Conservation charity Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs recently awarded the Helensburgh and District Access Trust a grant of £5000 for work on the Three Lochs Way. Funding from this and other sources is enabling a series of improvements to be made to the 55km trail, which links Gare Loch, Loch Long and Loch Lomond.
Running from Balloch in the south to Inveruglas in the north, The Three Lochs Way takes in the scenic but often-overlooked western fringes of the National Park. From its northern end a short boat ride would allow walkers to link up with the West Highland Way on the east shore of Loch Lomond (see this UKH Route Card).
First publicised in 2010, the route has become one of Scotland's 23 official long distance 'Great Trails'. It is already playing an important role in the development of tourism in the area, says the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority.
Commenting on the award George Boyd, Vice-President of the Friends said:
'We are delighted to award the Access Trust what is our largest single grant for any project in recent years and it is very encouraging that this has enabled the Trust to lever over £30,000 from other sources to help create what is now one of Scotland's best walking trails for visitors and locals to enjoy.'
'I am also pleased that this level of funding has been possible due to the success of the Friends Our Park visitor giving scheme and our annual golf charity event which demonstrates what can be achieved by businesses and visitors working closely with the Friends and many volunteers to improve outdoor recreational opportunities in and around the National Park.'
Anne Urquhart, who is Vice Convener of the local Access Trust, said:
'We are at an important stage in delivering improvements along the Three Lochs Way and the funding support from the Friends has helped to support the production of new signage and information boards, smart phone apps, a guide book and a missing bridge link at Glen Culanach.'
'It is also encouraging that funding raised from voluntary donations via participating Friends OUR Park scheme businesses is being reinvested in tangible access projects that will help to improve the quality of the visitor experience locally.'