Loch Trool Galloway Forest Park

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The Summits team enjoyed a day out to Loch Trool, located in Galloway forest park. This is a great walk. It has a bit of everything; woods, water and history.  Galloway Forrest Park is a massive park with 3 visitor centers. It is home to local wildlife and stunning scenery.

We decided to walk around the beautiful loch clockwise, starting at the car park near Bruce’s Stone. This car park is free and is also a starting point for Merrick hill (highest summit in Southern Scotland).

The walk took us roughly 3 hours to get around. We took our time, stopping for lots of photos and a spot of lunch. The walk is mainly flat with the odd small incline at parts.

Bruce's Stone at Loch Trool

Bruce's Stone is a large granite boulder erected to commemorate the Battle of Trool and sits on a commanding viewpoint overlooking the loch and the battle site. BEWARE - The midgies are out on force up here. Luckily I had brought my Smidge Midge and Insect Repellent Spray.

The stone represents the winning of the battle of Trool. This led to the winning of The Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, which then helped Robert the Bruce secured independence for Scotland.

Bruce's Stone located in Loch Trool at Galloway Forest .
Bruce's Stone

The battle of Trool took place over 700 years ago. The Loch with its high valley was a great place to ambush the English. They waited at top of the hills and attacked them with boulders forcing them into the water.

Hiking around Loch Trool

The walk was very enjoyable. We passed lots of small burns and waterfalls on the first leg of our trek. There was plenty of sign postage to help you find your way around the loch.

After an hour and a half trek through the beautiful hills surrounding Loch Trool. We spotted an ideal location for lunch which had 360 views of the lake. It was low down so you could walk straight into the water, it would be an ideal spot to go some wild swimming. Check out our water sports equipment.

Having lunch on Loch Trool with panaoramic views.
Lunch with a view

LEAVE NO TRACE

During our walk we came across a few spots where campers had previously set up camp. Unfortunately, we found a lot of mess and litter around these areas.

Disappointingly we came across many fire remains that were not dealt with properly. We always recommend using a stove to cook on as this avoids fires being needed for every meal. If you are going to light a fire, then make a small circle of stones to enclose the fire and reduce the spread of flames. Once the fire is finished with don't just walk away, add water to the ash and spread that around as this can be nutritious for local plants and vegetation. If you love the countryside as much as we do, don't leave it looking like this:

The number one rule for camping is to leave no trace - no one should know you have been there and the local area should not be scared.

Check out the guide on camp fires in Scotland here.

What to wear?

We were very lucky with the weather. The forecast suggested rain (no surprise there seeing as we are in Scotland) however it was only slightly overcast but pleasantly warm. On the second half of our hike, the clouds disappeared and the sun came out for us.

Despite the nice weather I decided to keep my long sleeve montane base layer on to ensure my arms weren't exposed to the midgies. The Montane Women’s Dart Zip Neck LS Base Layer Top is made from a light, wicking and soft Apex D-F use fabric which is very breathable so it kept me cool during my hike.

Montane Women’s Dart Zip Neck LS Base Layer Top (Nordic Grey)

I was constantly stopping for photos on my hike. The Montane Women’s Ineo Lite Hiking Tights came in very handy as they have a perfect spot for your phone. They are also super strechy and very comfortable to wear.

Montane Women’s Ineo Lite Hiking Tights (Black)

I would suggest a good pair hiking boots, if you are like me and like to go off the beaten track and explore. The walk can be done in trainers but there were many muddy parts that would totally ruin them.

Camping at Loch Trool

The park has lots of great spots for wild camping . There were a few good spots to set up camp beside the loch, I didn't stray far from the beaten track but I would imagine there are lots of undiscovered spots to camp.

If wild camping is not your thing then there is a campsite located at Glen Trool - Glentrool Camping and Caravan Site.

Things to do in Galloway Forrest

Galloway Forest is a massive park. Loch Trool is only one of the many things to do here.

There is a Red deer range where you can see the dear in their natural environment from a watching area. This is free and would be a great day out for the kids.

You could do some stargazing here. The park is one one the darkest places in Scotland, allowing you to see the stars on a clear night without a telescope.

Would I Return?

To summarise, Loch Trool is just one of the many things I would like to explore in Galloway Forrest Park. I can't wait to come back and climb Merrick Hill.

The drive from Glasgow was just under 2 hours. The views and the isolated location made us feel like we were in the Lake District.

To see more of our trip head over to our Instagram page to watch the videos of Loch Trool.

As always tag us in any of your pictures.

Thanks for reading.

The Summits Team

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