Walks around Buchlyvie
The Old Railway Line to Aberfoyle - a 3 hour walk
- Category: Walks Around Buchlyvie
This path is well-known to the hundreds of runners (and walkers!) who take part in the annual 10km Buchlyvie Fun Run or the Buchlyvie Half-Marathon– along the old railway line to Aberfoyle. This was used by many of us long before it was a core path, but then we could only go as far as the River Forth, because the bridge had been demolished when the railway was closed. However, this bridge has now been replaced, so there’s no longer any need to detour via Gartmore when heading for Aberfoyle.
To get to the path, walk down Station Road, over the Ballochneck Burn and turn down the first road on the right (labelled “Woodend”), which is bridged by the old railway line. Immediately after this bridge, turn left to pass a field gate and go up a muddy ramp to turn left along the old railway track, passing another gate on the way. An alternative start may be made from opposite the old Buchlyvie station (now called “Station House”) about 100 yards beyond the turn-off to Woodend, where there is a signpost proclaiming the route to be a public path to Aberfoyle. After the gate, the track continues straight for a bit (heading for Stirling) and then curves to the left (heading for Aberfoyle). The surface of the track is rough gravel, which drains reasonably well, so it’s never too wet.
After a mile-and-a-half, the track crosses the Auchentroig Burn, where there may be a gate. A short distance further on, the track crosses the Kelty Water and reaches Barbadoes Cottage. This cottage is almost exactly 5km from Buchlyvie and is the turning point for the Buchlyvie 10 km Fun Run. If you want to visit Gartmore, turn left here and follow the track past Easterhills and the Trossachs Holiday Park to meet the A81 road. Cross this road and follow the signposts to Gartmore.
Staying on the old railway line, a mile beyond Barbadoes Cottage brings you to the new bridge over the River Forth (only a modest river at this stage!) and now you’re in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. In the next mile you pass the Carse of Shannochill farm and go under the A81 road towards the Gartmore road near Cobleland. At this point, the track has been tarmacadamed. Pass through a gate onto the Gartmore road, go right and you’ll soon meet the Sustrans National Cycle Network route 7. The prominent Sustrans marker at this point was painted by the Buchlyvie Brownies several years ago. Sustrans stands for “sustainable transport” – an organisation dedicated to creating cycleways and footpaths all over Britain and NCN 7 is the greatest of them all; you turn left for Land’s End or right for John O’ Groats!
Follow the cycleway, now tarmacadamed, all the way into Aberfoyle, passing the Rob Roy Hotel on the way. You are now 10 km from Buchlyvie, hopefully with plenty of time to enjoy coffee and scones at the Woollen Mill and still catch the No. 11 bus to Balfron, in time to meet the No 12 ?Stirling bus to Buchlyvie. It’s not possible to say how long it will take to walk to Aberfoyle, but a reasonably fit walker should do it in? two or three hours. A wonderful alternative to walking is cycling: the whole Buchlyvie to Aberfoyle route is a cycleway, which can be done in about an hour (although you won’t be able to get the bike onto the bus, so you’ll need to cycle back too).