Loch Ard

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Loch Ard
Loch Ard.jpg
View west from Ledard
Location Stirling District, Scotland
Coordinates 56°10′59″N 4°28′16″W / 56.1830°N 4.4712°W / 56.1830; -4.4712Coordinates: 56°10′59″N 4°28′16″W / 56.1830°N 4.4712°W / 56.1830; -4.4712
Type loch
Primary outflows River Forth
Basin countries United Kingdom
Settlements Kinlochard, Blairhullichan, Ledard, Milton

Loch Ard (Scottish Gaelic: Loch na h-Àirde) is a body of freshwater in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park of the Stirling District in Scotland. (grid reference NN4501.)


The name of the loch comes from àird, the Scottish Gaelic word for a promentory, headland, height, ultimately from àrd meaning high. The loch is approximately 4 kilometres long by 2 kilometres wide and runs approximately east-west along a sheltered glen. It is sometimes considered to be the source of the River Forth,[1] although the river's true source is the confluence of its outflow, the Avondhu River, and Duchray Water.[2] Loch Ard lies downstream of Loch Chon. The loch contains several small islands including Eilean Gorm, Briedach, St. Mallo, which is rumored to have an old chapel dedicated to that saint, and Dundochill, which is the site of Duke Murdoch's castle that may have been built by the Duke of Albany.[3] Though one of Scotland's smaller lochs, it is one of the most picturesque and its sheltered location means it is ideal for kayaking and other water sports.


The Queen Elizabeth Forest Park encompasses Loch Ard and the surrounding forest.[4] The waters of Loch Ard are home to both a sailing and rowing club. The villages of Kinlochard, and Milton lie on its shores. The village of Aberfoyle lies 3 kilometres to its east, with the summit of Craigmore behind it, while the mountain of Ben Lomond sits to its west. The northern shores of Loch Ard are dominated by the mountain ridge of Beinn an Fhogharaidh (616 m).


The crystal clear waters of Loch Ard

Loch Ard is surrounded by 16 miles of family friendly mountain bike, walking, and horseback trails.[5] These trails, some with waymarkers, link into a much larger network of forest fire roads, which can take the intrepid rider on 30 km+ circular routes through the Park. The Loch Ard Family Sculpture Trails provide an interactive outdoor experience, with sculptures placed along the trails, interesting seating, and sound posts, among other features.[6]

Loch Ard is also home to many different species of wildlife, such as roe deer, barn owls, capercaillie, and various types of plants and insects.[7] The loch welcomes fishermen with a stock of brown trout, pike, and perch .[8]

Loch Ard, a three-masted, square-rigged clipper ship bore its name. The ship sank off the coast of Australia at what has been known since as Loch Ard Gorge.[9]


  1. ^ "Loch Ard". Webs and Nets. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Hendrie, William F. The Trossachs: History and Guide. Tempus: 2004. p. 101
  3. ^ "Tour Loch Ard, Tour Scotland". Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  4. ^ "Loch Ard Forest". Crown Copyright. 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "Loch Ard Forest". Crown Copyright. 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  6. ^ "Loch Ard family sculpture trails". Crown Copyright. 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "Loch Ard Forest". Crown Copyright. 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "Loch Ard". Landmark Press. 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  9. ^ "Culture and heritage". Parks Victoria. Retrieved 12 August 2013.