Loch Earn is a long, narrow stretch of water located at the eastern side of the National Park. Extending 6.5 miles from west to east, the loch is the source of the River Earn, which eventually winds its way to join the River Tay, Scotland’s longest river, in the Perthshire village of Bridge of Earn.
There are several settlements dotted along the lochside, including St Fillans, at its most easterly tip, and Lochearnhead to the west. An innovative trail called BLiSS links four locations on the loch and nearby, Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St Fillans, and features a series of art and ornamental installations. BLiSS was launched in the Year Of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016 and provides the basis for a scenic drive of the full length or a walk or cycle along various sections.
The Rings of Breadalbane offers a number of other routes for walking, road cycling and trail biking in the area. There are also guides to golf and angling nearby.
To the south of the loch, the Munro Ben Vorlich, with a summit of 3232ft (985m), offers an energetic outing that is rewarded with superb views of the surrounding landscape.
If you fancy trying a water sport there are sailing courses at Loch Earn Sailing Club or you could paddle your own craft, such as a kayak or Canadian canoe on the picturesque waters.
Two unique events take place on the loch, the Great Loch Earn Boat Race in April and in 2017 there will be an inaugural 10km End to End of Loch Earn open water swim event. Read about them and other swimming events in Scotland here.
Fishing, by permit, is popular both from the shore and by boat, and the loch is regularly stocked with brown and rainbow trout.
As you enjoy Loch Earn and the surrounding area look out for a wealth of amazing wildlife, such as kingfisher, heron cormorants and many birds of prey, including osprey, buzzards, red kites, kestrels, peregrines and sparrow hawks. In the hills you may spot mountain hares, red deer and wild goats.
Whether you’re looking for the comfort of a campsite or the solitude of ‘wild camping’, the National Park offers plenty of places to immerse yourself in some of the most spectacular scenery in Scotland.
If you are planning to ‘wild camp’, be aware that seasonal byelaws came into effect on 1st March 2017 which affect how you can camp in some areas between March and September. During this time, you need a permit to camp or (in some locations) to stay overnight in your motorhome in these Camping Management Zones.