The 12th week of my walking challenge has been tremendous fun.
This week I got to enjoy some spectacular walking weather and discover new areas to walk.
Last week I mentioned that I was heading West towards the beautiful countryside in and surrounding the Trossachs National Park. This is area that I have seldom had the chance to visit in recent years so it was nice to see how much the area has developed since my last visit.
The Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park
I imagine that this regional park will be well known to the majority of walkers who visit Walk Fife but to those new to this area of Scotland I will give you a quick introduction.
The Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park was established as a national park by the Scottish Parliament in 2002 and is the fourth largest national park in the UK and has a grand total of 21 magnificent Munros alongside 19 stunning Corbetts waiting to be conquered by weekend explorers.
The park does not just attract seasoned hillwalkers and climbers as it also has many trials and established paths for walkers of all abilities to enjoy. These routes also have great appeal to cyclists and wildlife watchers making the park a busy and very active area to explore.
So where did I head in week 12?
The Loch Drunkie Loop
This route was recently shared with me by my good friend Ian McQuire. This 11 km Grade 3 route begins just outside of the charming town of Aberfoyle and takes the walker on a circular route through Achray Forest following some well established and maintained trails.
I was joined on the walk by fellow Walk Fifer’s Andy and John who, like myself, haven’t walked in this area of the park for many years. Almost immediately, we all noticed how much had changed since we last walked in the park.
The roads leading into the forest had been greatly improved and parking spots and picnic areas have been upgraded and expanded all of which allow walkers, cyclists and tourists greater and easier access to the beautiful scenery of this small part of the national park. We met and chatted with many other walkers as we made our way along the loch side and they all agreed that this area of the park has become an ideal area for walkers looking for something with a gentle pace.
The walking was easy going and the views were superb and the three of have decided to explore more of this are in the summer months when we feel like having a break from the mountains but still want to get in some enjoyable walking.
If you are looking for a change of scenery, I thoroughly recommend that you pay a visit to the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. It really is a walkers paradise. You can view the route by visiting https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/route/1938539/Loch-Drunkie-Loop-Walk-Fife
Week 12 lessons
Week 12 has open my eyes to a few things and firstly it reminded me of some old trails that I walked in the past and I think that this year I will revisit some of them to see if they how they have changed since I last walked them. There could be some hidden waking gems hidden away that I go could out and enjoy.
With the change of season slowly bringing with it better weather, I am now thinking about which pieces of equipment and clothing I will need to change in order to stay comfortable while walking. Overheating while walking is best avoided as you can quickly become dehydrated which is not a good situation to be in.
Next week will be based around home base as I catch up with family and work commitments but thanks to the weather it promises to be a great week of walking ahead.
If you have any questions about this challenge or anything Walk Fife related, then please drop me a email at email@example.com or direct message me through my twitter account @SDMakin.
Catch up with you again next week.
About Sean : Sean Makin is the founder of Walk Fife and is one of the volunteer coordinators behind the Walk Fife website and community.
Sean presents our regular audio podcast and can often be found walking along the Fife Coastal Path and over the Lomond Hills. You can follow Sean through his twitter account at @SDMakin and you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org