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Balquhidder Road

Start location: Brig o' Turk (NN 536 066)
End location: Ledcharrie, Glen Dochart (NN 506 281)
Geographical area: Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
Path Type: Rural Path, Smugglers' Path, Trade Route, Drove Road
Path distance: 24.5km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians

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Route Description

Head generally north from Brig o' Turk, passing to the east of Glen Finglas Reservoir, turning eastwards to reach Ballimore at the end of the public road. Follow the unclassified road into Balquhidder.

From Balquhidder Church go north up the road through the forest, then by a path beyond it on the east side of the Kirkton Glen to reach the huge boulder called Rob Roy's Putting Stone. Continue below the frowning crag Leum an Eireannaich (the Irishman's leap) to Lochann an Eireannich at the bealach. Descend north down the east side of the Leadcharrie Burn to the A85 at Leadcharrie farm.

OS Landranger 57 (Stirling & The Trossachs area) & 51 (Loch Tay & surrounding area)

Heritage Information

This pass through the Trossachs has been used for centuries for both legitimate and nefarious purposes.  It has close ties to Rob Roy MacGregor, the famous Highland rogue immortalized by Daniel Defoe and Sir Walter Scott. Rob Roy's home village of Balquhidder is directly on this route, and his grave can be found in the kirkyard there, near the ruins of the earlier church. Indeed, Roy stole the bell from this earlier church for use in his son's school at Loch Tayside. The bell was returned in 1951.

Cattle droves coming from Skye and Lochaber would use this route on their way to Brig o' Turk and Aberfoyle. Cattle thieves would also use this path as it offers the advantage of being the least populated pass through the Trossachs. The pass south from Balquhidder into Gleann nam Meann is said to have been used by whisky smugglers in addition to all manner of local people about their business.

There are various interesting sites along the route including ruined shielings. Rob Roy's Putting Stone lies at the base of Creag an Eireannaich, it is said to be where MacGregor and his men hid from their enemies. Loch Eireannaich translates as Irishmen Lake, thought to be a reference to fifth century Irish missionaries who lived in the area. The stands of conifers near to Balquhidder are rumoured to be haunted by a ghostly huntsman. Whilst in Glen Finglas, a desperate struggle took place between the MacGregors and the Colquhouns.

Glen Finglas was the setting for Sir Walter Scott's Lady of the Lake, which inspired loads of tourists to visit the Trossachs. The Glen is now owned by the Woodland Trust who bought the estate in 1996. Their site map shows nine way-marked routes including their 24km route around The Meall which uses part of this old route


Copyright: Brian MacLennan

Copyright: Colin Smith



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