Backwoods camping

The Woodland site is ideal for this.


The Trossachs is the perfect location for easy forest walks, backpacking expeditions as well as more serious hill walking.

Water Activity Permits

For leaders intending to run their own water activities, Loch Venacher is generally Class B2 waters, but a recent re-classification has identified the bay on which the centre is situated as now B1 (refer RESOURCES / Water Activities). Appropriate canoe/kayak permits must be valid for these grades of water. A permit for rafting activities is also required for Class B1 waters. For more information on water activies generally please refer to the RESOURCES section of the website. 


The scout centre maintains a fleet of 16 single kayaks, 7 Stand-up Paddle Boards, and 5 Canadian Canoes on site. Groups with their own instructors holding the appropriate Scout Activity Permit can arrange use of kayaks and equipment. The Invertrossachs Support Group may be able to provide qualified instruction to visiting groups, subject to availability of members.

Bell boats

The centre has 2 bell boats. Groups with their own instructors holding the appropriate Scout Activity Permit can arrange use of these. Restirctions apply (See RESOURCES / Water Activities). The Invertrossachs Support Group may be able to provide qualified instruction to visiting groups, subject to availability of members.

Power Boats

Loch Venachar is designated as a ‘quiet loch’ with a restriction of a 4hp engine on powerboats, and a speed limit of 4mph. The Scout Centre is allowed to operate one powerboat only, soley to be used as a safety boat for water activties. We are allowed to increase the engine size to 25 h.p. so that it can respond to an emergency, but at all other times we must adhere to the limit of 4 m.p.h. Anyone bringing a powerboat on to the site must get approval from the Warden.


A permit is required to fish Loch Venachar. Fishing from the shore is not allowed from virtually anywhere on the south side of the loch other than approximately 1 km at its eastern end (see Details of where to buy permits and the cost is also found on this website.


The estate road, which runs through the site, is part of the Venachar link of the SUSTRANS National Cycle Route 7. The old railway line along the western shore of Loch Lubnaig to Strathyre is a pleasant, easy route, and there are miles of forest track to explore between Invertrossachs, Loch Katrine and Aberfoyle.

Bikes can be hired locally at Wheels Cycle Hire (at 3 km) located on the road between Callander & Invertrossachs.  Tel: 01877 331100

Swimming, Climbing Wall, Squash, Games Hall

at McLaren Leisure Centre, Callander. Also a Fitness Suite, Sauna and Steam Room, Café. Tel 01877 330000

Go Ape

High-Wire Forest Adventure. Located at the David Marshall Lodge, Aberfoyle

Loch Katrine - The S.S. Sir Walter Scott

This is the only surviving screw steamer in regular passenger service in Scotland.

Sailings: April to October from Trossachs pier.

See website for details of bike n’ sail - take the boat to Stronachlacher and cycle back round the loch.  Tel 01877 376316


Overseas Groups

All self-led activities must be carried out in accordance with the rules and regulations as laid down by your own Scout Association. This includes self-led water activities. If you hire any watercraft from ourselves, we will endeavour to ensure that they are in a good condition and meet the requirements set down by the U.K. Scout Association. However there is still an onus on the person leading the activity to make sure that craft meet your own Association’s standards and are fit for purpose.

For your information Loch Venachar is classified as Class B2 waters*, which is defined as

  • the sea up to one mile from the shore, but excluding more dangerous waters close inshore;
  • more sheltered parts of estuaries;
  • large inland lakes and lochs;
  • inland waters British Canoe Union Grade 2.

*The exception to this is the shallow bay immediately adjacent to the centre, which has been graded as less severe Class B1 water. (See RESOURCES / Water Activities.  A notice on site also identifies the B1 limit.) 

You must ensure that your own qualifications or permits allow you to lead an activity on water as classified above.

If rafting is carried out, buoyancy aids must be worn in water over waist deep, and a qualified lifeguard and/or a safety craft should be present. Although there are no currents, lochs in Scotland are notoriously cold. The activity is restricted to 250 metres either side of the Centre, and up to 100 metres from shore. UK Scouting requires that the person in charge must hold a rafting permit.

If bathing or swimming, the buddy system should be used, a qualified lifesaver must be present, and appropriate limits set.