Route : Braeval - Kilmahog
The A821 is either a 'tourist route' or a heavingly stomach-churningly twisty drive, depending on the nature of your journey. It begins about 2 miles south-east of Aberfoyle on the A81 Callander Road, and also ultimately ends up at Callander, but very much the long way round. Passing through the tourist den of Aberfoyle there is no hint of what's to follow, but at a former TOTSO (now no longer) with the B829, the route swings sharply on a series of hairpin bends up into the foothills of the Trossachs, and we're off. The Forestry Commission's David Marshall Lodge nearby marks the remnant of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park (most of it was swallowed up in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park). From here the road winds, swerves and generally heads in every possible angle and direction for around ten miles. Even drivers can feel car-sick on this one.
Respite is possible at the Achray Forest Drive (Toll) which is around six miles long, although you will emerge back on the A821 a mere mile and a half or so further on. Beyond the modestly picturesque Loch Achray is a short spur which leads to the lovely Loch Katrine and a progressively uglified tourist-spot, complete with gift shops, tea room and quad bike hire(?) This is a reservoir for Glasgow; on Bank Holidays it might as well be Sauchiehall Street gone north.
The main A821 then heads east along the banks of Loch Venachar and the quaintly named Brig O'Turk (though strangely a 40mph limit through the village- these people like to live dangerously, it seems!). The road has been improved in places but it is still waters-edge stuff at times and correspondingly winding. The road ends about two miles to the west of Callander- and yet another chance to pick up those last minute boxes of Edinburgh Rock, kilties in a bottle and tamed haggis.
Original Author(s): Steven Kelly
In 1922 it was decided that having two roads from Aberfoyle to Callander was overkill and so only the A81 made the trip (or perhaps the Dukes Pass was unsuitable for classification?).
The original route of the A821 started at its current east end at Kilmahog, where it headed west along Loch Venachar and Loch Achray, to pass through the Trossachs and end on the shores of Loch Katrine (as it does today). In 1935 the road was extended from the shores of Loch Achray south along the Dukes Pass across the Achray Forest, to take on a short section of B829 and end on the A81. This history explains both the spur and the ex-TOTSO in Aberfoyle.