JMW Helensburgh to Balloch Cycle Loop

A great all terrain cycling loop from Helensburgh to Balloch, with spectacular views across Loch Lomond.

This route has both on road and off road sections. For the section that follows the walking path, a suitable mountain or gravel bike with fat tyres is essential. The descent is somewhat technical in places but for experienced off-road cyclists it’s good fun.

Image credit: Gavin Morton, Green Action Trust
John Muir Way Helensburgh Hut, Image credit: Markus Stitz
Look out for the hut at the start of the John Muir Way on Helensburgh seafront. Image credit: Markus Stitz
John Muir Way Ben Bowie Image Credit: Scotlandbigpicture.com
There are spectacular views across Loch Lomond on the way over Ben Bowie. Image Credit: Scotlandbigpicture.com

JMW Helensburgh to Balloch Cycle Loop

  • Distance: 17 miles / 27.2 km
  • Average time to complete: 3 hours
  • Total Elevation: 538 metres
  • Degree of Difficulty: High

This route uses a mix of quiet roads, sealed cycle path, forest track and rough single track footpath. It climbs from the coast to Gouk Hill so you’ll need to bring decent fitness and a good range of gears. The walking route section is not designed for bikes but can be tackled on a mountain or gravel bike, taking care on the descent and through the narrow wooded section with steps. Please always slow down and give way when encountering walkers.

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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