JMW Ben Bowie Loop

A 10 mile walking loop on Ben Bowie above Helensburgh, with spectacular views across the Firth of Clyde and Loch Lomond.

This half-day walk follows the John Muir Way and Three Lochs Way to create a loop that has something for everyone, from the grand tree-lined streets of this Victorian resort town, to remote hilltops. There’s not much flat though, so be prepared to work for the fantastic views over Loch Lomond and the Firth of Clyde!

Image credit: scotlandbigpicture.com

Ben Bowie Loop

  • Distance: 10 miles / 16 km
  • Average time to complete: 4.5 hours
  • Total Elevation: 407 metres
  • Degree of Difficulty: High

This route uses a mixture of pavements, gravel footpaths and forestry road. The optional spurs to the summits of Gouk Hill and Ben Bowie involve unmarked paths over uneven and sometimes boggy or muddy ground, however the bulk of the route follows the waymarked routes of the John Muir Way and Three Lochs Way. With 1,300ft of elevation gain in 10 miles, it’s a hilly route and steep in places, requiring a good degree of fitness.

The John Muir Way team have developed walking and cycling day-trips based around parts of the main JMW route, but also using other local paths to create a micro adventure. These round trips are easily accessible by public transport, and there are 3 routes based around Helensburgh:

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