National Park Visitor Centre, Balloch
The origin of the name 'Balloch' is uncertain, though it is almost certainly Gaelic. Though Bealach means "mountain pass" or the saddle between peaks, that does not describe the location. It may instead be from the Gaelic bal (baile or ball), which means village or hamlet, and so 'village on the Loch' referring to nearby Loch Lomond.
Balloch is at the north end of the Vale of Leven, straddling the River Leven itself. It connects to the larger town of Alexandria and to the smaller village of Jamestown, both of which are to the south. It also borders the Kilpatrick Hills to the northeast. To the east of the town lies the major local authority housing scheme in the area known as 'The Haldane' or 'The Mill of Haldane'.
With its accessible location at the southern end of Loch Lomond and just off the main road from Glasgow to the West Highlands, Balloch is an important centre of tourism, especially from Glasgow and Dumbarton. The town has a number of hotels, inns and pubs, and there are cruises from Balloch up Loch Lomond, and other services, including to nearby locations like Luss, and the Renfrew Ferry service. Most of the boats cruising Loch Lomond leave from Balloch.
The Loch Lomond Youth Soccer Festival used to take place in the town. "Lochfoot" in the Jean Robertson novels of Jane Duncan is partly based on the town.
The PS Maid of the Loch is currently being restored at Balloch pier.
- The A811 and A813 roads join the town to the world.
- The Glasgow to Loch Lomond cycle path, part of National Cycle Route 7, ends at Balloch. The West Loch Lomond Cycle Path also runs from Balloch.
- The town was formerly served by two railway stations on the Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Junction Railway: Balloch Central, and Balloch Pier, which closed in 1988 and 1986, respectively. The town now has one railway station, Balloch, which is a terminus of the North Clyde electric train service from Glasgow.
- Ferries and pleasure cruisers sail from the village on Loch Lomond.
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