John Muir "Father of the National Parks"
On John Muir's 180th birthday, Cat Webster revisits his roots in the UK and how his passion developed for protecting and exploring wild places.
The National Park at Loch Lomond is a 35-minute drive from Glasgow. It’s easy to get to by bus or train from Glasgow or Edinburgh or you can catch a ferry from Gourock, 28 miles outside Glasgow. The beautiful water rich landscape means you can discover some great waterfalls in the area.
It’s a great place to get away from city life and spend some time in the countryside. You can go for the day, or you can holiday there in one of the many campsites dotted around the park. Thanks to Scotland’s abundant rainfall, not only is the park beautifully green, but the landscape and the water have created some spectacular waterfalls. Here are seven of the best to explore in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs national park.
If you love a fairy-tale castle, go and have a look at the Edinample waterfall. If you walk to the bottom of the water fall you’ll spy Edinample Castle. It’s privately owned and was built in the 16th century. The waterfall is close to Lochearnhead and the locals will tell you it was once a meeting place for fairies. You can get to the waterfall from the south side of Loch Earn, it’s close to the bridge over the Burn of Ample.
Inversnaid is a hamlet on the east bank of Loch Lomond, which is close to Rob Roy’s cave. It is said that Rob Roy used the cave as a hiding place when he was rustling cattle. Robert the Bruce is also said to have used it to hide from the Clan MacDougal after his defeat in the Battle of Dailrigh in 1306. The waterfall is in a beautiful location on Arkel Water. Stand on the bridge and watch the frothy stream of water slip down onto the rocks below.
The Falls of Leny are close to the village of Kilmahoy, near Callander. It is a spectacular waterfall with fierce waters that cascade noisily amongst the rocks and down into the Garbh Uisge, which actually means rough water; so you have a good idea of what to expect when you see it. It is a popular spot with canoeists and wild swimmers.
Bracklinn Falls are in Callander and you can park in the town and take a walk up the hill, through the woodland or you can park in the car park near to the falls. Stand on the bridge and watch the water foam, as it cascades down through the rocks and into Keltie Water.
The Sruth Ban waterfall is situated on the Cowal Way, in Lochgoilhead. It is a series of waterfalls that flow down a wide rocky drop. You can take the tiny path beside the falls and cross the Sruth Ban by using the footbridge, or on the stepping stones in the river.
The falls of Dochart are in the village of Killin. The falls are on Loch Tay and you can view them from the bridge in the village. If it’s been raining, they really are spectacular and cameras are recommended for photos. Have a walk further down river and you’ll come to the second oldest railway viaduct in Britain. It’s a category A listed building, 81 feet in length and 37 feet high.
The area around the falls is a popular picnic spot. You’ll find it on the A82 south of Crainlarich where there is a car park. Follow the path, which will take you through some trees, and you can then view the falls from the woven sound shelter, which hangs over the river and enhances the sounds of the falls, as well as giving you a perfect view.