Loch Ard

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View west from Ledard

Loch Ard is a body of fresh water in Perthshire within the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

The name of the loch comes from àird, the Scottish Gaelic word for a promentory, headland, height, ultimately from àrd meaning high. The loch is approximately 2½ miles long by a mie and a quarter wide and runs approximately east-west along a sheltered glen. It is considered to be the source of the River Forth [1] and lies downstream of Loch Chon. The loch contains several small islands including Eilean Gorm, Briedach, St. Mallo, which is rumored to have an old chapel dedicated to that saint, and Dundochill, which is the site of Duke Murdoch's castle that may have been built by the Duke of Albany.[2] Though one of Scotland's smaller lochs, it is one of the most picturesque and its sheltered location means it is ideal for kayaking and other water sports.

Location and leisure

The Queen Elizabeth Forest Park encompasses Loch Ard and the surrounding forest.[3]

The waters of Loch Ard are home to both a sailing and rowing club.

The villages of Kinlochard, and Milton stand on its shores. The village of Aberfoyle lies 2 miles to its east while the mountain of Ben Lomond sits to its west.

Activities

Loch Ard is surrounded by 16 miles of family friendly mountain bike, walking, and horseback trails.[4] These trails, some with waymarkers, link into a much larger network of forest fire roads, which can take the intrepid rider on 20 mile+ circular routes through the National Park. The Loch Ard Family Sculpture Trails provide an interactive outdoor experience, with sculptures placed along the trails, interesting seating, and sound posts, among other features.[5]

Loch Ard is also home to many different species of wildlife, such as roe deer, barn owls, capercaillie, and various types of plants and insects.[6] The loch welcomes fishermen with a stock of brown trout, pike, and perch .[7]

References