Total distance – 2.8 kilometres
Ascent – 90 metres
Walking conditions – Good, well-defined footpath. Slightly steep ‘Summit Path’. No difficulties.
Time required – Around 1.5 to 3.5 hours
Nearest Town – Drymen
The first time we visited Inchailloch Island we were part of a large group on a guided tour with a Loch Lomond Park Ranger. Unfortunately, after about five minutes a boisterous, uncontrollable two year old who we all know and love prompted us to abandon the guided tour and instead wander around the island by ourselves. This turned out to be the perfect scenario as it enabled us to explore the whole island. And what an island it is!
Go to the Boat House at Balmaha (next to the Oak Tree Inn) and find out when the next boat to Inchcailloch leaves. They’re pretty regular (I think they run from around 0900-1700) and throughout the whole year. The ten minute boat trip takes you to the Inchcailloch North Jetty which you can see from the Boat House. When you get on the island simply follow the well-marked footpath (Central Path). This path leads directly to the beach/barbecue site of Port Bawn which is at the other side of the island. As you walk along this path you will see a marked path on your right leading off to the burial ground. Although not part of our route (see below) it’s a good diversion. You will also come across a well-marked path on the left (Summit Path) which takes you a circular route through the highest point on the island. This is a great walk through the trees and provides some of the best views of Loch Lomond. Return to the main path and make your way to Port Bawn. On hot summer days expect large numbers of walkers and a party atmosphere. Return to the North Jetty via the Central Path and await pick-up.
When you get back to Balmaha you can let the children play in the play-park, feed the ducks, or walk along part of the West highland Way. Whatever you do take time to have a wander around this enchanted place called Balmaha.