Skip to main content

Some visitor centres are open – check individual web pages for more information. Our trails, toilets and car parks remain open. Plan ahead and enjoy your visit safely.

Cambus o’May

Where we are

COVID-19 update

Some FLS visitor centres are offering a reduced service, with walking and mountain bike trails remaining open, as are most toilets and car parks. Please check below for local updates on any 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.

Classic Deeside scenery of pine, heather and blaeberry

Choose from trails that cross a lochan on a picturesque bridge, or wind through Scots pine trees where squirrels chatter. If you really want to take it easy, there’s a grand view of Deeside’s mountains just from the car park.

Cambus o'May is one of those places you can visit again and again – and find something new each time. Each season has its charms, from wildflowers in spring to crisp, frosty days in winter.

Guide map to Forests of Aberdeenshire (PDF 4.1MB)

Walking trails


Lochside Trail

A short loop around the west lochan, where you may see damselflies and dragonflies dancing over the water.

Firm but uneven gravel surface. Some short steep slopes with single uneven rock steps. Parts may be slightly grassy or muddy.

Moderate trail grade icon
½ miles / 1.0 km

¼ hour

More information

At the start of this trail you’ll be walking along an esker – a ridge left behind by a huge glacier – with great views south into the Dee valley. On a fine day you'll see Lochnagar in the distance.


Two Lochans Trail

Wander beneath majestic Douglas firs to reach a pair of picture-perfect lochans nestled amid the pines.

Uneven gravel surface with some slightly grassy and muddy parts. Some steep slopes with one flight of wooden steps. Includes three bridges.

Moderate trail grade icon
1 ½ miles / 2.5 km

1 hour

More information

Both the lochans along this trail are legacies from the Ice Age: they sit in shallow saucers left behind by huge lumps of ice that broke off from the glaciers flowing from the centre of the Cairngorms.

You’ll pass an old quarry too. Stone from here was used for buildings in Ballater as the village grew after Queen Victoria made Deeside fashionable.


Pine Tree Trail

A longer tour through the tranquil pine forest, which is home to red squirrels, capercaillie and black grouse.

Uneven gravel surface with some rocky and muddy parts. Some steep slopes. Includes three bridges and some exposed tree roots.

Moderate trail grade icon
2 ¾ miles / 4.3 km

1½ hours


Explore further

For a longer outing on foot or mountain bike, there’s a great route that visits Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve, just over the hill from Cambus o’May. Take the forest road north east from the furthest point on the Pine Tree Trail and it will lead you straight onto the reserve. While you’re there, don’t miss the Burn o'Vat, a spectacular pothole in the granite. Return to Cambus o’May along the Deeside Way, a traffic-free route along an old railway line.

Facilities & access

Parking icon
Picnic area
Picnic area

There nearest public toilets are in Ballater and Aboyne. You’ll find a range of places to eat in Dinnet, Ballater and Aboyne.

Cambus o’May is an important site for ground nesting birds like capercaillie. Please keep your dog under very close control – either at heel or on a lead – to help protect them.

Getting here

The entrance and car park for Cambus O'May is easy to spot on the north side of the A93 between Ballater and Dinnet.

Using SatNav?

AB35 5SD is the nearest postcode.

By bus

Buses between Aberdeen and Ballater stop at the entrance to Cambus o'May. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

0300 067 6380 (option 2)
More contact information

Find out more

Share your experience

Our website uses cookies.
We use cookies that are essential for the site to work. We also use non-essential cookies to help us improve our website. Any data collected is anonymised. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about cookies and the options available.