About 6.5km (4 miles) east of Aberfoyle on A81 is Inchmahome Priory, on an island in Lake Menteith. From the Port of Menteith, you can take a ferry to the island (weather permitting). The fare is £4.60 for adults, £3.60 for seniors and students, and £2.25 for children 5 to 15. Once here, you'll find the ruins of a 13th-century Augustinian house where Mary Queen of Scots was sent as a baby in 1547. For information, call tel. 01877/385-294, or log on to www.historic-scotland.gov.uk.
A nature lover's delight, the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park lies between the eastern shore of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. Some 18,225 hectares (45,000 acres) of moor, woodland, and mountain have been set aside as a preserve for walking and exploring. From mid-March to mid-September, it's open daily from 10am to 6pm. Admission is free. From the lodge, you enjoy views of Ben Lomond, the Menteith Hills, and the Campsie Fells. For walking maps and information, stop at the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park Visitor Centre (tel. 01877/382-258), in the David Marshall Lodge, off A821, 1.6km (1 mile) north of Aberfoyle.
Another great walk in the area is the Highland Boundary Fault Walk, which follows the Highland boundary fault edge. Here you can see panoramic views of the Highlands to the north and the Lowlands to the south. It begins 10km (6 miles) south of the Trossachs on A821. Detailed information is provided by the Forestry Commission in Aberfoyle (tel. 01877/382-383).
North of Aberfoyle, Dukes Pass (A821) climbs through Achray Forest past the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park Visitor Centre , where you can stop for snacks and a panoramic view of the Forth Valley. Information on numerous walks, cycling routes, the Achray scenic forest drive, picnic sites, parking areas, and many other activities is available at the center. The road runs to the Trossachs between lochs Achray and Katrine.
Loch Katrine, where Rob Roy MacGregor was born, owes its fame to Sir Walter Scott's poem The Lady of the Lake. The loch is the principal reservoir of the city of Glasgow. A small steamer, the SS Sir Walter Scott, plies the waters of the loch, which has submerged the romantic poet's "silver strand." Sailings are twice a day from Easter to late October, between Trossachs Pier and Stronachlachar, at a round-trip fare of about £12 for adults, £9 for seniors and students, £7 for children 15 and under. Prices vary depending on time of day. (Morning sailings are more expensive.) For information on sailing schedules, call tel. 01877/332-000, or visit www.lochkatrine.com. Light refreshments are available at Trossachs Pier.
If you'd like to explore the countryside on two wheels, head for Trossachs' Cycle Hire, Trossachs Holiday Park, Aberfoyle (tel. 01877/382-614; www.trossachscycles.co.uk). The rental rates are £15 to £20 per day. Open daily from 8:30am to 6pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.