Scottish Fire and Rescue have issued a fire risk warning from 17-20 April. We strongly advise against having fires or barbecues when out in the National Park during this period.

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Natural wonders

Seeking out wildlife is exciting and truly rewarding, but not always guaranteed. Experiencing some of the Park’s natural wonders however, simply require your visitors to look and marvel. The National Park landscape has been carved and shaped over millions of years as two land masses crashed together creating the highland boundary fault that bisects Loch Lomond.

With lochs, rivers, mountains and coast, there are natural wonders to experience in every corner of the Park.  Some are seasonal, like the vast carpets of bluebells that paint the hills in spring but many are permanent features like the world renowned Rest and Be Thankful valley and our crashing waterfalls.  Inspire your visitors to take in the truly epic with the advice and guidance in our natural wonders section.

Bluebells

Bluebells © SNH

An unforgettable sight in the National Park occurs in May when entire woodlands are carpeted in a striking blue colour as our native bluebells burst to life. Thriving on shady forest floors, bluebells create a stunning contrast to the greens and blacks of our woodlands. Keen photographers will have endless opportunities to play with light and colour to catch the perfect picture of this natural wonder.

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The Great Trossachs Forest

The Great Trossachs Forest © SNH

The Great Trossachs Forest is woodland restoration project on an epic scale. It will take 200 years to fully restore the area between Inversnaid at Loch Lomond and Kilmahog at Loch Venachar to a truly native woodland, but for now there are excellent visitor experiences to be had. When a visitor understands the scale and nature of this project, they begin to view the surrounding landscape very differently.  The project area includes the RSPB reserve at Invernsaid, Loch Katrine (the source of Glasgow’s drinking water) and Glen Finglas.

The Woodland Trust’s visitor information point at Loch Venachar gives a great introduction to the Great Trossachs Forest project.

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Highland boundary fault

Island alignment on Loch Lomond due to the boundary fault

The National Park is famous for the dramatic landscape that attracts visitors from across the globe and has inspired artists, poets and songwriters for centuries. The Park is dominated by the highland boundary fault, a geological feature slashed across Loch Lomond from Balmaha to Luss.  As two ancient land masses collided, a ridge line of hills and peaks were forced upwards to create the distinctive boundary fault line visitors can see today.

From the summit of Conic Hill, accessed from Balmaha, a startlingly straight line of islands stretched across the loch. Visitors can experience having one foot in the lowlands and one foot in the highlands as they take in the scale of Loch Lomond and the surrounding mountains in the Balmaha Visitor Centre.

The dramatic story of the formation of the National Park’s geology can be found here: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/7889/1/OR07036.pdf.

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Northern Lights and Dark Skies

Aurora Borealis © SNH

You don’t have to be an astronomer to be awed by the vastness of space. Rural spots with no street lighting are the best places to fully appreciate the night sky, and you don’t have to travel far in the National Park to find a good location. If your business is located in a particularly low lit area you could consider investing in a telescope for guests to use. Many businesses have increased turnover in the quieter winter months by providing dark skies talks and access to telescopes. Further information and advice can be found here: https://www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/things-to-see/dark-skies/.

The Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights is perhaps the ultimate natural wonder. A cold dry, clear winter night is the best time to look out for this most dramatic of displays. To increase the chances of experiencing th northern lights, sign up to free alerts from the Aurora Forecast.

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