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.
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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.
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.
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).
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!
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…
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.
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.
The Whangie Hike Stats
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
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 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
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.
Hiking The Whangie with Kids
- 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!
Where to Stop for Lunch or a Break
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.
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.
- 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
- Hydration packs
- Packable windbreaker / Rain jackets
- Smidge That Midge Insect Repellent
- A warm base layer
Loch Lomond Resources
- Our full list of the best things to do in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park with kids.
- Something for everyone; here are 5 easy walks in Loch Lomond National Park.
- Don’t miss the incredible views hiking to the top of Ben A’an trail with kids.
- And add the popular Conic Hill walk to your Scotland itinerary. You won’t regret it!