A good starting point for all sorts of different kinds of dog walk - including one with beaches, another through the enormous woodlands here, and yet another goes up an iconic hill. Take your pick! The visitor centre has lots of helpful info, and on a damp day it's a treat to warm up in there and look at the displays.
WC, visitor centre, free parking with plenty of campervan space. Cafes/hotels with outside tables opposite the entrance to the car park. Children's play area by the visitor centre building (a good sturdy one).
Full Walk Details
Lots and lots of choice for dog walking here.
1 Conic Hill (behind the car park) - is a popular walk and on a clear day there are amazing views from the top. You'll find a detailed map in the visitor centre, but please be aware that the final part of the walk goes over farmland where there are sheep. It's a public footpath, actually a part of a long distance footpath that goes as far as Fort William. We'd read that dogs had been banned from Conic Hill altogether, and checked the situation at the visitor centre. And this is the official advice from the National Park Visitor Centre:
"For the majority of the year dogs are allowed on Conic but we ask that they are kept on a lead whilst doing so – there have been a high number of sheep worrying incidents in the last few years with the farmers having lost a large number of ewes, pregnant ewes and lambs to dog attacks. However for a four week period corresponding roughly to the last two week in April and the first two weeks in May (the exact dates change each year – this year (2012) it is the 15th April – 15th May inclusive) there is a field which the West Highland Way (WHW) passes through that is used for lambing. Under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code it is stated that dogs should not be taken through enclosed fields where livestock are giving birth or have young thus an alternative route is signposted. It is possible to reach the top of Conic Hill from the Balmaha side but there is no through route on the WHW for walkers with dogs."
2 Less strenuous woodland walking takes you along the shore of Loch Lomond on a flat path and plenty of opportunities for dog swimming. From the car park, follow the markers for the Millennium Trail and turn left on the path as soon as you get into the trees. This cuts off a corner of road walking. Then cross the road to the viewing platform. Go around the corner on the road, bearing left at a hairpin bend, and rejoin the shoreside path.
3 And finally, there are forest tracks leading straight from the car park into the forest, easy to follow and perfect for dogs to run off-lead.