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This route combines the Waterfalls Trail and Lochan Trail within Aros Park. You will pass both the Upper and Lower Falls on Aros Burn then walk around the east side of peaceful Lochan Gharrabain. The Waterfalls Trail involves uneven and sometimes boggy woodland trails and has some steep hills and steps. The path around the lochan is flat and wider/gravel. Good way-marking throughout Aros Park.
Route: From the car park information board, head W towards the Alainn View Lookout Tower (closed). Follow the footpath downhill beside the Aros Burn, passing the Upper Falls as you go. When you reach a road cross over and pick up the continuation of the footpath at the other side – signposted “Lower Falls”. Continue down the burn, past the Lower Falls. Tobermory Bay will come into view. At the bottom of the path turn right (NE), signposted “Aros Pier”. Take the first path on your left (NE), still following signage for Aros Pier. Towards the end of this path you will cross a small footbridge and emerge in front of some buildings. Turn right (E), signposted “Lochan Trail”. A short walk along this track you’ll reach a crossroads at the edge of the lochan. Turn left (NE), following the sign for the Lochan Trail. This wide gravel path takes you around the east side of Lochan Gharrabain (the lochan should be on your right-hand side). When you reach the southern end of the lochan keep right (SW) at a fork to cross a small burn and continue around the lochan. After approx 300m you will cross a small boardwalk footbridge next to a ruin. Turn left (SW) here, following signage “Exit via Powerhouse”. Go up the steps. Look out for another waterfall high up on your left. When in line with the waterfall, turn right onto a woodland trail. The trail passes some children’s play equipment and emerges out onto a road. Turn left (SW), signposted “Exit”, and walk along the road until you reach a bridge (approx 600m). This is where you crossed earlier between the Upper and Lower Falls. Turn left (SW) to come off the road and follow the trail back uphill along the burn, retracing your steps to the car park.
WALK REVIEW: 28TH APRIL 2022
Aros Park – what a peaceful spot!
It was our third (and final) walk of the day, having already tackled Tobermory Lighthouse Circular and Calgary Bay & the Art in Nature Trail. Three shorter walks to pack in as much of the island as we could.
We are suckers for a waterfall so the fact that this route promised two of them, and it being on our way home from Tobermory made it a no-brainer. Starting the walk at the Alainn View car park meant that we approached the falls from upstream: We heard them before we saw them! I’m sure the route would be equally as impressive parking down by the loch and heading upstream so that you are walking towards the waterfalls – maybe even a better idea (?) because then you wouldn’t have to keep turning around to take photos of them like we did. Plus you’d get all the uphill section done at the start! It is also possible to walk along the coast from Tobermory to the lower falls if you’re looking for a longer walk.
The Alainn View lookout tower was closed when we were there. The sign on it explained that this was due to it being an unsafe structure. The official page for Aros Park on the Forestry and Land Scotland website suggests that it is closed permanently. A shame! Because the information board at the car park had promised “great views of the plunging Aros River Waterfall and Tobermory Bay.”
In fact when we did this route we came across quite a few closure notices and warnings. It gave a strange feel to the place! First the lookout tower, then a digger and two workmen on the path in from Tobermory (complete with orange barriers and triangular warning signs), then at the pier there was a huge and quite permanent-looking information board warning of “dangerous structures buildings pier & slipway” and finally a notice near the lower car park that the toilets and children’s play area were currently closed. Thank goodness we hadn’t come for any of that!
On the whole we found the paths around Aros Park to be well signposted and of good quality. In fact, the road through the middle was quite frankly the smoothest road I had seen in a long time; ironic considering some of the roads we had driven on this week on Mull! We had a good laugh, suggesting that it could quite possibly be the best road surface on the entire island!