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  • Writer's pictureAbigail Daly

Stretching your legs near Ruskin Lodges

There are lots of local routes and trails close to or starting directly from Ruskin Lodges. But if you fancy a more taxing walk or cycle ride, what options are there? Here are some of our favourites.

Loch Eck, near Ruskin Lodges
Loch Eck, photographed by kroszk@ licensed under CC BY 2.0

  • The Loch Lomond and Cowal Way is a long-distance walking route that runs through the heart of the peninsula, offering a variety of landscapes and breathtaking views. The route is approximately 95 miles (153 km) in length and takes around seven to nine days to complete. There is a great interactive map to help you plan your trip, which can be viewed here.

  • The Dunoon Hill Walk is a moderate hike that takes you to the top of Dunoon Hill, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area. The route is approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) in length and takes around three to four hours to complete.

  • The Ardentinny Forest Walk is a gentle hike through the beautiful Ardentinny Forest, which is home to a variety of wildlife, including red squirrels and red deer. The route is approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) in length and takes around three to four hours to complete. From Ardentinny, you can walk to Carrick Castle a shortcut unavailable to those traveling by car. If you time it right you can also do the walk in one direction, using the bus service to take you home (or get you to the starting point).

  • The Strathlachlan Circular Walk is a moderate hike that takes you through the village of Strathlachlan and the surrounding countryside, offering beautiful views of the surrounding hills and lochs. The route is approximately 7 miles (11.3 km) in length and takes around four to five hours to complete.

  • For a longer cycle ride, the Loch Eck Loop is a 21 mile (33km) route taking in a track hugging the western shore of the loch and the twisting main road linking Dunoon with Strachur along the eastern shore. For more information, visit the Loch Lomond and The National Park pages here.

These are just a few examples of the many hiking routes available in Cowal. Always remember to be prepared, including bringing appropriate clothing, a map, plenty of water, and a first-aid kit. If you have a dog with you, keep them on a lead when near livestock and clean up after them to help protect animals and wildlife from diseases. If you are tackling longer walks, or the weather is poor, it's also a good idea to let someone know your intended route and expected return time. Don't rely on apps or digital maps for navigation as mobile reception can be limited.

For other ideas, visit the Cowal section of Walk Highlands' website or Wild About Argyll's blog.

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