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Eight great outdoors activities for families

With such a varied landscape of lochs, glens, hills, mountains and coast, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is the perfect playground for all kinds of outdoor activities – and for all ages and abilities.

Here are eight great outdoors activities for families to try in the Park.

Segway safaris

Segways are two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered electric vehicles that are a lot easier to master than they look. They are the perfect mode of transport for exploring the trails of the Park and are ideal for adults and older children (there’s a minimum weight restriction of just over 7st).

Because a Segway is super-quiet you might also spot wildlife as you drive your 2X2 vehicle on quiet routes and tracks, such as around the shores of Loch Lomond.

See Can You Experience and Castle Rednock Trekking Centre

Double paddle

Canadian canoes are a great way to enjoy time outdoors as a family. With mum or dad at the back of the boat powering and steering the boat and a child at the front, groups of all ages can enjoy many hours of paddling fun.

It’s best to try a taster session first or to hire a canoe and stick to the more sheltered edges of a waterway, such as Loch Lomond, near Balloch, or Lubnaig, just south of Strathyre.

Other picturesque locations for a spot of paddling include Loch Drunkie, Loch Achray, Loch Ard and Loch Katrine at the Stronachlachar end.

See Go Country Loch Ard and Can You Experience. Hire canoe and kayaks at Killin Outdoor Centre.

Stand up on water

SUPs – Stand Up Paddleboarding – is one of the fastest growing outdoor activities in Scotland and it’s no wonder. From your position, standing up and paddling a large and stable board, you are afforded an amazing view of the clear water below and of unique, highly localised scenery.

SUPs are for adults and older children and take only about 10 minutes to learn the basics of balance, standing up and gently propelling yourself along the water’s surface. Once you have got the hang of it, SUPs are the perfect way to explore sheltered lochs and rivers.

See Loch Lomond Wake Board, Can You Experience and Wilderness SUP.

Monkey fun

The Park is home to Go Ape at Aberfoyle and the new TreeZone Loch Lomond. You can enjoy climbing, walking, swinging and jumping about like a monkey! (for 7 years and up)

Wake surfing

A new activity for Loch Lomond, wake surfing offers an easier way to surf. You don’t need natural waves and you don’t even need to be at the coast. Instead, special boats are fitted with a system that makes a surf wake behind the boat so participants can surf all day without worrying about the weather, or struggling to catch waves and stand up.

See this video and try wake surfing at Loch Lomond Wake Board.

Water way to have fun

A waterpark at Loch Ard, near Aberfoyle, offers an unusual outdoor activity for all the family. Participants, dressed in wetsuits and buoyancy aids, can climb a giant inflatable iceberg, jump into the loch, bounce on the trampoline, master the seesaw, balance on the Saturn ring and try the assault course. All this takes place in the sheltered waters at the edge of the loch.

See Go Country.

Sail and cycle

Another wonderful water-borne adventure, especially for families, is in The Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve. Hop aboard the steamship Sir Walter Scott, at Trossachs Pier, sail the loch to Stronachlachar and then ride back along the shores of Loch Katrine.

The 13-mile quiet route consists of a private single track with no escape alternative, so be prepared for oncoming traffic and possible dangers. You can take your own bikes or hire from Katrine Wheelz.

Off-road bike skills

Practise your bike skills at Aberfoyle Bike Park on the wonderfully named Rabbit Hill. At Queen Elizabeth Forest Park there’s a network of waymarked mountain biking trails to explore.

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