Ben A'an

By Tom McIntyre

Ben A'an is one of the most prominent landmarks in the Trossachs. At 1520 feet high, it is by no means a lofty peak, but its craggy slopes give it the mountainous air of a much taller hill. The ascent is arduous, rising straight up from the shores of Loch Achray through dense commercial forestry. The reward, however, comes in the form of panoramic views as far as the Pentland Hills, near Edinburgh, and the Arrochar Alps, above Loch Long.

From the car park, cross the A821 and, on the other side of the tarmac, the start of the path is well signed. It climbs steeply through the trees, following the Allt Inneir upstream. About a third of a mile up, a viewpoint provides a welcome breather.

Just beyond the half mile point, the gradient eases and, as you approach the edge of the forest, the rocky top fills the view ahead. At the edge of the plantation, the path climbs steeply again, rising alongside a burn into a col to the east of the summit. It curves round to the north of the peak, a final short pull bringing you out on top.

Ben A'an was originally known as Am Binnein (the rocky peak), but the famous novelist Sir Walter Scott decided to abandon the old Gaelic name for reasons of poetic licence and it has stuck ever since. To finish the walk, retrace your steps to the car park.


Distance 2 miles/3.2kms.
Map OS Landranger 1:50,000 sheet 57.
Start/parking Forest Enterprise Ben A'an car park.
Grading A short, but steep ascent.