Stirling is blessed with a great location close to the countryside. There are plenty of walks near the city of Stirling and a little further away toward nearby towns. Read below for a description of each walk and check out the map above for locations of parking to begin and end the walks.
If you are feeling like a wander around the town then please read this post about our 5 favourite places to visit in Stirling.
If car parks or laybys are full then please use common sense, do not park along roadsides and cause obstructions to other vehicles, potentially causing accidents as cars are forced into the middle of a narrow road. Emergency vehicles need to get by at all times and parking on the roadside can stop them attending situations quickly. This list of Stirling walks includes a map of potential car parks, but if they are full please move on somewhere else.
North Third Reservoir, Cambusbarron
This walk is just a little way out of Cambusbarron and parking is in laybys on the roadside. Please do not park outside of laybys, it’s a narrow road and the verges can wrecked by cars. As with many of the walks in Stirling it can cause obstructions to other traffic due to narrow roads.
You can start the walk in either direction, but we prefer to cross into the forest on a path just to the East of the Bannock Burn. Follow the path up through the forest and you will eventually come out onto the open hillside above the crag. Follow the path along the crag with views to the reservoir below (pictured below) until you reach the forest down the other side of the hill. This is where it looks a bit tricky in this direction, we got a little lost, but as you descend the crag there is a muddy path to the left, follow this along to where the path meets a fence. We hopped over the fence onto the other path and this continues down to the dam.
From the dam you follow the path close to the reservoir and over a bridge back to the road. Walk along the road back toward your car.
Gillies Hill, Stirling
Gillies Hill is a small hill to the West of Stirling and contains two ancient hillforts, unfortunately there is very little evidence. There are lots of walks around the hillside despite it’s small size and a good view across to Stirling.
This is the perfect place for walks in Stirling with younger children who can’t walk too far, but enjoy playing in the woods.
Garshellach Forest Walk, Stirling
The beginning of this walk is 1/4 of a mile along Touch Road from the A811 out of Stirling. This is one of the routes we haven’t yet attempted and I can’t find much information on the tracks/paths in the woodland. Once I’ve had a chance to walk it myself I can update this. However it’s a rather unknown walk so may well be quiet.
Dunmore Hill, Fintry
Starting from Quarry Road in Fintry (you will need to park elsewhere in Fintry as this is a narrow residential street) you walk South West through woodland and onto the hillside. There are signposts showing the path to Dunmore Hill Fort, which is a rocky outcrop above Fintry. If you continue on a little further then you will get to the edge of what feels like a crater. You can get great views out across the valley beyond from here.
Return back on the same route you arrived.
Carron Valley Reservoir
The reservoir at Carron Valley Forest is huge and supplies both East Stirlingshire and South East Loch Lomond areas. There are dams on both ends of the reservoir as it includes two watersheds. You can park at either end of the reservoir and there are plenty of signposted trails for walks, or if you want a longer walk then it’s around 8 miles to complete a circuit of the reservoir. There are shorter walks aimed at families, or a small hill walk up to Meikle Bin too.
If you prefer mountain biking there are plenty of trails signposted too. Don’t forget to check out Duncarron Medieval Village when it’s open too.
Kilmadock Cemetery, Doune
The map above shows the best place to park the car, but there’s only room for 3-4 vehicles there. If it’s full you can park just across the stone bridge beside the tall fence at the lodge. There are great views over to Doune castle as you walk back across the bridge to start the walk!
Follow the path behind the car park and into the woodlands. The path continues along for a short way before you see a turning up at left into a coniferous forest, watch out for red squirrels! From here head up the hill and turn left to walk along a track, sticking to the left and walking along the forest (don’t turn right!), the path narrows as it goes through pretty broadleaved woodlands, with bluebells in the spring time. At the end of this path turn left downhill toward a field and follow the path on the left which takes you between the field and River Teith. Stay on this path until you reach the cemetery in the field on the right.
The cemetery is an early medieval cemetery and used to serve a large area of this part of Scotland. Some of the gravestones date back to 1500-1600’s, with some interesting pictures and writing. Many of the stones have images of ploughs or spades showing their professions during life. Look out for scissors for a tailor and blacksmith tools too. You can find out more about the cemetery from the leaflets on site or a the volunteers Kilmadock facebook page.
If the water level is low in spring and summer there are several good spots with flat rocks to paddle and swim in the river.
Sheriffmuir Gathering Stone, Dunblane
The Gathering Stone at Sheriffmuir, above Dunblane, is a popular place for a walk. You can park your car at the Clan MacRae memorial on the roadside. There’s space for 6 cars in this area and space for several more a little further up the hill in a car park on the right.
Walk along behind the war memorial and continue straight on up the path to the moorland. In season you will find the blaeberry bushes full of fruit, great for picking and eating fresh or baking! We like to make ours into crumbles along with any blackberries we can find.
At the end of the moor you will walk over a small boardwalk and see the gathering stone on your left. There’s a natural bench of a fallen tree beside it. The Gathering Stone marks the location of the Battle of Sheriffmuir, a battle between the Jacobites and Hanoverians in 1715. There was no conclusive winner to the battle, but ultimately the Jacobites failed in their attempt to get the Stuart’s back on the throne.
From here you can follow the path down onto the forestry tracks, head East toward the edge of the forest and fields. Walk back along this tree line North to the monument.
Atlantic Wall, Sheriffmuir
This was a recent discovery for us as we hadn’t heard of the Atlantic wall replica until 2020! It’s not so much of a walk as an interesting deviation from the roadside! So although this is the shortest of our Stirling walks, it’s an interesting visit for anyone passing by the area and finding out more about WWII.
During the second world war Hitler built a 5200km long wall from Norway to Southern France. The wall was to act as a coastal defence and stop allied invasions from the sea. When the allies found out about the Atlantic wall they constructed several replicas of their own in the UK to practice their tactics on destroying the wall. At Sheriffmuir you can see large sections of the wall still intact, but with some large holes made by tanks and plenty of evidence of shots fired at the wall. There are several sections of the replica Atlantic wall on Sheriffmuir, including bunkers (careful as some have unstable roof structures) and smaller wall sections.
There is only space for 1-2 cars at the layby here. Please do not park on the verges as it destroys habitat and leaves little room to get past on the narrow road.
Dumyat Hill Walk, Sheriffmuir
The Dumyat Hill walk is a great choice of the Stirling walks for families with kids from 4 years old upward. The car park for starting the walk is halfway up the hill anyway, so there isn’t as much uphill walking as you would expect. Even at the start of the walk you can see views out across Stirling to the Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle.
It’s an easy walk and the path has been upgraded in recent years and mostly gravel with a few short rocky sections to scramble up. Do be careful if it’s icy as the path can become treacherous with lots of walkers. The view from the top on a clear day is spectacular!
With kids around 6+ who are used to walking it can take around 45 minutes to get to the top and 30 to get back down! Although it will take longer if you stop for more breaks of have younger children.
Sheriffmuir to Menstrie
Parking is at a small car park on Sheriffmuir beside a new bridge over a burn. Cross over the metal bridge and walk up the forestry track above Sheriffmuir. Stay on this track over the hill (keep to the right and don’t turn off onto other tracks) and all the way down into Menstrie, where you arrive at Ochil Road.
It might be useful to have 2 cars for this walk, so you can drop one off at the end of the walk before driving to the start. Alternatively you can retrace your steps back up the hill or turn right just before you enter Menstrie and take the path up the hill to the right climbing up an alternative way to Dumyat or along the track to Lossburn reservoir. From here you can continue along to the main road across Dumyat and walk along the road back to the car.
Bracklinn Falls, Callander
This is a popular walk and a great one for families. There is a small car park for the falls and another a little way down the hill that can also be used, but is signposted for Callander crags. The walk to Bracklinn Falls starts jut behind the car park and is a decent path all the way down into the valley.
The bridge over the falls is a sight in itself and is rather impressive to look at. If you cross the bridge an turn left following the path round you get to a lovely rocky river beach which is perfect for a picnic. There are further paths in the area to explore, returning you back toward the bridge.
Walks In The Trossachs (within an hour of Stirling)
There are too many walks in the Trossachs for me to list them all here. But here are a few of our favourites that can be enjoyed by all the family. Read the descriptions below and locate the car parking areas on the map above.
If car parks or laybys are full then please use common sense, do not park along roadsides and cause obstructions to other vehicles, potentially causing accidents as cars are forced into the middle of a narrow road. Emergency vehicles need to get by at all times and parking on the roadside can stop them attending situations quickly.
Little Druim Woods – Play Sculpture Walk
This has always been a favourite of ours and it’s one of the walks that’s really not too far from Stirling. It’s an easy walks for young kids with plenty to keep them occupied on their walk. Starting at the car park there is a sign and leaflets showing the walk and other possible nearby walks.
Along the path you will find different play sculptures, from wooden drumming benches, to dens and troll bells. It’s a good way to get the kids walking around the path! You can also get down to the shore of Loch Venachar on the far side of the hill.
On the way back from the loop around the sculpture walk you can take the path on the left just before you head downhill past the iron deer again. This takes you up a small hill and out onto an open grassland, shown below. It can be muddy, but there are several rock and gravel sections added to stop too much erosion. This path takes you down to the main road at Brig O’Turk. You will need to cross the road onto a boardwalk and follow this path to the right and into the Lendrick car park. From the far end of the car park you can follow the sculpture trail down to Lendrick Lodge and back across the main road to the Little Druim Wood car park.
Glen Finglas Reservoir
You can pick up a leaflet for the walk or take a picture of the map at Lendrick car park. The route is fairly straightforward following a track and path over the bridge at the back of the car park and up the hill. From the top of the hill you walk along to the West, following the path down to Glen Finglas reservoir.
At the end of the path turn left towards Brig O’Turk and follow the path through the village (keep an eye out for a bicycle eaten by a tree!!) toward the main road. Before you get to the main road there is a path on the left through the woods which will take you back towards the car park. Alternatively you can cross the road and follow the path there until it crosses back over onto a boardwalk and back to the car park.
Achray Water Loop
Starting at the Ben Venue car park (small fee for parking) you follow the path at the back of the car park which takes you West toward the road to Loch Katrine. At the end of this path head South along the road toward the reservoir dam, be careful of cars as it’s a road. Part way down the road you will see a path on the left toward the river, follow this and over the wooden humpback bridge. In the summer look out for lots of insects and plenty of dragonflies in the sun!
Follow the path up to another Forestry track and continue right along this track. A little way along the track there will be a small path on the left continuing uphill through the forest. Stay on this path until you reach another track, bear left and continue straight along the path over the crossroads. At the end of this track turn right toward the Loch Achray hotel, you can go through the grounds and once past the buildings head to the left toward the path along the river. It’s a nice spot to play along by the river here!
The last section walking North along to the car park is on a main road. Keep on the verge at all times and keep hold of children and dogs.
Loch Drunkie Bell Trail
This is advertised on the signs as a sculpture trail, but the other trail items have since been removed. All that remains is the bell tower pictured below. Which admittedly was the best sculpture of all as it’s also musical!
To get here you need to drive a fair way along 3 Lochs Forest Drive (pay for parking at the barrier at the entrance) and continue along the track (slowly!) until you get to the car park for Loch Drunkie. You will find leaflets and a map on the board here to show you the directions.
The path follows the lochside to the bells (which everyone loves to play with!) and then you can go back the same direction or loop through the woods on a less well used path. It’s a fairly short walk, so great for younger kids.
Loch Venachar Forestry Loop
Loch Venachar is easily accessible from Callander, drive along the South side of the loch until you reach the Invertrossachs car park. From here you follow the path up and into the forest, keeping to the right at any junctions until it takes you back down to the loch. Walk alongside the loch to the car park.
The loch is also great place to cook some sausages beside or even go for a spot of wild swimming. It’s not unusual to see people out on SUP’s or kayaks either.
There are plenty of other walks in the Stirling and Trossachs area around Loch Venachar, including walking over to Loch Drunkie on 3 Lochs Forest Drive.
When you leave Callander heading West turn left in Kilmahog. The car park is just a little further up the hill on your right.
From the car park you head up the hill along a forestry track, which turns into a path as you walk along. The path is fairly straight forward and if you continue to the end, sticking to the right hand path you will end up back down at the river. Walk back East along the river, looking out for the falls of Leny. When you get to the road head back up to the car par, being careful of traffic.
It’s a bit of a slog up the hill for children for the first part, but after that it’s a nicer path and the river is great to have picnics along.
Glen Ogle Viaduct
For walks near Stirling this is probably one of the furthest I’ve included, although it’s perfect for a slightly more challenging walk with older kids. Starting in Lochearnhead you can walk up along the cycle track that takes you to the West of the A85. Head towards the Lochearnhead scout station and cut across to the path from there. Continue up the cycle track looking at the views from the viaduct when you reach it. Turn back South East along an adjoining path before you reach the little lochan. This path takes you back down to the Ogle burn, crossing over the main road part way down.
You arrive back into Lochearnhead on this boggy path. Probably not the easiest way back in wetter weather, you could also return the same way along the viaduct.
This would also be a great place for a family bike ride, cycling down the hill over the viaduct and then back up again!
Doon Hill, Aberfoyle
We’ve had many lovely walks to Doon Hill since the kids were quite little. When younger we took their balance bikes with us, it makes the journey much easier for them! The walks in this area are not far from Stirling, although be careful on the roads as there seems to be a mix of very fast and very slow drivers! You need to park at the car park behind the pub in Aberfoyle, then cross the bridge over the river behind the car park. Walk along the road and enter the graveyard to look for the grave of Reverend Robert Kirk who wrote a famous book telling the secrets of the fairies. This was later to lead to his downfall as the fairies were angry at him for telling the world about them!
Out of the cemetery continue down the road, keeping left at the fork in the road signposted for Doon Hill. Follow this track and just past the green metal gate turn left and look for the waymarked path up the hill. At the top of the hill you will find many offerings to the fairies. It is also said that the fairies took revenge on Reverend Kirk by kidnapping him and encasing his soul into the only pine tree at the top of the hill. Follow the path down the other side of the hill and continue along the waymarked path through the woods and across the river, back into Aberfoyle via the play park.
The Lodge, Aberfoyle
The Lodge at Aberfoyle has many waymarked walks to follow, some go up the hills behind and others are around the area of the Lodge itself. One of the best for families is the play trail which continues down from the corner of the car park toward the waterfall. The waterfall looks pretty spectacular after heavy rainfall. Beside the river you will find hammocks for forest bathing and if you cross over the bridge and head across to the small path through the woods opposite you will find a squirrel hide. We almost always see red squirrels here, plus plenty of birds on the feeders too!
Head back across the bridge after you’ve spotted a few squirrels and continue along the path to the water channel feature. Kids love taking the sluice gates out to let more water in and blocking it in several areas. Further up the path are what we call the ‘hobbit houses’, two little round doors in the side of a hill with an eclectic mix of ‘sculptures’. We’re still unsure about the giant rabbits…
Around the corner up the hill you will find a log (there used to be 2) to cross over a ditch and 2 metal deer sculptures. Continue along this path until you see the steep narrow path on your right. It’s a shorter route to the visitor centre, although if you have a buggy it would be better to continue further up the main path.
The visitor centre has a great information area about the local wildlife, plus a café and toilets. For those over 10 there is also the Go Ape high tree course and zipline over the forest (must be booked in advance).