The Bracklinn Falls from the River Leny

The first part of this walk is by far the prettiest but the second part stretches the legs and offers variety. You set off on a very lovely path along the River Leny. After the river walk and the railway track there’s a long gentle climb up to the Falls. Thereafter there’s a lovely woodland walk back down into Callander. The Longer route takes you across the meadows to Kilmahog and then climbs a little befoe returning through Coilihan Woods. The walk is as flat as you’ll get in the countryside – but oh so beautiful and with wonderful views. The Tourist Centre will have maps with walks around Callander which match the coloured posts en route.

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Park in Callander. As this is a circular walk it doesn’t matter where on the route you park, but there is a charge in each of the two main car parks (down by the River Leny and behind the Dreadnought Hotel). Outwith the height of the tourist season here is ample free parking in Callander: round Callander Kirk, along the Main Street out towards the Roman Camp Hotel, and up and along the disused railway line, for example at Glenartney Road. You could also start at Kilmahog. Just check that wherever you park there there isn’t a time limit.

To get there take your favourite route to Aberfoyle (generally the A81 which you pick up either at Maryhill Road or Canniesburn Toll). The A81 takes you through the east end of Milngavie (past what was the East Dunbartonshire Council Buildings and is about to be a Hotel); round the roundabout at Homebase, etc (sign-posted to Strathblane); past the waterworks; on to Strathblane, Dumgoyne, Gartmore House to the roundabout outside Aberfoyle where you turn right to Callander, still on the A81. Drive past Braeval and the cottages at Lake of Menteith turning sharp left with the A81 and following the signposts to Callander. At the mini-roundabout, just past the McLaren High School and Leisure Centre, turn right to go up the hill into Callander, and right or left at the traffic lights depending on where you’re parking.

The Walk

Since the first part of the walk is the prettiest, you may like to begin the walk by continuing along the Main Street and past the junction for the road up to the Bracklinn Falls on the left and the Roman Camp Hotel on the right. A sign post directs you down a narrow path (blue dots on the map) which soon opens out, undulates along a low ridge between the town houses and the river and then makes down to the river. The stretch along the river is lovely. Pass an information board and platform for fishermen, and continue to where the path is forced inland (just over a planked deep stream) up a set of steps, across a field and on to the main road at a bus stop. There are pedestrian traffic lights to allow you to continue across the road and up a track on to the old railway line. At the junction with the railway line, turn right (white markers on the map).

The next part is very easy walking and very beautiful. Continue with the track past Auchenlaich House (ignore both the path parked ‘Private on the left and the Keltie Bridge Caravan Par on your right) and begin to climb gently but steadily. There are glorious views of Callander and Ben Ledi beyond. At the junction (with a notice saying Bracklinn FC to the left) turn right. This soon emerges on the main Bracklinn Falls path (purple dots on the map). However, it is particularly beautiful to go straight on here (instead of turning right to the Falls) on a new path created when the bridge was replaced. This is very short but brings you along the river upstream from the bridge.

After visiting the Falls get back on to the main path (purple dots) either by re-tracing your steps back the way you came down (gentler) or stepping between two boulders on your left and going straight up some steps (steeper). Continue along to the Bracklinn Falls car park. There have been forest operations along the route which, while untidy, have opened up the views. At the country road going up to Braeleny (through a huge gate), turn left downhill. (White dots on a yellow road.) At the blue Parking sign, turn right and at the gate take the lower red-and-brown dotted route through the forest. At a viewpoint with a bench, a post with a red marker goes up hill, but you go left downhill. There are some very slippery boards here! Avoid! This path comes down to Tulipan Crescent.

The Short Cut

If the weather has been dry for a couple of weeks you could turn right, cross the road, go down to the old railway but turn left around the car park (orange dots on the map). Alternatively, turn left in Tulipan Crescent to pick up the railway going in the opposite direction (red dots) and wiggle your way either along Ancaster Road (red dots) or the old railway (blue dots). (To follow the Ancaster Road route, from Tulipan Crescent follow the old railway track through to the car park and from the far, top corner of the car park go up some steps and across the bridge into Ancaster Road, and turn right.) Either way, you reach the Main Street easily.

The Longer Route

For a longer walk, cross the main road (A84) from Tulipan Crescenet and go straight over to the railway line turning right towards the signal. Follow the railway line towards Kilmahog. (Notice the very clear outline of a Roman camp on the right in the meadows as you near Kilmahog.)

At Kilmahog, cross the country road (A821) and take the off-road-path running parallel to the road on the left. Follow this to another car park on the right but go straight on to pick up the Woodlands’ Trust path contouring round the hillside parallel with the road on the left and under Samson’s Stone on the right. This comes down to the A821 opposite the Invertrossachs Road. Cross the A821 and go down the road towards the bridge. Cross the bridge and turn left. Follow the road to a car-park on the left. The main path (green dots) goes up directly in front of you. However, it is shorter and prettier to take the path on the left and follow this to a wee lochan at Callander Holiday Park. Follow the signs through the park to rejoin the Invertrossachs Road. Take the road to the junction with the A81. You can either cross the River Leny on the road here, or turn right at the roundabout, cross the road and take the path on the left to go down to the pedestrian bridge and up South Church Street.

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