COVID-19 and Forestry and Land Scotland
FLS has reduced its operations to felling that is contributing to essential business requirements to help keep Scotland ticking over. Our staff are working from home where possible; staff who are working continue to practise social distancing rigorously following Government and NHS guidance to keep safe.
Fresh air and being outdoors benefits physical and mental health and well-being, and for local visitors the majority of walking trails on Scotland’s national forests and land remain open. Be aware that staff cannot maintain our standard checks and maintenance. All our mountain biking trails and all car parks are closed.
All visitors are reminded to maintain social distance at all times.
Back o’ Bennachie
A favourite start point for those climbing Oxen Craig
Spilling down the northern slopes of the hill, the forest at Back O’Bennachie is a delight. There’s a large, open picnic area where you can have a barbecue or play a game of forest football, and trails through atmospheric forest.
On the hillside above the forest you can find the remains of the quarry that supplied stone to build local villages, and a superb circuit that takes in three of Bennachie’s summits.
From a fresh green burst in spring to an autumn blast of gold, the larick (larch) here provides a different colour for all the seasons.
A moderate to fairly steep trail, with varied surfaces: firm forest roads, earthy paths that can be muddy and rough sections with rocks, roots and large steps.
Allow 1 hour
The trail passes through native, naturally-growing trees like Scots pine, as well as forest planted with other species chosen for their timber value.
Mither Tap Quarry Trail
A great workout on the hill, visiting the Mither Tap and Bennachie’s highest summit - Oxen Craig.
A very steep, rough trail with long climbs, large steps, rocky and some areas on the summits which may be muddy.
Allow 3¾ hours
The longest route to the landmark of the Mither Tap, this trail also visits Bennachie’s highest summit at Oxen Craig. On the way you’ll pass the old quarry at Little Oxen Craig, where stone was cut in the 1800s to build houses in nearby villages. Watch out for the sculpture installed here.
Going to the top?
It may not be a Munro, but climbing Bennachie can be a real mountain experience with real mountain dangers. Ice and snow make the paths extremely hazardous in winter and spring. Even in summer the wind blows constantly at the top and temperatures will drop suddenly in rain. Don’t get caught out - dress warmly, take boots and waterproofs and be prepared to turn back when the weather changes.
Facilities & access
The toilets here are open from 1st April to 31st October. You’ll find places to eat in Oyne, Chapel of Garioch and Inverurie.
Car parking charges
Please note, parking charges are as follows:
- £1 for up to 1 hour
- £1.50 for up to 3 hours
- £2 for all day
- £8 for minibus and coach all day
Season passes are also available. For more information please contact us.
Follow the A96 north from Inverurie for about 7 miles (11.2 km). At the Oyne Fork turn left onto the B9002, signposted to Insch. Follow this road through Oyne village for about 2 miles (3.2 km), then turn left on a narrow road signposted ‘Back o' Bennachie Forest Walks’. The car park is about 1 mile (1.6 km) up this road, at grid reference NJ 661 245.
Nearest postcode: AB52 6RH
Buses serve Oyne village, about 1 ¾ miles (2.8 km) away. Check Traveline Scotland for details.
Get in touch
Have a question or suggestion for improvement?