The West Highland Way - Stage Two (Balmaha to Inverarnan)

The West Highland Way is the most established of Scotland’s long distance walking routes. This is the second of a five stage route, staying at prebooked accommodation along the way.

This walk is part of a multi-day hike: The West Highland Way in Five Days

Technical sheet

A Stirling walk posted on 30/09/21 by El Sud. Last update : 01/06/22
  • Walking
    Activity: Walking
  • ↔
    Distance: 33.45 km
  • ◔
    Calculated time: 11h25 
  • ▲
    Difficulty: Difficult

  • ∞
    Return to departure point: No
  • ↗
    Vertical gain: + 651 m
  • ↘
    Vertical drop: - 650 m

  • ▲
    Highest point: 139 m
  • ▼
    Lowest point: 12 m


(S) Leave Balmaha by the main road (B837) heading West but when it bens right, take the path off to the left (South-West), at a sharp righthand bend, to go out to the pier and Craigie Fort for some amazing views over Loch Lomond.

(1) Carry on North along the edge of the loch with the road on your right. Past Creag Mhòr and join the road (Rowardennan Road) before Milarrochy. Keep on the road past Critreoch, Lag an Amair Wood and Cashbel Farm.

(2) Take a path off to the right before Badach Cragan and back onto the road again at Anchorage Cottage.

(3) Turn left off the road at Salllochy, towards Carn na Muice and along the edge of the loch to enter Ross Wood, past Mill of Ross and Carraig to reach Rowardennan.

(4) Keep heading North along the Eastern side of Loch Lomond, past Tom Beithe, Creag an Leat and Creag Lolaire. Ben Lomond is towering over on the right at 974m above sea level.

(5) Continue on along the side of the loch past Crockeild and Rob Roy's Prison.

(6) On to Ruadh Bhruach and Rowchoish to reach the footbridge across Cailness Burn. Our route continues North along the side of the loch past Creag an Daraich, Creag Ashlan and across Arklet Water to reach Inversnaid.

(7) The path continues alongside the loch heading North past Leacainn Lasgair, Rob Roy's Cave and Stroin Uaidh. The path is quite rocky in parts and makes the going quite difficult but it continues North past Pollochro, Creag a Mhadaidh, Doune and Ardleish to finally see the end of the loch.

(8) The route climbs for a short while to the east of Cnap Mor to reach the small loch Dubh Lochan.

(9) From here the path skirts the crags past Blarstainge and on to Inverarnan. Cross over the Ben Glas Burn to reach the Beinglas Farm in Inverarnan. (E)


  1. S : km 0 - alt. 19 m - Balmaha
  2. 1 : km 0.63 - alt. 19 m - Craigie Fort
  3. 2 : km 5.04 - alt. 25 m - Cashbel Farm
  4. 3 : km 6 - alt. 29 m - Anchorage Cottage
  5. 4 : km 11.27 - alt. 21 m - Rowardennan
  6. 5 : km 16.23 - alt. 136 m - Ben Lomond
  7. 6 : km 20.23 - alt. 15 m - Ruadh Bhruach
  8. 7 : km 22.98 - alt. 17 m - Inversnaid
  9. 8 : km 30.19 - alt. 40 m - Ardleish
  10. 9 : km 31.34 - alt. 99 m - Dubh Lochan
  11. E : km 33.45 - alt. 17 m - Inverarnan

Useful Information

This is a long route, following the eastern shore of Loch Lomond but the going isn't as easy as might be expected. Check the light hours to ensure you reach Inverarnan or shorten your journey. Inversnaid is an alternative if the days are short. If the weather is wet and cold, make sure you have the right gear. It's a good idea to sort out your accomodation and book well in advance.

The West Highland Way is the most established of Scotland’s long distance walking routes. Officially opened on 6th October 1980, it celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2020. The WHW stretches 96 miles (154 Km) from Milngavie to Fort William, taking in a huge variety of scenery along the way, from countryside parks to loch-shores and open moorlands to steep mountains.

Always stay careful and alert while following a route. Visorando and the author of this walk cannot be held responsible in the event of an accident during this route.

During the walk or to do/see around

There's plenty to see along the way. As it is a long route, keep a steady pace and don't stop for long periods. Enjoy the route and look out for wildlife along the way. Don't rush, just enjoy the journey and make the most of the moment.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.