Scottish Fitness Adventure: Hiking Loch Lomond and the Arrochar Alps

Celebrated in songs and stories, The Loch Lomond National Park includes one of the UK’s largest freshwater lakes and borders the majestic Arrochar Alps. As a ‘tourist,’ I had planned to travel on popular day trips to places like Loch Ness and Edinburgh, but after learning more about Loch Lomond and the mountain trails I knew it would be the perfect place to get my first scenic view of the Scotland as it exists outside of the city.

View of the trail on Conic Hill and hikers making the climb.

View of the trail on Conic Hill and hikers making the climb.

A few of my flatmates and I joined a local Scotsman on a trip to Loch Lomond last weekend. We traveled to Balmaha, a tiny town right on the Highland Boundary Fault, to climb Conic Hill.  Conic Hill is a summit located on the West Highland Way, a Scottish long distance route that stretches for 151 km (almost 100 miles) from the edge of Glasgow to Fort William. It is an extremely popular hiking route that takes several days to complete.

The hike was positively beautiful, despite it being a less-than-perfect weather day. We climbed out of the Balmaha woodlands and tackled the first peak of Conic Hill. After about an hour hike, we were at the peak and surrounded by absolutely gorgeous views of the Loch and the surrounding highlands.  

A foggy view from one of the summits.

A foggy view from one of the summits.

The climbing hills were populated with highland cows and sheep, who are much more accustomed to climbing and grazing at high altitudes than the average American farm animals (they were quite cute and fluffy!)

The hike was short, but the climb was constant and the burn was real. My leg muscles were shaking by the end of the climb!

Sweaty, wet, cold, but cheesing like a fool on one of the peaks.

Sweaty, wet, cold, but cheesing like a fool on one of the peaks.

Following our hike and a quick lunch, we also traveled to a few loch-bordering towns and walked the nature trails around the water. I swear, the air out in the Scottish countryside is one of a kind. The moisture, the natural smells, its unlike any place I've ever been before. 

Photos from our nature hike by Loch Lomond.

Photos from our nature hike by Loch Lomond.

A sample of the 'typical' Scottish farm, stunningly beautiful!

A sample of the 'typical' Scottish farm, stunningly beautiful!

A panoramic shot of Loch Lomond

A panoramic shot of Loch Lomond

Work hard and radiate positive vibes,

Meela

Meela Dudley

Meela is the founder of health, fitness, and lifestyle blog Irieday.com.