Loch Lomond’s only country park commands impressive views over its waters, spanning 200 acres which include walled gardens, nature trails and guided walks.
The park straddles the Highland Boundary Fault, which divides it into two distinct regions - lowland and highland - that differ in underlying geology, soil types and topography.
The change in rock type can most clearly be seen at Loch Lomond itself, as the fault runs across the islands of Inchmurrin, Creinch, Torrinch and Inchcailloch and over the ridge of Conic Hill. To the south lie green fields and cultivated land; to the north, mountains.
The area has long been popular with tourists, with the Trossachs being one of the first parts of Scotland to become a recognised tourist destination due to its position on the southern edge of the Highlands and to the quality of the scenery, which may be considered to represent a microcosm of a typical Highland landscape.
Beauty spots include the Falls of Dochart, the viewpoint at the Rest and be thankful, and Inchcailloch island in Loch Lomond. There is a national park visitor centre in Balloch at the southern end of Loch Lomond, called Loch Lomond Shores, which includes a visitor information centre at the most popular gateway to the park, as well as an aquarium, shops and restaurants.
Loch Lomond is one of Scotland's premier boating and watersports venues, with visitors enjoying activities including kayaking, Canadian canoeing, paddle boarding, wake boarding, water skiing and wake surfing. Cruises on the loch can be taken from Tarbet, Inversnaid, Luss and Rowardennan, and on Loch Katrine in the Trossachs visitors can travel on the historic steamship SS Sir Walter Scott.
The park is popular with walkers, with routes ranging from easy family strolls through to hillwalking on the park's highest summits. Popular summits include Ben Lomond in Dunbartonshire and The Cobbler in the Arrochar Alps. The West Highland Way, Scotland's first officially designated long-distance footpath, passes through the park, following the eastern shore of Loch Lomond and passing close to Crianlarich. In addition to the West Highland Way five more of Scotland's Great Trails pass through sections of the park, including the Loch Lomond and Cowal Way, the Three Lochs Way and the Great Trossachs Path.
Balloch Castle & Country Park
Balloch Castle Country Park lies on the southeast shores of Loch Lomond, on the northern edge of Balloch. The park itself comprises 200 acres of semi-natural and ornamental woodland, open parkland, formal gardens, meadow, play parks and shoreline. It is located directly on the south-east shores of Loch Lomond, on the northern edge of Balloch.
The park is quintessentially a 19th century private estate, developed as a park at the beginning of the 20th century. Its design and layout has remained largely unaltered since 1800, at the time the current castle was built. In the park you can explore the Fairy Glen, Chinese Garden, Pleasure Grounds, Quarry Pond, Kitchen Garden, Secret Garden, Woodlands and Parklands.
A 'Fairy Trail' has also been established in the park by Patrick Muir which utilises the stumps of trees which have had to be felled.
Balloch Country Park is unique in being the only registered historic designed landscape within Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The castle grounds offers a car park and walled garden with trees and shrubs, including the rhododendrons and azaleas that reach full bloom in late May and early June.
Sea Life Loch Lomond Aquarium
Visit SEA LIFE and enjoy views of the magnificent Ben Lomond on a circular sightseeing boat cruise of Loch Lomond's South basin. Discover the interactive rock pool experience; stroke a starfish or feel the shell of a crab. Take a fascinating journey from the shores of Loch Lomond to the depths of the world’s oceans in seven themed zones and with over 1500 creatures. Journey through the tropical ocean tunnel, where you can come face-to-fin with Blacktip sharks, rays and other critters of the seas. Meet the troublesome otter trio, Lily, Pickle and Cub, up close. But watch out, they are cheeky!