Loch Katrine’s Dimensions: 13 long and 1km wide
Road Access for Loch Katrine: Via the A829 from Aberfoyle or Callander
The name Loch Katrine probably derived from the Gaelic word “cateran” meaning “Highland Robber” which is probably in reference with Rob Roy MacGregor who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Rob Roy was an outlaw from Glen Gyle who knew the secret paths along Loch Katrine. On Factor’s Island, a small island on Loch Katrine, Rob Roy imprisoned the factor of the Duke of Montrose as part of some disagreement with the Duke. On the eastern end of Loch Katrine you can find another island called Ellen’s Isle with the peak of Ben A’an rising above it. Loch Katrine is also famous for the steamship called after the poet and writer Sir Walter Scott. It has been in service since 1900. The steam boat cruises from Trossachs Pier to Stronachlachar along the route Rob Roy travelled. Without doubt, Loch Katrine is the most beautiful loch of the Trossachs area. Each summer during the Callander Jazz Festival its possible to take an afternoon Jazz Cruise on the Loch. The best way to discover the beautiful scenery is by hiking or cycling in the north road of the Loch which is closed to vehicles so therefore very peaceful, or by taking a cruise aboard the steamship SS Sir Walter Scott to Stronachlacher where you can disembark and either walk or cycle back to Trossachs Pier. The Old Military Road is being reinstated by the Forestry Commission and will soon join Stronachlachar to Inversnaid. The overall route of this “Great Path” goes from Kilmahog to Loch Lomond.
Bicycles can be rented from the Trossachs Pier. There is also a visitor centre, tearoom, restaurant, craft shop and toilets. Parking is available for a small fee. During the high season there are many visitors to this lovely Loch and parking at Trossachs Pier can be busy at times. Loch Katrine is owned by Scottish Water and the loch is the main source of water for the City of Glasgow. A pipeline transports the flows by gravity 26 miles to Glasgow without the use of any pumps. This marvel of Victorian Engineering featuring viaducts at various places in the forest en route to Glasgow is a testimony of the quality and complexity of the project which accounted for Queen Victoria’s visit to The Trossachs for the opening ceremony. The level of the loch can be influenced via a tunnel from Loch Arklet and Glen Finglas Reservoir. Fishing was not allowed in the past and after many years the loch has become open for fishing again. Loch Katrine is mainly known for its brown trout but also pike can be caught. At Loch Katrine Fisheries at the Stronachlacher end of the loch, you can rent boats with electric engines. The loch is quite deep (120m) and has some fantastic fishing. The wild brown trout fights hard and can be up to 4lb. The pike is up to 30 lb and even possible on the fly. Only fishing from the boats is allowed, no bank fishing is permitted. Loch Katrine has lots of lovely holiday cottages for rent along its shores and many have exceptional views across the loch. Bed and breakfast accommodation is harder to find around the loch as there is not much passing traffic along the North Shore due to the private road which is why it is so peaceful. Loch Katrine is a great place to visit with something for the whole family and should be included in any visit to The Trossachs.