The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is Scotland’s first National Park and was established in the year 2002. With a size of 720 square miles (1,865 sq km) the Park covers many contrasting landscapes reaching from Lowland to Highland. Every year thousands of visitors enjoy the beauty of the National Park with its lochs, rivers, woodlands, mountains and historical sites.
The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is controlled by the National Park Authorities. The Park Authorities are responsible for three core activities: Conservation, Visitor Experience and Rural Development. Conservation is necessary to ensure that the natural heritage including land and water resources is managed in a sustainable way. The second core activity is promoting the National Park as a sustainable tourism destination. Rural development, the third core activity, ensures that the Park has a local distinctiveness and the quality of life for the local communities is enhanced. In order to ensure that The Park remains clean and tidy for visitors and local residents in the National Park, there is the Scottish outdoor access code enforced by The Park Authorities.
The Great Outdoors
One of the main purposes of the National Park is to promote the great outdoors and there are no shortage of activities available for a vast range on interests.
Getting Around with Children
Children also love the great outdoors but for parents they can be a handful if you want to participate in some activities. To help keep children safe from injury and also to help parents get the most of being outside a great idea is to get a carrier of wrap so that your children are always safe and sound.
There are 21 Munros (mountains higher than 3,000 feet), 19 Corbetts (mountains between 2,500 and 3,000 feet), 22 larger lochs, 50 rivers and two forest parks, The Argyll Forest Park and The Queen Elizabeth Forest Park within the boundaries of The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. With all these natural features The Park attracts many outdoor enthusiasts every year.
Popular outdoor activities include walking, cycling, mountaineering, water sports, golf, horse riding, wildlife viewing and many more. The mountain areas such as the Arrochar Alps attract many visitors to participate in mountaineering no matter what season. There are many information boards and maps around the forests and trails and also check the map below for the locations of the various Tourist Information Centres as they are there to help visitors enjoy a stay in The Park and can offer lots of information.
Maps and Guides
We have included many maps and guides for download if you want to plan ahead before your arrival and the most popular are listed on the Walking & Hiking page where you can also print a copy. To find details of all the things to do and to book excursions, buy tickets or hire equipment go to the activities pages where you can e-mail the venues direct to find more information.
The marine and coastal environment is home to many different species. Loch Lomond and many other lochs and rivers have a large number of fish perfect for a great angling experience. Loch Long and Loch Goil are sea water lochs where you can find seals and even porpoises. Not only the lochs are interesting for wildlife spotting. Throughout the whole park many different bird species including bird of prey can be seen. The capercaillie is one of the iconic animals in the National Park and fascinates many visitors. Other wildlife in the Park includes deer, squirrels, badgers, hedgehogs, bats and many more.
For those who are interested in the history of the National Park there are many towns and villages with historical buildings and places to visit. Luss, is a lovely conservation village which was the location of a popular TV series and has some fine churches and charming streets. Its possible to take a sail on Loch Lomond from here and many other piers around the loch. The City of Stirling is to the east of the Park and has many interesting attractions such as the Old Town Jail, Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument.
One of the most popular attractions in the Heart of the Trossachs is the SS Walter Scott: stream ship on Loch Katrine which is by far one of the most scenic lochs in Scotland. The ship sails twice daily in the Summer and is well worth a visit. It is also possible to take you bicycle onto the ship and cycle back from Stronachlacher after a visit to the Pier Cafe.
Experience the traditional Scottish hospitality and enjoy Scotland’s most famous drink, whisky, the water of life, by visiting a distillery such as the Glengoyne Distillery or from one of the hotels and bars on the whisky lovers trail.
The Park has a good range of quality accommodations such as hotels, bed and breakfast, Campsites and self-catering holiday cottages. A complete list of accommodation types can be found on our Places to Stay pages where you can contact establishments directly from this site.
Throughout the whole year the local communities in the National Park organise events for the whole family where visitors are most welcome to attend. These include guided walks, festivals, markets, concerts and of course the Highland Games. No matter what season, there is always something interesting to see and to do in The Trossachs and Loch Lomond.
The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park can be reached easily from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling from the south or Fort William and Oban from the north. About 50% of the inhabitants in Scotland live less than an hour away from the Park by car. For more information visit the official National Park website here.