Balmaha is a great starting-point for exploring Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Located on the south-eastern shore of Loch Lomond, it is within easy reach of Glasgow. The national park visitor centre provides information about the park, local walks, bike rides and other activities.
The village’s name commemorates the local patron saint Kentigerna, whose nickname was Mo-cha. She was closely associated with the nearby island of Inchcailloch (Island of the Nuns) and St Maha’s Well in the hills nearby.
Just east of Balmaha is the aptly named Conic Hill, sitting on the geological formation known as the Highland Boundary Fault. This marks the dividing line between the Highlands to the north and the Lowlands. The popular long distance walking route, the West Highland Way (linking Glasgow and Fort William) crosses the hill and passes through Balmaha, so is easily accessible. The loch and mountain views from the summit are superb.
The wildlife haven of Inchcailloch lies within the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve and is a short boat ride from Balmaha. Rangers run guided walks there; alternatively pick up an audio guide from the visitor centre or download a walking guide from the national park website.
Expanding the range of things to do here, a water bus service operates from Balloch on the southern shore of the loch to Luss on the western side .