Today’s equation: Public holiday (off work) + wife off work (kid-free) + May 1st (weather was ok) = hiking!! I went for a new Ben this time, Ben Venue, situated in my favorite area near to us: the Torossachs and Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.
Although I’ve done one hike previously this year (Meikle Bin), this one felt like the first proper one in terms of length (8.8 miles/14.1k) and elevation gain (2400 feet/725m).
Here is a bit more about Ben Venue:
Ben Venue may mean ‘small mountain’ in Gaelic but be prepared for its steep, rugged slopes! On a clear day there are panoramic views from the twin summits. You’ll have a bird’s eye view over Loch Katrine and the nearby peaks of Ben A’an, Ben More and Ben Lomond, and beyond Loch Lomond to the Arrochar Alps. You may also glimpse the Firth of Forth, the Clyde, the Isle of Arran and the Paps of Jura.
Ben Venue’s summit is at 2,386 feet and it’s a round trip of 8½ miles. The route to the summit is a serious undertaking and suitable for fit and experienced walkers.
In terms of my experience on the trail, I got out early (7:30 start) and was the first car in parking lot and didn’t see anyone until my descent a couple hours later.
The out-and-back trail is easy to navigate. There is a long approach, though, and much of the hike is gradual until the last few miles, which are nice and steep. The scenery on the mountain is outstanding, and I got lucky with plenty of sun breaks and mostly dry conditions with the customary bogs and mud to navigate here and there.
All in all, a pretty perfect choice for a half-day excursion. Looking forward to another in June.
Here is the full route from OS Maps:Download file for GPS
Here is my Garmin tracker from the hike: