The Whangie Hike in Loch Lomond National Park

The Whangie is a medium-length, family-friendly Loch Lomond hike to a unique rock formation. The rocks are perfectly shaped and sized for kids of all ages to climb up and explore.

image of the Whangie with text overlay of The Best Hikes in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Scotland

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The hike begins by hopping over an old stone fence to get to a marshy meadow; you keep your feet dry by walking on a wooden pathway. Hopping over yet another fence takes you the actual trail which slowly works its way up the side of Auchineden Hill.

image of girl running across wooden boardwalks surrounded by long grass from queensview carpark near Loch Lomond National Park
Image of boy in grey hoodie along the Whangie hike - one of Scotland walking trails

The Whangie hiking trail is nice and wide allowing for easy family conversation. The trail is lined with about a million ferns and lots of wildflowers, including several very showy pink fox gloves.

close up image of a fern while hiking in Scotland
image of pink flowers amongst green grass along hiking trail in Scotland

The hills of the Scottish Highlands loom large in the distance to the north and once you get high enough, Loch Lomond and its many islands comes into view as well. The large hill on the right of the Loch is Conic Hill (which is another good family-friendly Loch Lomond hike).

image of man taking a picture of phone of loch lomond from the Whangie hill walk in Scotland

At the far end of the loop, you turn a corner and run right into “The Whangie”; a super-fun rock formation which literally appears out of nowhere. There is a huge cliff face up against the hills, with many large rocks laying at its feet (presumably they have broken off over the years). The rocks are the perfect size for kids to run around, explore and climb up and over. The perfect natural playground – your kids will love it!

image of man walking along the huge rocks of the Whangie in Scotland
image of two kids climbing on large rocks on the Whangie Hike in Scotland

The cliff face looks like it’s embedded into the side of the hill, but it’s not. You can walk behind it through a very narrow little ravine! Who knew?!? Finding the ravine was such a great surprise and it was a lot of fun walking through it. Finding large patches of clover inside the canyon was a fun bonus for the kids – no four-leaf clovers though…

image of girl in purple hoodie walking a narrow path between two rock walls while hiking in Scotland

Walking through the canyon takes you back to the spot where you first encounter The Whangie, so you’ll need to walk through the rocks again to continue along the loop. The trail continues upwards a short while longer until you reach the summit of Auchineden Hill, allowing for amazing 360-degree views of the land where the Scottish Lowlands meets the Scottish Highlands.

image of boy at the exit of a canyon along the Whangie hike in Scotland near Loch Lomond National Park
image of two kids sitting beside a monument at the top of the hill along the Whangie hill walk in Scotland near Loch Lomond National Park

The trail starts to descend slowly at this stage and the views remain spectacular as the trail is lined with mainly grass and small shrubs. The trail is perfect for kids to run ahead as you can see them for miles. Just watch out for big puddles of mud that randomly appear throughout the hillside.

image of boy and girl hiking the grassy hills in Scotland

The Whangie Hike Stats

image of two kids along the Whangie Hike in Scotland

Distance: The total round trip of this Loch Lomond walk was 3.5 miles / 5.6km.

Elevation Gain: The walk to The Whangie is a slow and steady incline up the side of Auchineden Hill. Although the uphill never lets up, it’s really not that hard. The section between The Whangie and the summit of Auchineden Hill is the steepest, but it’s not very long. We recorded the total elevation gain of this hike as 670 feet / 205m.

Difficulty: We’d rate The Whangie Walk as ‘moderate’. It’s actually a pretty easy hike, but we’ll rank it as moderate due to its length.

Our 3 & 5 year old kids did this entire hike themselves, with very little difficulty. We encountered many families on the trail and all the other kids were doing the hike themselves as well.

Duration: This hike took us 3 hours and 10 minutes to complete, which is slightly slower than their typical pace. Without kids, we could have completed this hike in about an hour.

The Whangie Location

image of father with two kids walking along the Whangie hike from the Queensview car park

How to Get There: The Whangie is not actually in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, but rather a few minutes south of Drymen in the Kilpatrick Hills. There is a decent sized parking lot, which was full by midday.

The Whangie Trailhead Location

The Whangie Trail Map

You can download The Whangie trail map on your phone by using the GAIA GPS app. Once in the app, search for “The Whangie”. The rock formation will show up on the search results along with the locations of the surrounding hiking trails. Simply download the map of the area on your phone before you head out for your hike.

The Whangie Trail Highlights

image of girl in purple hoodie walking to the Whangie in Scotland

The Whangie Trail was a very enjoyable walk through the Scottish countryside. One of the reasons it was so enjoyable was the three distinct stages the hike goes through:

  • The first section slowly climbs Auchineden Hill. Walking north the views of Loch Lomond National Park and its surrounding hills and mountains are unobstructed.

  • Of course, the Whangie rock formation is the highlight of the hike. They are as impressive as they are beautiful, and your kids will love them.

  • The easy meander through the flowing grasslands from the summit of Auchineden Hill down to the carpark is so enjoyable. The sky seems so big and the views of the Scottish lowlands are remarkable.
image of father and boy hiking behind the Whangie in Scotland

Hiking The Whangie with Kids

image of boy and girl standing on a rock along the Whangie, one of the short walks in scotland
  • There are no bathrooms, nor places to fill your hydration packs in the parking lot. Be sure to take care of both before you leave home. There are a few places you can go along the way, but it’s a reasonably busy hike, so you may struggle to find privacy.

  • The trail surface on this hike varies quite a bit. There are sections of smooth gravel, trampled grass and uneven rocks jutting out of the dirt. A good pair of shoes is sufficient for this hike, but real hiking shoes would be better.

  • There is no tree cover on this hike, so you will be fully exposed to the elements, especially the wind. Be prepared for anything; wear clothing in layers, bring lots of water, sunscreen, rain gear, and something to repel the midges if they are out.

  • This trail is not stroller accessible, but many parents throughout Loch Lomond had their little ones on their backs in one of these best carriers for travel with babies or toddlers.

  • Dogs are allowed on The Whangie. None of them will be on leash, and most will be very muddy with huge smiles on their faces!

We have an entire post full of all our best tips for hiking with kids and this one with all the best hiking gear for kids.

Image of boy jumping off a rock along the Whangie hiking trail in Scotland
image of girl walking in narrow canyon in Scotland

Where to Stop for Lunch or a Break

image of two kids sitting on a large rock along the Whangie hike in Scotland

You can stop just about anywhere on this hike for a break, but the best spot for a picnic is at The Whangie. Simply pick your favorite rock and sit and enjoy.

Interesting Information

I admit, the 7-year old in me snickered when I heard about this hike… But fully-functioning adults may be interested to know “Whang” in the Scottish dialect means “thick slice”, referring to the thick slice of rock that juts out of the hill to create the narrow ravine.

Cautions

  • There are a few small sections of the trail which have half-buried barbed wire sticking out of the ground.

  • The Whangie rock formation is beautiful but there are piles of garbage and rusty cans lurking in the shadows beneath many of the rocks. Just keep an eye on your kids and don’t let them explore these areas.

What to Bring on the Whangie Walk

Loch Lomond Resources

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