Hiking Ben A’an In Winter
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Ben A’an is a popular hill to hike throughout the year and winter is no exception. Located in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs just over an hour drive from Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, with the hiking trail under 3 hours offering the spectacular views, it's no wonder why this place is such a popular destination amongst tourist and the locals. Expect to see a lot of walkers even on a cold winter day.
HOW TO GET HERE
There is no public transport service operating in this area and the only way to get here is by personal transport. It's a scenic drive via Queen Elizabeth Forest Park especially along the Dukes Pass on A821 with lots of places to stop for taking pictures. Ben A’an has a distinctively pointed summit, which makes it iconic sight in the Trossachs landscape. In fact, its name comes from the Gaelic for 'the small, pointed peak'. Plan your route earlier in the day as the "Ben A’an car park" gets full fairly quickly.The parking is 'Pay and Display' although on the day when we arrived the ticket machine wasn't working.
FK17 8HY is the nearest postcode to use in satnav
The hiking trail starts just across the road from the "Ben A’an car park" and although the total hiking distance is under 2 km there are few places with pretty steep accents, so make sure you take water with you.
It was our first white-Winter adventure and we were very excited about it. As soon as we got up the hill above the car park we entered into a heavy fog that made everything around look mystical. The path is well paved and even when it's covered in snow and fog it's easy to walk on. At some point, we started to see a vague silhouette of the hill. As you approach the bottom of the Ben A’an you need to start climbing the steps which can be quite dangerous due to the limited visibility and the cold temperatures.
The stones were covered with ice and the choice of the footwear shouldn't be taken lightly if you plan a hike in the winter months. My footwear proved to be working very well on icy surfaces as it was designed for it, where Pavel had 'all seasons' hiking boots and it was very slippery for him to walk, so in some parts, he was rather skating than walking. My advice for the winter hikes is to definitely invest in the proper footwear for the icing conditions. Please don't risk your health due to improper shoes.
Despite the fact that Ben A’an is not a high mountain, it can still be pretty windy at the top, so the windproof jacket is also a must. As we reached the summit, the views were spectacular, we looked down and watched how the thick blanket of fog hid and then revealed parts of the landscape-that was truly mesmerising!
The way down is always quicker and we managed the get back to the car before the dusk. This hiking trail is definitely a great one for the short days of the Winter.