The Donich Falls Circular Walk
Distance: 4km/2.5 miles | Time: 1 – 2 hours | Ascent: 230m
“The Donich Falls is possibly the most popular walk for visitors staying in Lochgoilhead. It’s a circuit, it’s well signposted and everyone likes a waterfall. Depending in which direction you do it you can have a steady climb or you can go the hard way and make it a real muscle cruncher. I will describe the easier way which makes it ideal for a family walk.” Recommended by: Leonard Gow, Lochgoilhead Holidays.
The terrain is way marked forest paths all the way with a fair amount of ascent. Just above the falls is a picnic table within sounds of the water and this is a good place to take a break.
• The walk can be started in the village car park or a small forestry car park at the Arboretum.
• Starting at the village car park follow the marker for the Cowal Way path which leads up past the public toilets to a style beside a gate. Carry on up the path to a 4-way signpost which clearly shows the way to the Donich Falls.
• As you start the steady climb with the forest on your left you may well come across a heard of Highland cows. If you have a dog or if it is calving season take extra care not to spook them. Often they are up on the hill and well out the way but you should be prepared for them just in case.
• Eventually you come to gate with another style. The route is easy, cross the style and carry on until you hear the sound of the water coming down the falls. For the best views you can leave the path and walk down to the side of the stream at the foot of the falls, otherwise once you have climbed up the side of the falls on the path there is a view from a footbridge looking down the falls.
• At the foot of the climb the path forks off up Coilessan Glen and the Cowal Way to Ardentinny but you keep to the left and climb up to the footbridge where you will find a picnic table.
• There is a short climb from here until you turn at the top and start to head back down the forestry track. You will see a path to your right heading up through the forest and this will take you to a higher forestry road and either access to climb Ben Donich or a path heading over to Glen Croe.
• It is now a pleasant and undulating section of path through the forest with occasional views down to Lochgoilhead. There is an easy but steepish decent to Inveronich where you join the forestry road back to the village and the car park.
• If you do this walk in the other direction, and you like climbing hills, the ascent from Inveronich to the top of the falls is a good test of stamina.
Snatched views of the falls through the trees
Walk down off the path for the best views
Views down to Lochgoilhead near the start of the walk
There are buses to the village car park from Dunoon and Helensburgh.
The route description and comments provided here are intended to complement and not replace the descriptions found in official guidebooks. There are walking guides and leaflets available from the Tourist Information Centres and you can find further information online.