I’ve already written about just how much I love Stand Up Paddleboarding on Loch Ard. It is such a lovely wee loch in a beautiful quiet location surrounded by pine forest and great walking/biking trails. It wasn’t until recently that we explored a lesser known part of the loch – the Narrows. If you are Stand Up Paddleboarding on Loch Ard I recommend that you factor in enough time to explore the Narrows. Read on to find out why!
The Main Points
- Location – Loch Ard eastern shore, Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park, Scotland
- SUP – Own Fatstick Inflatables, Pink Panther* and Blue Lagoon (*Pink Panther now has a new design – check it out here)
- Cost – Free
- Conditions – Freshwater Loch
- Other users – Mainly kayakers and Stand Up Paddleboarders with some wild swimmers. There is a sailing club at the western end of the loch
- Entry Point – Muddy reeds!! Wear booties!
- Surrounding amenities/Bathrooms- Town of Aberfoyle
A Wee Blether
Loch Ard is not too far from Glasgow and part of the stunning Trossachs area. The shore is undulating with lots of nooks and crannies to explore and even has a couple of islands! The township of Aberfoyle is a couple of kilometres down the road and there is also the famous Wee Blether Tea Rooms for some post paddle refreshments. Loch Ard certainly has a lot to offer the Stand Up Paddleboarder.
As mentioned in previous posts we have enjoyed paddling on Loch Ard but as yet hadn’t explored the Narrows. Most of our previous visits centred around the western end of the loch due to the availability of parking on the day. Having heard from our SUP Community what a great place the Narrows are to explore we decided to check it out for ourselves.
What are The Narrows?
The Narrows of Loch Ard are a series of small pools and Lochans (small Lochs) joined by the slow flowing beginnings of the River Forth, to the eastern end of Loch Ard. This area is quieter and more calm on a windy day than Loch Ard itself and are perfect for Stand Up Paddleboarding. There is a lot more opportunity to see birdlife as you float by and a definite sense of serenity. Being so close to the shores gives you the chance to try some forest bathing – SUP style!!
There are a couple of locations that you can enter the water from. One location is in a road side pull off at the eastern end of the loch. This is a popular parking location and on the day was quite full. We found another spot closer to Aberfoyle with a short walk through the forest to access the water. This spot was a lot more tranquil and offered access straight into the narrows however there were reeds and mud to wade through! The option we used was ideal for paddleboarding the Loch Ard Narrows as it meant that the return trip was going down stream.