Ben A’an, one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Scotland, is located just a short distance away from Glasgow, in the heart of the Trossachs park. It is not very tall, only 1,491 ft (454 m), and has a very well marked trail. The trailhead is located on A821 near Loch Achray.
We were at the trailhead after 5 PM, and the parking lot was almost empty, which we really liked (it is no fun to share the trail with the tourists like us). We tried to pay parking fees but the payment taking machine was broken. So we left a note indicating that we honestly tried to pay.
From the start, the trail is steep, so I started to whine almost immediately: “For one, I hate going up the hills, and for another, the trail itself is nothing special. No good pictures are going come out of this exercise.” Well, I was wrong. [Editor’s note: So I was right, then, wasn’t I?]
After the first steep hill, I started to appreciate the beauty of the place.
On our way, we passed an area that looked like a commercial forest cutting site. We were wondering why they would cut the trees in the middle of a National Park. Later we found out that Scotland tries to restore native tree population by removing alien trees and reforesting with the native types.
At about 2/3 of the way up, we entered a denser wooden area. I remember that I was still complaining but not as much, as the views got better and better.
We did not see any animals (even squirrels) on our way. A couple of slugs were our only encounters on our way to the top.
We finally made it to the top. As expected, it was very windy up there, but the views made up for all the inconvenience.