More about Glen Finglas
With its sweeping vistas of rolling hills mirrored in glassy lochs, heather-covered uplands, hidden glens and ancient woodlands, Glen Finglas epitomises the Scottish Highlands.
The Woodland Trust’s largest site, it lies at the heart of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park and is part of the The Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve. It has something for everyone: a wealth of wildlife, intriguing history, and walks to suit all abilities.
This dramatic landscape has inspired a host of artists and literary greats, such as Sir Walter Scott, who set his epic poem, Lady of the Lake, here. The area is suffused with history and folklore too. For centuries, Scotland’s kings hunted here, local clans fought battles for land and power, and the legendary outlaw Rob Roy, ‘the Scottish Robin Hood’, galloped through its glens.
Druim and Lendrick
The ancient oakwoods at Druim and Lendrick are alive with red squirrels, and if you’re very lucky you may even catch sight of a pine marten. As you walk the trails through the more sparsely wooded higher ground, look out for the many veteran trees – huge-girthed alder and hazel that have stood for three centuries, ‘lollipop’ trees shaped by years of traditional pruning, and the curious ‘bird’ trees, sprouting from seeds lodged in a fissure in an ancient host. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for majestic golden eagles and osprey soaring high overhead.
On the heathlands in spring, you may come across black grouse cocks gathered at their leks, or breeding grounds, strutting and posturing with feathers fluffed. In autumn, the landscape is a vibrant palette of gold, russet and red, especially stunning when lit by a late afternoon sun. It’s also the time of year when the site’s range of weird and wonderful fungi spring to life. And in September and October you may be treated to the spectacle of bellowing stags locking horn in their annual rutting ritual. Just make sure you keep your distance!
Village of Brig o’ Turk
Glen Finglas has walks to suit every age and ability. An easy path loops the village of Brig o’ Turk – film buffs should be sure to drop in at the 1930s tea room used in the 1950s version of The 39 Steps. Younger family members will love to ring a bell to wake the sleeping troll, look for animal prints carved into the path’s stepping stones, and crawl into the spy chamber to watch for wildlife on the Little Druim trail. And seasoned walkers will enjoy the challenges of the remote parts of the estate.
With its breathtaking views, iconic Scottish wildlife and historic interest, Glen Finglas is one site you can’t afford to miss.
Download the Great Trossachs App for more information of the special qualities of this spectacular location.
The 4,875ha (12,044-acre) Glen Finglas Estate partly surrounds the small village of Brig o’ Turk at the heart of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The estate is made up of Glen Finglas (4,096ha/10,121 acres), Milton (756ha/1868 acres) and Bochastle (23ha/57 acres). It includes the glens of Finglas, Meann and Casaig, Milton, the southern slopes of Stuc Odhar (Lendrick Hill), and land along the shore of Loch Venachar.
The estate is at the eastern end of the Great Trossachs Forest, which stretches from just outside Callander to the shores of Loch Lomond. The Forest is the UK’s largest National Nature Reserve and encompasses the RSPB’s Inversnaid Nature Reserve and Loch Katrine, which is managed by the Forestry Commission. The Great Trossachs Forest is the legacy project of the Scottish Forest Alliance (SFA), a collaboration between BP, the Forestry Commission Scotland, RSPB Scotland and the Woodland Trust Scotland.
Explorer 365; OS Landranger 57; Grid reference: NN521108
Access and walks
Glen Finglas has an extensive and varied network of walking routes to suit all abilities. The most popular of these are summarised below. You can find more details in leaflets and maps, and via the interactive screen at the Visitor Gateway in the Lendrick Hill car park (opening hours: April to October, 10am – 4pm). Information is also available at Visit Scotland’s Aberfoyle iCentre (tel: 01877 381221) and the Callandar iCentre (tel: 01877 330342). You can also download an app from the Great Trossachs Forest website.
Grade classifications for the trails are as follows:
Easy – Low level routes on surfaced paths over undulating terrain.
Medium – Partially surfaced paths which may have short, steep sections. Sturdy footwear is advisable.
Hard – Challenging routes with steep sections through remote areas. Suitable outdoor clothing, strong footwear, map, compass, food and drink are needed.
Brig o’ Turk Loop (easy; 3km/2 miles; 1½ hours): This walk follows a level path and boardwalks. It can be extended by 30 minutes by including the Ruskin viewpoint overlooking the waterfalls on the River Turk. There are many access points from Brig o'Turk and the various car parks. Download our leaflet (PDF 4.8M)
Little Druim Wood Play and Sculpture Trail (easy; 1.5km/¾ mile; 30 minutes): Discover surprising sculptures and exciting play features in this ancient woodland. Little Druim Wood also features a family friendly play trail (PDF, 9.5MB), see what you can find and try our quiz!
Drippan (medium; 900m/½ mile; 30 minutes): This walk through ancient semi-natural woodland offers views over Loch Venachar. There are some steep sections.
The Druim (medium; 2.5km/1¼ miles; 45 minutes): This route through woodland and open grazing land has spectacular views towards Brig o’ Turk, Lendrick Hill, Achray Forest and Ben Venue. This path is not recommended between November and April as it can be very muddy.
Lendrick Hill and Dam walk (medium; 6km/3½ miles; 2 hours: This route heads west to Glen Finglas Reservoir before returning through Brig o’ Turk. There are excellent views over Glen Finglas estate, Achray Forest and Ben Venue.
Samson’s Stone (medium; 2km/1 mile; 50 minutes): This walk begins at the Forestry Commission car park at Bochastle, close to Kilmahog, and takes you to the large boulder known as Samson’s Putting Stone. You can also combine it with a visit to a nearby Iron Age fort.
Lower Lendrick (medium; 2.5km/1¼ miles; 1 hour): This route takes in the ancient woodland of Little Druim Wood and the ruins of Drippan Farm; and offers views of the wider Trossachs.
The Great Trossachs Path (medium; 9km/5½ miles to Kilmahog; 4 hours): This path forms the spine of a wide network of trails throughout the Great Trossachs Forest and links the West Highland Way to the Rob Roy Way.
The Meall (hard; 24km/15 miles; 7 hours): This hill track climbs to an altitude of 600 metres before returning through ancient woodland pasture. This route is also used as a mountain bike trail.
Stuc Odhar (hard; 10km/6 miles; 4 hours): This challenging circular route starts with a steep climb up Lendrick Hill, before turning towards Glen Finglas Reservoir and taking in remote upland areas of the estate.
There are no buses or trains to Glen Finglas. However, there is a subsidised Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) service which operates all year round (tel: 01877 330 496 for information).
By car from Glasgow
Take the A81 to Aberfoyle, then the A821 over the Duke’s Pass, and through Brig o’ Turk to the car park. For the Meall Trail, park at the Lendrick Hill car park, which is 0.8km/½ mile past the village on the left (more than 20 car spaces and one coach space – email Scotland@woodland-trust.org.uk to reserve this). The Little Druim car park is a similar distance further along on the right (12 car spaces).
By car from Edinburgh
Head west to Junction 10 at Stirling and then take the A84 to Callander. Continue for 1.6km/1 mile north to Kilmahog, then turn left on to the A821 to Little Druim car park, 7.6km/4.7 miles on left. Lendrick Hill car park is another 0.8km/½ mile on right.
There is another Woodland Trust car park at Dam Road just before the Finglas Reservoir Dam (six spaces), and Bochastle Forestry Commission Car Park (15 cars) at the eastern end of the site just outside Kilmahog. Other access points include Brig o’ Turk village and the Gartchonzie layby, just opposite the Invertrossachs turn off.
Private vehicles are not allowed beyond the gate on the Glen Road, or on the section of road between the Dam Road Car Park and the dam.
Walking and cycling
Walkers and cyclists can access the area via The Great Trossachs Path (48km/30 miles), which spans the Great Trossachs Forest from east to west. You can cycle to Brig o’ Turk on the National Cycle Path 7 extension along the south side of Loch Venachar.
The Visitor Gateway at the Lendrick Hill car park has toilet facilities which are open from April to October. Other than these, the nearest are in Callander or Aberfoyle, and also at the Loch Katrine Pier Complex and the David Marshall Lodge Visitor Centre when these are open.
Refreshments on the Brig o’ Turk Loop walk can be found at Byre Inn (01877 376 292), or the Tea Room (01877 376 283) used as a set in the 1959 version of the film The 39 Steps. It’s advisable to check their opening times beforehand.
Accommodation and tourist information
For attractions visit tripAdvisor, Aberfoyle iCentre (01877 381221); Callander iCentre (01877 330342); Visit Scotland or Destination Callander.
Looking to extend your adventure with a holiday in the great outdoors? Whether you’re glamping, camping or caravanning, our partner Freedom To Go can help you find the perfect pitch.
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