John Muir Way: Section 2

  Balloch to Strathblane


How to get to Balloch

From Glasgow there is a regular train service that runs through Glasgow Central and takes just over an hour to get to Balloch. You will have to change trains at Westerton, but you only  need to wait  afew minutes for the connecting train to Balloch.
There is a regular bus service from Buchanan Street bus station however the train is more convenient.

Where Does it Start?


From the train station, cross the road and take a right. At the end of the bridge take a left where the route will start at Balloch Country Park.


The Route

From Balloch the route takes you through the Country Park before heading east. The path takes you out through the main entrance to the park. There is a Children's Hospice on the left, you would be looking to walk straight on. The first section of this walk is on minor roads that connect farms and small cottages to the main road.
Farm Roads

More Farm Roads

Proper Track
There is a point, just after Lochend Cottage where the path diverts for cyclists and walker. Cyclists tend to stay on these farm roads, the walkers track ends up being just that, a track. I didn't pay good enough attention to this sign and headed off on the cyclist path. I found out a couple of miles down the track and quickly doubled back. After my fifty minute detour, the walkers path led me up through more farms and cottages to Wester Cameron where the route really begins. This is where this section of the walk starts to resemble a proper walkers track. The rough stone path leads through a forest, currently under going some logging work. The track here is good under foot and not boggy.


Logging Work

Track Through Forest 

Lens Flare!

Once out of the forest the track leads you into open hillside, where you get good views of Thiefs Hill and Burncrooks Reservoir. This section of the walk takes around the side of the reservoir and this gives a chance to see the reservoir from different perspectives, There are large rocks placed at the main viewpoints in which to stop and take in the view, and to have some lunch. Fishing is permitted with a licence.

Burncrooks Reservior

Fishing

Once you have skirted around the edge of the reservoir you are led past a water treatment plant and then a couple of miles later the first signs of civilisation start to appear. The first of these is Edenmill farm, garden centre and  cafĂ©. This is a good place to stop for a quick cup of coffee and cake. From there you are led past Carbeth, where there is an assortment of self built summer houses and shacks.

Carbeth Huts

More Huts

Once past these small dwellings the track veers right over a mucky path before its final decent into Strathblane. As always when descending into a town at the end of  a long walk, the route tends to take you through the outskirts of the town before you get to the main street. I finished my day off here and decided to get the bus back to Glasgow. There is a regular service of a bus at least every hour. You can also treat yourself with a meal at the Kirkhouse Inn, which is next to the bus stop.

First Signs of Strathblane

My plan next is to walk Section 3: Strathblane to Kilsyth at the end of May.
   

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