No matter whether it’s hill walking or cycling, keep fit enthusiast Karen Hood knows her way around the hills and glens of Loch Lomondside.
Words and maps from the Loch Lomond Park Authority
Upgrade works taking place October 2022 – March 2023.
Conic Hill is a much-loved destination that attracts huge numbers of visitors each year. However, the huge popularity of the hill has placed significant pressure on the hill path, especially in recent years.
This winter we are investing around £420,000 to repair and improve the Conic Hill path from Balmaha, with a similar level of investment likely to be made next year to complete the works. This is part of a wider commitment from the National Park Authority to investing in visitor infrastructure in the National Park.
Specialist upland path contractor ACT Heritage Ltd has been appointed to carry out the works, which will start on 31st October 2022.
Between October – December, work will focus primarily on upgrading the section of the path from Bealach Ard to the ford, before working on the next section from the ford to the forest boundary from mid-January to the end of March 2023 (see these sections outlined in the map below).
A second period of work will then take place in Autumn/Winter 2023/24 to complete the upper sections of the path.
The upgrades will require the path to be closed while certain elements of the work take place:
- w/b 31st October 2022 (estimated 1 week)
For health and safety reasons, the path will be closed to the public while helicopters are transporting approximately 450 tonnes of stone to site to begin the upgrades.
- January-March 2023 (estimated 8-9 weeks)
The path will also need to be closed while the second section of the path – from the ford to the forest boundary – is upgraded. This section will involve replacing the timber steps with 2m wide stone pitching. The topography of this section of the path means that it will be too dangerous for the works to be caried out while the path remains open to the public. We expect work on this section to begin in mid-January and the date of the closure will be confirmed.
We appreciate that path closures are never ideal. To help minimise inconvenience for both visitors and businesses, we are carrying out this work in the winter months when visitor numbers, including West Highland Way walkers, are much reduced.
The path will remain open for all other sections of the upgrade works.
The West Highland Way will also remain open throughout the works, but walkers will need to follow the low-level route down Creityhall Road to Milton of Buchanan and along the B837. Fencing and signage will be put up on site to warn people of the closure and to help direct them to the low-level route.
If you’re planning a hill walk at East Loch Lomond while the path is closed, why not consider one of the other local routes in the area such as Forestry & Land Scotland trails at Sallochy and Garadhban. The Cashel Forest also offers a fantastic variety of routes for a range of abilities.