Rolling braes and grassy ridges in the North and a steep drop to the plain of the Forth in the South. A product of the cataclysmic Ochil Fault, the Ochil hills extend some 20km behind the Hillfoots towns and villages.
Steep glens, gentle slopes, woodland, rock, gorse and bracken, the appearance of the hills is altered constantly with the changes of the seasons. A large variety of animals live on the Ochils and about 150 species of birds are present.
The highest peak in the Ochil Range is Ben Cleuch at 2,363 feet.
The best known is Dumyat which is easily accessible and offers superb views over Stirling and the Forth Valley.
Fast running burns have carved out deep, half hidden valleys and the steep face of the hills is intersected by a series of rich, wooded glens: Alva Glen; Silver Glen, one mile East of Alva; Mill Glen at Tillicoultry and Dollar Glen.
These are popular with walkers and there are clear paths and small bridges to guide you.
It is advisable to stay on the footpaths, particularly in wooded glens. Steep grass slopes can be dangerous after rain. Warm clothing and sensible footwear should be worn.
You will see an abundance of wildlife and several fine waterfalls.
There are several other footpaths and rights of way in the district such as the Devon Way from Tillicoultry to Dollar.Use the links below to see maps and directions for walks in the Ochils.
You can find spectacular waterfalls all around the Stirling area.
A few well known ones are listed here.
Follow the path from the car park and in 5 minutes you will reach the first of 5 waterfalls. Then it is a pleasant walk up the steep sided glen to the 23m Craighorn Fall and the Big Fall, a hidden waterfall which pours into the Smugglers Cave.
Go to Alva Glen route and map.
Bracklinn Road at the East end of Callander.
Wooded gorge with stepped falls of the Keltie Water.
Can be reached by a woodland walk from Callander or from the car park off Bracklinn Road.
2 miles North of Callander on A84
On its journey from the Highlands to the Lowlands, crashing water forces it's way between rocks in the narrow Pass of Leny.
Follow the footpath by the side of the falls. Car parking is opposite the the falls. Take care while crossing the road.
A walk to the dramatic, double falls.
Off the A91, North of Dollar.
There are spectacular walks by two burns named Care and Sorrow as as they twist and cascade down narrow ravines.
At the head of the glen is Castle Campbell which used to be known as Castle Gloom.
Take care with young children in Autumn and after heavy rain as the paths, walkways and bridges can be slippery.
No disabled access to the walk.
2 miles East of Fintry on the B818 Denny Road
One of the most attractive waterfalls in Scotland. On the River Endrick which rises in the Fintry Hills.
A ribbon of white water plunging ninety feet from a rocky ledge.
Tillicoultry, Off A91.
Nature Trail and walk to the upper part of the Glen where there are 8 waterfalls in close proximity.
4 miles East of Dollar, one and a half miles South of Muckhart. Off the A823 at Rumbling Bridge
The footpath on the North side by the nursing home, gives good access on paths, walkways and bridges to spectacular viewpoints which overlook the gorges and falls.
Open all reasonable times
Partial disabled access
Off A84, 2 miles West of Kingshouse, Balquhidder
The number of visitors to the Glen has increased in recent years, due to interest in the life of Rob Roy MacGregor. The graves of Rob Roy, his wife Mary and two of their four sons can be seen in Balquhidder churchyard.
The spectacular mountain scenery of the Glen was carved out thousands of years ago by the grinding power of moving glaciers.
Winding along the narrow road on the Northern side of the Glen, following the inlets and promonotories of the land, the beautiful views across Loch Voil and Loch Doine slowly appear through the trees.The Glen has a population of about 100, it is 20km around 12 miles in length and runs from East to West.
Visitors are welcome but be aware of the sensitivities of the landscape so that the beauty of the area can be preserved.
The historic Balquhidder Kirk displays information about the Glen.
Kingshouse at the entrance to the Glen Road has a hotel with a bar, cafe, gift shop, toilets, car park, picnic tables and includes the Rob Roy Tryst.
Tel 018774 688
Pleasant, short walks can be taken from the village car park around to the Kirk or over the bridge to the South side of Loch Voil.
For the more ambitious, forest tracks can be taken up Kirkton Glen which leads over to Glen Dochart or it is possible to take the Glen Buckie / Glen Finglas route.
Keep to preferred routes shown on the map.
Good footwear should always be worn and appropriate clothing and essential equipment taken with you.
Cycling is encouraged along the Glen Road although the route is narrow with many bends.Some forest tracks are suitable for cycling.Cycling is discouraged on soft ground or high mountain paths.If in doubt, please seek permission.
Start from the car park at Balleich, South of Aberfoyle.
Forest Enterprise have marked out a short walk through mixed Oak and coniferous woodland.
Follow the toadstool signposts and keep your eyes peeled for elves or fairies.
At the summit of the knowe, there is a pine tree which is said to contain the spirit of the Reverend Robert Kirk.
In 1691, he was parish minister in Aberfoyle and wrote a book called The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Faunes and Fairies.
A year after the book was published, Kirk collapsed and died when walking on Doon Hill.
After his funeral, he appeared to relatives to tell them that he was in fairyland and gave them instructions for his release. They were not carried out and many believed that he remained a prisoner of the fairies.
His body lies in the graveyard nearby but his spirit may still be contained in the old scots pine on Doon Hill.
Guard against all risk of fire
Take your litter home
Keep dogs under close control
Keep to public paths across farmland
Use gates and stiles to cross fences, hedges and walls
Leave livestock, crops and machinery alone
Leave gates as you find them
Help to keep all water clean
Protect wildlife, plants and trees
Take special care on country roads
Make no unneccessary noise
If you are visiting for a few days or for a longer vacation, there is plenty to see and lots of things to do around Stirling. There are plenty of great places to stay in and around the city.
You will find the best Stirling accommodation in our Where to Stay guide.