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Our visitor centres are currently closed. Our trails for walking and biking, as well as toilets and car parks, remain open. Plan ahead and enjoy your visit safely.

Balkello Community Woodland

Where we are

COVID-19 update

All FLS visitor centres are currently closed. Walking and mountain bike trails remain open, as do most toilets and car parks, but do check below for local updates for closures.

We want to ensure your visit is an enjoyable and safe one.

Make sure you follow the Scottish Government’s FACTS advice – helping to protect yourself, your family and your local community, and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code helping to keep Scotland beautiful.

Latest forest information

  • Unfortunately we have had to close the gate to Balkello Community Woodland as fresh snow on top of ice has made the steep access road into the car extremely treacherous. We hope to re-open the gate as soon as conditions are deemed safe. We ask visitors not to park in the access gateways to the car park and neighbouring residences, or on the sides of the public road where this prevents emergency access.

A tranquil woodland nestled next to Dundee

Take time out from the city to enjoy some peace and quiet at Balkello Community Woodland. Just a short trip from Dundee, it's a great place to stretch your legs and enjoy sweeping views of the countryside, the city and the coast.

There's an open grassy area, overlooking small ponds and a spring – ideal for a picnic. If you fancy a longer outing, Balkello is a gateway to the open Sidlaw Hills and on to Glamis.

If you’re looking for mountain bike action, check out this guide to Where to Ride in Tayside and Fife.

Balkello's trees were only planted in the 1990s, but already the young woodland is a real contrast to the open fields around it. Birds sing among the trees and light plays through the branches: come back often and see how the forest grows.

Our map of Balkello Community Woodlands

Walking trails

Walking

Sidlaws View Trail

Enjoy the panorama of Balkello Hill, Auchterhouse Hill and Balluderon Hill from the viewpoint on this easy and gentle trail.

Mostly flat with one short, gentle slope. Wide gravel path with a smooth, firm surface and regular passing places.

Easy (all abilities) trail grade icon
¼ miles / 0.6 km

Allow
¼ hour

Walking

Woodland Wander

Wind your way through the young woodland. The native trees planted here are becoming a great home for wildlife.

Uneven grassy surface with some rough, narrow and muddy parts. Moderate slopes with one short fairly steep ramp.

Moderate trail grade icon
1 miles / 1.7 km

Allow
½ hour

More information

Keep an eye open for wildlife on the trail. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of a vole, frog or toad along the way. Roe deer also make themselves at home among the young trees.

Walking

Raven Trail

Get a bird’s eye view from the open slopes of Balkello Hill, which has a sweeping vista over Dundee and the Angus coast.

Uneven grassy surface with some rough, narrow and rocky sections. One long steep slope. Parts may be very muddy.

Strenuous trail grade icon
1 ½ miles / 2.4 km

Allow
1 hour

More information

This trail takes you through the woodland and out onto the open hill below the old quarry. If you’re feeling fit, carry on up Balluderon Hill for spectacular views to the east coast and north to the Angus Glens and the rolling Cairngorms.

Facilities & access

Parking
Parking
Picnic area
Picnic area

Opening times

Summer (April to September): 8am – 10pm.
Winter (October to March): 8am – 5pm.

The car park is locked overnight. Check the closing time on the car park notice board to make sure you don’t get locked in.

Life’s essentials

The nearest public toilets are in Camperdown Country Park, on the outskirts of Dundee. Dundee also has plenty of places to eat.

Getting here

Balkello forest is off the B954 Muirhead to Newtyle road. At Auchterhouse, turn onto the road to Tealing. Go on for around 2½ miles (4km) and turn left for the forest car park. The car park is at grid reference NO 365 383.

Using SatNav?

DD3 0QY is the nearest postcode.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6380 (option 1)
More contact information

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