From Garelochhhead to Arrochar and Tarbet: 20.5km, 12.7 miles; ascent about 490m.
The southern two thirds of this section takes you through the Garelochhead military training area, initially on the lightly used tarmac "American Road" and then almost entirely on remote forestry roads and landrover tracks. A short more or less trackless section exists in the middle and you may have to splash across the burn at Tighness. North of Glen Douglas the scenery is outstanding .
"The American Road" services the southern part of the Ministry of Defence's Garelochhead Training Area, which extends from around Strone House in the south to Creagan Sithe in the north. You are welcome to walk through, but do please note that the area is used fairly intensively, so don't be surprised if you meet up with the young trainee soldiers carrying their huge packs and fully kitted out for battle. They will probably be too busy to take much notice of you, but a friendly word of thanks and encouragement costs nothing and will be greatly appreciated.
Very occasionally the MOD may require to close the training area and prior to walking this section you may wish to check with the training area management. The number to ring is 01436 810369. If the training area is closed, the best alternative route is along the A814 which is very scenic in its own right and generally carries only light traffic. The Three Lochs Way route can then be regained by turning onto the Glen Douglas road at grid ref. 265996. Click here to see MOD web page on safety and access in Military Training Areas.
THE SMALL TIMBER SHELTERS WHICH HAVE BEEN PROVIDED THROUGHOUT THE TRAINING AREA ARE STRICTLY FOR THE USE OF MILITARY PERSONNEL AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU AIM TO SPEND THE NIGHT THERE.
A higher, unwaymarked, but more scenic alternative loop exists via Tom Buidhe along the forestry road between 247942 and 258964 where the Gurkha Bato starts.
Arrochar and Tarbet have lots of options for accommodation and there is a Visitor Information Centre in Tarbet at grid ref. 318045. Cruise Loch Lomond ferries at Tarbet give access to the West Highland Way at Inversnaid while The Cowal Way can be accessed at Arrochar.