to huddle together and wait for daylight. When daylight finally came we found that we were no more than 300 metres from our objective of Doune Bothy. We dried ourselves off in Doune Bothy, went for a sleep, got the boat across to Ardlui, and then went home. In hindsight it was a predictably disastrous first attempt at the West Highland Way and I still smile when I think about it. Similarly the walk from Inverarnan to Doune Bothy also makes me smile. Not least because it gives me a good excuse to visit the Drover.
Park at the Drover and walk north for approximately 400 metres, then turn right over the bridge. Turn right again and simply follow the West Highland Way footpath south for 5 Km until you reach Doune Bothy. Doune Bothy is easily recognisable as at any given time there is likely to be at least one weary but cheerful hiker with a large rucksack sitting down eating a bar of chocolate. Sample the ambience, then turn around and walk back. It’s as simple as that.
There’s a really good viewpoint just before the footpath drops down to Ardleish on the way to Doune Bothy. We always stop there for a picnic and photos. Don’t eat too much because the portions at the Drover are huge. Please don’t be scared off by the bear at the door. Even the ghosts are friendly. The Drover is always well worth a visit.