Most of our visitor centres, car parks and mountain bike trails are now open. Check what’s open near you before you travel and enjoy your visit safely.

Skip to main content

Cambus o’May

Where we are

Cambus o’May Forest Notices

COVID-19 has changed lots of things we do. And as we re-open the majority of our facilities and welcome more of you back in Phase 3, we need your help to do it safely. Please check what’s open before you travel; enjoy your visit safely by following NHS and Scottish Government guidance; take your litter home with you; and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

At this location:

  • The car park is open and normal charges (if any) now apply.

Please bear with us and check back regularly for updates. You can also find more information by visiting our COVID-19 page and our FAQs.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Share your experience

Our website uses cookies.
By continuing, we assume your permission to deploy cookies, as detailed in our Privacy and Cookies policies.