Glendaruel to Strachur
Distance 16 miles/ 26km
Mainly on forestry or farm tracks and woodland trails, with the final 4km to Strachur on quiet public road
Initial section on low lying road, followed by a steady climb on forestry tracks to a maximum height of 360m (1180ft), descending to low lying roads near sea level.
This longer section is fairly easy under-foot, mainly following well maintained forest tracks. It offers good views, and travels through a woodland gorge with spectacular waterfalls. There is also the option to take a short side-trip to the Dunans Castle Heritage Trail, which includes woodland gardens, a Telford bridge, and views of the ruins of Dunans Castle
Continue northward along the quiet west Glendaruel road for the next 7km, with an optional detour along the signposted Home Farm Woodland Walk which runs through the woods before rejoining the road 1km later. There is also scope to visit the ruins of Kildalvan along a track to your left after the first cattlegrid. The main route eventually crosses a stone bridge over the Kilbridemore Burn, before the emerging onto the A866. The Cowal Way turns right here and follows the verge of the busy main road for 750m before turning left at Garvie Farm. For the side trip to Dunans Castle turn left onto A866 for 400m to reach the estate entrance on the right
At Garvie farm take the right hand track to pass through two gates, skirting round the farm yard, before emerging into rough grazing land. After 500m the track passes though another gate before winding across the hillside with Garvie Burn on the left. Continue along the main forest road ignoring a track joining from the right and a short track down to the left. The way crosses a bridge over the Leth Allt, and a little further on crosses a stile with a gate leading into an area of partially cleared forestry. 2km after the gate, the route reaches a crossroads where the Cowal Way continues straight ahead. Look out for a small series of cascades on the Eas Davain burn above you. After climbing to the highest point, the way starts to descend gently. Ignore a track from the left and follow the main road which then makes a sharp turn round to the left and then curves back right.
About 3km past the high point of this section the trees start to get bigger and views to the left are obscured. Look out for a sharp turn to the left waymarked for the Cowal Way, leading onto a lesser track. 400m along this track the ground levels off, and the way turns right off the main track onto a narrow path through the trees, with a small stream running beside. Take extra care not to miss this turning, as the waymarkers can be hard to spot. Follow this path down through the trees for 100m to reach a fence on the edge of the Allt Robuic gorge, where spectacular waterfalls are to be found. Turn left and follow the path across a wooden bridge and down the west side of the gorge, with a viewing area to your right. Continue downhill, ignoring a track to your left, and instead taking the steps down meet the forest road.
Turn left onto the forest road, and follow it downhill with the Glenshellish burn to your right. After 2km this track passes the Glenbranter Forestry Commission information centre, and a 1950s forestry commission village to your left. Follow this forest road until you reach a junction just past the entrance pillars. Turn left onto a single-track road for 4 km to where it meets the A815 and the end of this section of the Cowal Way. The village of Strachur is to the left; the centre is reached via a horseshoe road on the north side of the A815, with further accommodation to be found a kilometre further on the shores of Loch Fyne.