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Ben Ledi, Callander: The Ultimate Walking Guide (2023)

Ben Ledi, Callander: The Ultimate Walking Guide (2023)

Ben Ledi is a well-known mountain (Corbett) in the southern Scottish Highlands. It’s actually the highest peak in the Trossachs. So, this Corbett is easily recognisable, especially from Callander and the eastern side of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The mountain has traditionally been climbed doing a circular route. But, a simple out and back walk is becoming an increasingly popular option.

A Loch Lomond cruise is a memorable thing to do in the national park. Make sure to do a Loch Lomond Cruise during your visit to the area.

How to Climb Ben Ledi in Scotland

In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the out and back Ben Ledi Walk. Personally, this is the walk that Beck and I did. We thoroughly enjoyed this return walk and highly recommend it. For more information about the traditional circular route, please read the Other Ben Ledi Walking Trails section.

Beck on the Ben Ledi trail looking towards Loch Lubnaig

About Ben Ledi: The Corbett and Its Wildlife

As mentioned, Ben Ledi is a Corbett, which is a mountain that’s between 760 and 914 metres (2,500 and 3,000 feet) high. At 879 metres above sea level, the summit certainly provides sweeping views of the surrounding Trossachs landscape.

When it comes to mountains in the Scottish Highlands, not all of the most revered mountains are Munros. Indeed, some of the shorter peaks in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, such as Conic Hill, Ben A’an, Ben Venue and, Ben Ledi, are the most iconic landforms.

Whilst the far-reaching views from Ben Ledi are enjoyable to see, the walk to reach the summit is just as exhilarating to experience. Along the route, make sure to keep an eye out for wildlife. At dawn and dusk, you may be lucky enough to spot roe deer, red deer or even a red squirrel. In the sky, you might also catch sight of a buzzard or golden eagle.

FYI – the trail and area are managed by Forestry and Land Scotland.

Dan approaches Ben Ledi

Where Is Ben Ledi?

Ben Ledi is located in the Trossachs, with the walk starting just south of Loch Lubnaig. The Corbett lies in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park as well as the Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve. Both are prominent areas in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

To help get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map of the area.

A screenshot of a map showing the location of Ben Ledi

Ben Ledi: Statistics

Below, you’ll find trail specs for the out and back Ben Ledi Walk.

  • Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 8.6km (5.3 miles)
  • Time: 4–5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 730m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Ben Ledi Car Park

Ben Ledi Route Maps (GPS and OS)

In terms of trail navigation, Beck and I used a GPS-guided map (linked below) to help us navigate the out and back route. Although, the path from the Ben Ledi Car Park to the summit is well-defined and easy to follow. So, in good weather conditions, you won’t be needing to heavily rely upon a map.

A screenshot a map showing the Ben Ledi walking route.

Ben Ledi: Terrain and Profile

You’ll encounter a well-maintained path and a well-defined hill path en route to the summit.

Overall, the walk involves around 730 metres of accumulated elevation gain. The incline is steady and gradual.

Elevation profile for the Ben Ledi Walk.

Ben Ledi: Walk Description

Below, we’ll briefly describe the out and back Ben Ledi Walk. Here, our intention isn’t to thoroughly explain the walk step-by-step. After all, it’s a fairly self-explanatory trail, especially when you’re out there doing the walk. Rather, our aim here is to give you a snappy overview and show you some photos to hopefully motivate you to visit!

Where to Start: Ben Ledi Car Park

From the Ben Ledi Car Park, you’ll walk around 300 metres, towards the bridge you would have just driven across to access the car park. Nearly opposite the bridge, you’ll find the trailhead. Right from the get-go, the incline begins as you start to steadily gain elevation. Even quite early on, you’ll start to enjoy views of Loch Lubnaig as well as the town of Callander.

Dan walks up the Ben Ledi trail

The trail soon begins to veer left as you approach the southern edge of the Corbett. As you steadily climb the ridge, you’ll soon veer right, enjoying views of Loch Venachar on a clear day. You’ll then start heading towards the summit.

Ben Ledi: The Trossach’s Highest Summit

During your ascent, you’ll hit a number of false summits. But, eventually, with some perseverance, you’ll reach the true summit. Nearing the trig point, you’ll first pass an iron cross. It was erected to pay respect to Sergeant Harry Lawrie who was killed on duty with the Killin mountain rescue team in 1987. Closer to the trig point, you’ll then find a cairn, built in 1887 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

From the summit, you’ll enjoy spellbinding views of the surrounding highlands and even lowlands. You’ll enjoy impressive views of both Loch Lubnaig and Loch Venachar, as well as views of Ben Lomond in the Arrochar Alps. You’ll also catch a glimpse of Munros such as Ben Lui and Ben More. Thankfully, after a rainy morning, we enjoyed a dry afternoon with good visibility at the summit. Of course, we did encounter some strong winds; but, this didn’t take away from the views.

To avoid trekking in the rain, Beck and I started this walk in the mid-to-late afternoon. So, after some snacks and photos, we retraced our steps, in order to complete the walk before nightfall. Bless the Scottish summer for long daylight hours!

Dan at the summit of Ben Ledi

Other Ben Ledi Walking Trails

As mentioned, the traditional Ben Ledi Walk is a circular walk. This circular walk involves descending Stank Glen via the Bealach nan Corp stream. It’s worth noting that this descent is much more challenging in terms of trail navigation. Many walkers lose the trail, ending up at the Lochan nan Corp, where a tricky descent of Creag na h-Iolaire awaits. By staying en route, this tricky descent can be avoided. Certainly, make sure to use a map.

Another trail option, that avoids summiting the Corbett is the Ben Ledi Foothills Circular Walk. This is a much easier route option and explores more of Loch Lubnaig.

Loch Lubnaig
Loch Lubnaig

The Rob Roy Way

The Rob Roy Walk is an approx. 151km (94 mile) multi-day route that actually passes the Ben Ledi Car Park. Walkers will do so when walking from Aberfoyle to Callander. This walk doesn’t involve summiting Ben Ledi; unless you care for an extension!

How to Get to Ben Ledi Near Callander

The quickest and easiest way to get to the Trossachs to do the walk is to drive there yourself. If you don’t have your own set of wheels, then we recommend hiring a car using Rentalcars.com. You’ll find a wide variety of cars on Rental Cars for reasonable prices. The website is user-friendly and booking online is super easy.

Ben Ledi Car Park Information

Upon approaching the area, you should see signs for the Strathyre Forest Cabins and Ben Ledi Car Park. Simply follow the signs and you’ll drive along a bridge over a river called Garbh Uisge. You’ll then turn left, passing a small parking bay for several vehicles. If this area is full, continue along a little further to reach the large car park. Thankfully, parking is free!

Ben Ledi Car Park (SatNav Directions)​​​

When it comes to SatNav directions, FK17 8HF is the closest postcode. You won’t the Ben Ledi Car Park named on Google Maps; but, the car park is located here.

Public Transport

There is no public transport going to the Ben Ledi Car Park or near the trailhead. If you don’t have your own vehicle, we recommend getting to Callander and then catching a taxi or using the cycling route to reach the trailhead.

​​​​​​​Facilities, Amenities and Access

Other than the official car park, you won’t find any other facilities or amenities during the walk. The nearest toilets and amenities are found at The Cabin at Loch Lubnaig or in the quaint town of Callander.

Accommodation​​

If you want to stay near Ben Ledi, then we recommend staying in the nearby town of Callander. There are plenty of fantastic accommodation options in Callander. Below, we’ll look at the best budget, mid-range and luxurious accommodation options.

  • Budget: you’ll be hard-pressed to find budget accommodation in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. But, Callander has some very reasonable and affordable options. With this in mind, we recommend the highly-rated Dreadnought Hotel. A solid backup option would be the Dalgair House Hotel.
  • Mid-range: there are plenty of awesome mid-range accommodation options in Callander. We recommend either The Waverley Hotel or The Crown Hotel.
  • Luxury: if you’re looking for somewhere really special to stay, in Callander, there are some phenomenal guest houses. For a luxurious stay, consider the popular Roman Camp Country House Hotel or the Lubnaig Guest House.

Ben Ledi Weather

For the Ben Ledi weather forecast, we recommend checking Mountain Forecast. Otherwise, check the Met Office forecast for Callander.

Activities and Walks Nearby

So, what next after doing the Ben Ledi Walk? Once you’ve climbed this Corbett, we think it’s only fair that you unwind with something a little more relaxing. You could head to the pristine Loch Lubnaig or visit the lovely town of Callander. Near Callander, you’ve also got the uber-chill Bracklinn Falls.

Birds-eye view of Bracklinn Falls
Bracklinn Falls

Other Loch Lomond Walks

There are plenty of other exceptional walks to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Below, we’ll detail the best Loch Lomond walks, all of which, we’ve completed ourselves.

  • Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin: one of our favourite walks in the national park, starting from Loch Earn.
  • Ben More and Stob Binnein: one of the best double Munro walks in the national park.
  • Ben Lui and Beinn a’ Chleibh: known as the Queen of the South, Ben Lui is a compelling but challenging Munro to bag.
  • Conic Hill: one of Scotland’s most iconic hill walks.
  • Ben Lomond: this is the most popular walk in the national park.
  • Ben Arthur (The Cobbler): the walk to Ben Arthur is perhaps the second most popular walk in the area.
  • Beinn Narnain and Beinn Ime: located near Ben Arthur, you can climb both of these Munros during one memorable walk.
  • Ben Vane: another great walk in the Arrochar Alps, near Ben Arthur.
  • Ben Venue: a spectacular Munro, also located in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, near Loch Achray.
  • Little Fawn Waterfall Trail: also located in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, the short trail reaches this exquisite waterfall.
  • Ben A’an: you’ll have to climb the famous miniature mountain.
  • Loch Ard and Rob Roy’s Cave: an easy circular walk passing Loch Ard and Rob Roy’s Cave.

Read more: 26 Best Loch Lomond Walks Guide

Dan atop Ben More
Views from Ben More

FAQs

Below, you’ll find the most frequently asked questions about Ben Ledi.

Dan walks up a trail

How High Is Ben Ledi?

It’s 879 metres high.

Is Ben Ledi a Munro?

No, it’s a Corbett.

How Long Does It Take to Climb Ben Ledi?

To do the out and back walk, it’ll take around 4–5 hours.

Is It Hard to Climb Ben Ledi?

We’ve rated the walk difficulty as moderate. Trail navigation is simple but there’s a substantial amount of elevation gain.

What Is the Best Time to Climb Ben Ledi?

Typically, the best weather in Scotland is in May and June. Most visitors head to Scotland in the middle of the year (April to October) to take advantage of the warmer and dryer weather.

Where to Park For Ben Ledi?

The Ben Ledi Car Park, which is located here.

What to Wear and Take

Below, you’ll find our gear essentials for this walk.

For a longer hiking gear list, check out our 66 Travel Items You Must Travel With. For a general list of everything else you’d need for travelling, read our Packing Checklist.

Bonus Tips

  • Choose the circular walk to explore more of the area: if you’re the intrepid type, you may prefer the more challenging and longer circular walk.
  • Visit on a clear day: to take advantage of the tremendous views from the summit, time the walk during a time of good visibility.
  • Explore more of Queen Elizabeth Forest Park: read this guide to find out about other great things to do in the area.

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