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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.


Where we are

Dunardry 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.

Craggy slopes and a dramatic gorge amongst the trees

The picnic spot at the start of the Dunardry trails is a great vantage point above the Crinan Canal. Sit back, enjoy the views and watch the boats negotiating the locks.

You can choose from four enticing trails here, ranging from a challenging gorge trail that straddles Dunardry Burn gorge to a climb up An Cruach Mòr, the summit of which offers a 360 degree view of the Argyll coast.

Guide map to the forests of Mid Argyll and Kintyre (PDF 9.5MB)

Walking trails


Green Gate Loop

A gentle wander beneath towering larch and fir trees along the cascades of Dunardry Burn.

Firm gravel surface throughout, with tarmac section, and some slightly loose sections. Moderate slopes. Includes a bridge and a section along the access road.

¼ miles / 0.4 km

¼ hour

More information

An easy way to get a taste of Knapdale Forest – ideal for a quick leg-stretch or a gentle amble for the whole family. Look out for some living sculptures as you explore, including a willow arch and a birch wall, and some unusual stone seats. Be sure to stop on the bridge to enjoy the spectacle of the tumbling Dunardry Burn snaking through the rocky gorge to spill eventually into the Crinal Canal below.

Start this trail at the parking area by the roadside on the hillside above Cairnbaan: see ‘how to get here’ for details.


Bardarroch Trail

Walk beneath towering trees in a quiet part of the forest overlooking the scenic Crinan Canal.

Mostly firm, wide gravel track. Uneven grassy section that may occasionally be muddy. Long moderate slopes for up to 600m with some steeper sections.

2 ¼ miles / 3.7 km

1¼ hours

More information

The name comes from the Gaelic for ‘height of the high king’, and there are lovely views down to the Crinan Canal between the trees. Look out for deer amongst the trees, and red squirrels and crossbills in the canopy. You may also hear the distinctive cat-like mewing of buzzards circling overhead.


Near to Nature Trail

A quirky and exhilarating trail around Dunardry Burn gorge, guaranteed to excite all your senses and get your pulse racing.

Firm but uneven gravel surface, with some narrow sections and exposed tree roots. Some steep slopes with long sets of uneven stone steps. Includes a few bridges.

1 ¼ miles / 1.9 km

¾ hour

More information

Switch all your senses to ‘heightened’ and be ready to experience the wonder of this sheer wooded burn. Brush through the trees, twist and turn along the rocky gorge and feel the breeze from the rushing water below.


Dunardry Trail

Climb steadily to reach the summit of An Cruach Mòr (‘the great stack’) for 360 degree views of the Argyll coast and a magnificent bird’s eye view of Mòine Mhór. 

Some long steep slopes with uneven stone steps. Generally firm gravel surface, with some uneven and narrow sections. Short grassy section at summit may occasionally be wet.

3 miles / 4.8 km

2 hours



Dunardry is a popular place to start exploring the forest roads by cycle around Knapdale Forest. The easy option is to potter along the Crinan Canal towpath, part of National Cycle Route 78.

Explore further

If you're looking for something a bit more adventurous, there's a scenic network of quiet forest roads around the area. Ordnance Survey maps Explorer 358: Lochgilphead & Knapdale North and Landranger 55: Lochgilphead & Loch Awe cover the forest and its surrounding area.

Facilities & access

Picnic area
Picnic area
Campervan parking
Campervan parking

You'll find refreshments at Cairnbaan and Crinan, and public toilets on the quay at Crinan.

Stay the Night

Motorhomes and campervans will be allowed to park overnight at this car park.

This is part of a short-term national trial that will run until later in the year, open to self-contained vehicles only. Motorhomes and campervans can stay for one night only at a time between 6pm and 10am. Camping and overnight parking of cars is not allowed.

Before you visit, please read our Stay the Night guidance, terms and conditions:

Stay the Night

Getting here

Dunardry car park is on the south side of the B841 between Cairnbaan and Crinan. From Lochgilphead, follow signs for the Argyll Coastal Route, then Crinan.

For easy access to the Green Gate Loop, there’s an off road parking area close to the start of the trail. Driving from Cairnbaan, take the first left after the 'Forestry Commission Cairnbaan Workshops' (a road called Letter Daill) and follow the road uphill for about 1 mile.

Using SatNav?

PA31 8UE is the nearest postcode for the Dunardry car park.
PA31 8UH is the nearest postcode for the Green Gate Loop parking area.

Public transport

There are regular buses between Lochgilphead and Achnamara, which stop at nearby Cairnbaan. Find details at Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

0300 067 6650 (option 2)
More contact information

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