Great Dog Walks: The Water Track

05 June 2022

Arrochar to Tarbet and back over the Water Track: a lovely combination of village and hillside.

Distance: 4 miles

Walking Time: 1hr 30mins

Height Gain: approx. 164metres

Walk from the house up into the village until you get to the Arrochar Chippy.  On the right hand side of the road you will see a small well and a path. Cross the road and climb the few steps opposite to reach an information board with a map of the route. Follow the path uphill following the yellow waymarkers. At the junction turn right and keep following the path.

In the 13th century the Vikings took advantage of the low and short piece of ground between Arrochar and Tarbet (which in Gaelic means place of portage) to carry their longboats overland and carry out raids on the settlements on Loch Lomond. It must have been truly terrifying to see one of King Haakon’s longboats appearing out of the mist filled with armed Viking raiders. Now the 2.5km stretch houses the busy A83 linking Glasgow and the east to most of Argyll. As the path climbs there are good views back over Arrochar and across to The Cobbler and Beinn Narnain beyond. You can also see the remains of the second world war torpedo testing station on the far side of Loch Long where there is still a large jetty and some derelict buildings.

The path passes a bench with a good view and continues straight ahead. Stay on the main path, ignoring a rough path to the right through the rhododendrons. At a fine Scots pine, the route passes a wooden barrier and continues to climb uphill. It then winds through beech, birch and oak trees. Ignore a small path joining from the right.

With pine forest on the left side pass a group of carved heads and soon a junction is reached. Turn right here to descend to Tarbet Station. The path to the left which has red waymarkers is the Cruaich Tairbeit Loop which is currently closed for log felling.  Follow the path under the railway line.

Turn left onto the road, and left again onto the A83 for a very short time. On the right hand side of the road, you will see a gate and a road leading up the hill. Go through this gate. Continue up the hill until you see another gate just to the right. Take the rough road on a undulating route parallel to Tarbet village.

Continue until you see a blue directional post to Arrochar. Take the path down and under the railway bridge and down to the village. At the end of the path, continue on to the road, take a left at the doctor’s surgery, and the continue straight down the lane until you get the white house at the end. Scoot round the house and you’re home!