The final section of the Three Lochs Way is now complete, with the Highlandman’s Road improvement works being declared complete.
Over the last four years this notoriously boggy part of the popular long distance walking route has been restored in a £70,000 project by Helensburgh and District Access Trust.
The ribbon was cut by Sir Malcolm Colquhoun of Luss, who said: “With the Colquhoun family’s historic associations with Helensburgh and Glen Fruin I am delighted to perform this ceremony.
“It is really marvellous what the trust has managed to do to bring this old Church or Coffin road back into use.
“It is wonderful too that the old road now forms part of the Three Lochs Way, a new long distance walking route which is opening up our beautiful countryside to more and more visitors every year.
“I know how difficult it will have been to raise the funds to complete the work and I can only compliment the trust for their hard work and determination in bringing this project to fruition.”
The Three Lochs Way runs between Balloch and Inveruglas, passing through Helensburgh, Garelochhead, Arrochar and Tarbet.
The latest project was funded by Argyll & the Isles Leader, Landfill Tax Community Fund, Helensburgh Round Table, Love Loch Lomond, the trust itself and a generous anonymous donation from a local walker.
It was managed by trustee John Urquhart, who said the road had been in a very poor state and the work had been a priority for many years.
He added: “Together with some works currently being finalised further east near Goukhill, the delivery of this missing link’ effectively completes the whole of the Three Lochs Way route.
“Now walkers, and mountain bikers can use the whole route from Balloch to Inveruglas with ease.
“Attention now swings to Arrochar where work will start soon to provide a short link path down into the village at Tighness.
“The trust is also hopeful it will soon be able to create a similar link down to Garelochhead, but this depends on the success of an Argyll Coast and Countryside Trust application currently under consideration by the Coastal Communities fund. When these links have been achieved, we will truly be able to say, ‘Job done!’.”
He thanked Luss Estates, his fellow trustees, funders and the main contractor, Gordon MacLarty, whose staff had worked long and hard to overcome the often testing ground conditions.
Before the ribbon cutting ceremony, Sir Malcolm presented trust founding member and former secretary, Alan Day, with a scroll bestowing on him the position of honorary president of the Access Trust.