Covering almost a third of the country’s wooded areas, the forests we look after contain hundreds of waymarked walking trails that might take you up hills, along rivers and down to stunning coastlines. From local woods for dog-walking or getting some exercise, to majestic mountain viewpoints and some of the world’s most iconic scenery, it's all waiting for you to explore.
All of our forest webpages contain details on the distance, time and terrain of our trails. Before you head out, remember to check you have the correct footwear and clothing for your chosen route.
All of our waymarked trails are graded as easy, moderate or strenuous to ensure you can choose the route that's right for you. But what do these gradings actually mean?
Our easy trails are generally flat or rolling paths with a gradient of less than 12%. However, there may be some short steep sections (under 10 metres long) of up to 20%. The surfaces will usually be wide, smooth and firm. You might encounter some steps, but there won't be any narrow gates or gaps to squeeze through.
Easy and accessible
Some of our easy trails meet Countryside for All access standards. These trails are wide, firm and have no barriers to access such as steep sections, steps or stiles. You will also find regular rest stops such as seats or benches along the way.
Our moderate trails may have some steeper sections extending for 200 metres. These will rarely be much more than 12% gradient, though. The path surface might be earth, grass or stone and - while generally firm - it may have some loose or uneven sections, or be soft underfoot after rain. You may also encounter steps, gates and narrow sections.
Strenuous trails will be well marked but may require some stronger footwear! You might encounter arduous climbs up long, steep sections. The surfaces may be rough and uneven - with rocky or muddy sections - while you could also find yourself walking up irregular steps, over stiles or through narrow gates and gaps.
Find out more before you visit
The trail descriptions on our forest webpages provide even more information about what to expect, including trail distances, approximate timescales and the terrain or obstacles you'll encounter. Wherever possible, we’ve made these descriptions consistent so you can compare a route in Dumfries with one in Dornoch.
Forests for everyone
We want as many people as possible to enjoy Scotland's wild places. Some of our forests have all-abilities trails that are suitable for wheelchairs, buggies and mobility scooters, amongst others. They can usually be found at destinations with accessible facilities such as toilets, parking spaces and visitor centres. Keep a lookout for the 'Easy and accessible' symbol above or find out more about forests with accessible features on our Forests for everyone page.
Forests for four-footed pals
Dogs are very welcome in the woods. For many dog owners, their local forest is the perfect place to unwind with their faithful friend. All we ask is that dog owners visiting Scotland’s forests follow SOAC’s guidelines and take full responsibility for their dog’s behaviour. If wildlife or livestock are present, you must keep them under control or on a lead. And do please pick up their poo and take it to the nearest bin. Help us keep our forests clean and leave them exactly as you find them.