Before the Beast from the East cast its white breath over the land, I'd been for a wander in the Trossachs, west of Callander. The hills had been lovely at that time as they were capped with snow, not blanketed, while the glens and woods were free of snow. I like that contrast. It makes our hills look more beautiful and more dramatic. The Trossachs capture that beauty well with shapely little peaks rising from loch and forest. I'd planned climbing a shapely little peak myself but too long a walk in, on too short a winter day with too deep snow, put paid to that. I turned back before the top and retreated to the glen in the gathering dusk. It was disappointing but I quickly reminded myself that a wander outdoors and a night out in the tent are never wasted. And the moments of winter light had been stunning.
Public transport: Trains to Stirling then bus to Callander from Stirling Bus Station which is adjacent to the train station. There is Demand Responsive Transport in the Callander area which is what I should have used to cut down on the long walk from town. With hindsight!
Route: Picked up National Cycle Route by the river in Callander and followed it west out of town along a lovely stretch of old railway line. After it crosses the A821, I left it and picked up the Great Trossachs Path west towards Brig O'Turk which is signed. It's a lovely walk through scrubby woods and climbs high up the side of the hill for great views. The path eventually junctions with the routes into Glen Finglas and around Brig O'Turk. I camped in Glen Finglas then returned to Callander along the south shore of Loch Vennachar - turn right along the A821 at Brig O'Turk then left into the entrance for the Byre Inn. Go straight on, over the bridge, through the farm then left at the next track junction. This continues to Callander. At Gartchonzie you can turn left up the minor road to rejoin the outward route and that's nicer than continuing on tarmac.