Hi, it’s me again. The hopeless hill-walker. No, I’m not here with another tale of falling down mountains or getting caught in a snow storm. After my Cobber snow hike disaster I wanted to give myself a break. Conic Hill is, just that. A hill. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a big hill, but it’s no mountain. Situated beside the village of Balmaha on the east bank of Loch Lomond, Conic Hill offers spectacular panoramic views of the Scottish Highlands and is also not to strenuous a task. The Conic Hill walking route takes about an hour – and hour and a half to reach the top.
Travelling from Glasgow, we caught the train from Queen Street Station to Balloch. From there, you will need to get the 309 bus to the car park of the Conic Hill visitor centre (it’s pretty hard to miss.) In total, our journey took roughly 1 hour 30 minutes. Knowing how temperamental Scottish weather can be, stepping off the train at Balloch to the scorching sun was perfect! It could have passed for a mid-July summers day. It seems we weren’t the only ones taking advantage of the rare good weather as the town was overrun by people enjoying a nice day out.
And So We Begin…
The Conic Hill walking route was no different, I’ve never seen so many people hill walking before. At points, people were even queuing to get up the hill! From toddlers and puppies, to those well into their golden years, Conic Hill really is the prefect day out for everyone. As usual, you start in a wooded area. But then, unlike other walks or hikes I have been on, you are met by a staircase. Built into the side of the hill. It made going up much easier but the descent was torture!
I think because there were so many people on the trail we just blasted it. We barely even spoke to each other and made it to -not quite- the top in about 40 minutes. I say -not quite- the top as there seemed to be almost like a rest stop before you have to boulder up a precariously steep hill to reach the real summit. We sat and chilled there for a bit to catch our breath.
Perfect Spot for a Picnic
After getting the obligatory ‘We made it! (but not really no one will ever know)” picture, we headed off again to tackle the summit. It was more of a ‘hands and feet’ situation to get to the top but once we did, it was stunning! The panoramic views were breath-taking. I may have mentioned it before, but Loch Lomond is by far my favourite place in Scotland. Having never seen in from this perspective before I was in love! I had never explored the east bank before, always sticking to the west bank out of habit I guess. Directly across the water is the little cottage that my parents often rent for a weekend away. We would take lots of day trips out to Luss and Arrochar when I was a kid, but Balmaha was a first for me.
The walk back down was much better that the walk up. Yes, my knees felt like they were slowly grating away and my feet were in agony, but that view! Tell me that is not one of the best views you have ever seen!
A Walk Around the Loch
There are many beaches on the banks of Loch Lomond, so after congratulating ourselves with some ice-cream, we had some time to kill before the bus back to Balloch so we decided to go for a stroll.
I’ve decided I’m going to -try- and walk around the banks of Loch Lomond one day. Maybe this summer. I don’t know if this path goes all the way around, but if it does that would be perfect! I wonder how long that would take. It’s just such a beautiful, serene place. You are never too far away from the main road, but it also feels so peaceful as if you are in the middle of no where.
What started off as a day with no plans turned out to one of the best day trips I’ve had so far this year! A lesson to branch out to the unfamiliar. Don’t always stick to what you know is good. Explore.
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