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Ardgartan

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Latest forest information

Please read and adhere to all safety signage and instructions about forestry works.

We have recently been having issues with some cyclists ignoring signs and entering active harvesting sites. This puts themselves and the operators in danger and may extend the duration of the work.

  • The Ardgartan Shore and Coilessan Glen cycling trail are currently closed to allow forestry works.
  • The Peninsula Circuit is currently diverted along a public road, at the section through Pole Flats in Lochgoilhead. This rejoins the forest road at the gate at Glen Mhor.

Open water

  • This destination contains areas of open water which can be hazardous if you are not suitably prepared. Follow our water safety advice and take care.

About

Endless trails through an area of vast natural beauty

Ardgartan (meaning the High Garden in Gaelic) is at the heart of an area of vast natural beauty. The forest of Sitka and Norway spruce is an ideal habitat for red squirrel, roe deer, buzzards and owls. Mixed woodland along the many small rivers and burns is home to otters, kingfishers and bats.

The trails offer great views for cyclists, walkers or horse riders. If you don’t feel like following the waymarked trails, just wander wherever you fancy... through the forest, across the hills or along the secluded loch shore.

Walking trails

Ardgartan route card (PDF)

Walking

Riverside Trail

A delightful stroll through the beech and oak woodland alongside the sparkling Croe Water.

Firm gravel surface with some grassy and uneven sections. Includes some exposed tree roots and very muddy sections. Two short steep slopes, a bridge and some broad steps.

Moderate trail grade icon
1 ½ miles / 2.4 km

Allow
1 hour

More information

Watch for red squirrels scampering among the trees and listen for the many species of birds that live in the forest. Otters live here too: you might see their footprints or tail marks on the sandy shore, or if you're very lucky catch sight of one in the river’s large pools.

Cycling trails

Cycling

Ardgartan shore and Coilessan Glen (closed)

A trail notice is in effect

This trail is closed to allow the safe felling of trees infected with Phytophthora ramorum. 

Forest rides, loch shore and a fun descent back to the start.

Mostly forest road with sections on tarmac. Long, moderate climbs and descents.

 Cycling post icon
6 ¾ miles / 11.0 km

Allow
2 hours

More information

Start by following the trail south towards the farm at Coilessan and round by the loch shore – you might just glimpse otters here. Then it’s a climb through red and roe deer’s territory in the shadow of Cnoc Coinnich before heading back down Coilessan Glen. Take a breather on the way to admire the view over Loch Long towards the Clyde!

Cycling

Ardgartan shore and Coilessan Glen (closed)

A trail notice is in effect

This trail is closed to allow the safe felling of trees.

Forest rides, loch shore and a fun descent back to the start.

Mostly forest road with sections on tarmac. Long, moderate climbs and descents.

 Cycling post icon
6 ¾ miles / 11.0 km

Allow
2 hours

More information

Start by following the trail south towards the farm at Coilessan and round by the loch shore – you might just glimpse otters here. Then it’s a climb through red and roe deer’s territory in the shadow of Cnoc Coinnich before heading back down Coilessan Glen. Take a breather on the way to admire the view over Loch Long towards the Clyde!

Activities

Explore further

The network of trails here is very popular with bikers looking for fun cross-country rides. They're good to walk along too. For an interesting route between two forests, try the link route between here and Arrochar forest.

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking icon
Parking
Cycling
Cycling

There are public toilets at Ardgartan. There are shops and cafes in Arrochar village, a few miles to the east.

If you’d like more time here, why not book a holiday cabin with Forest Holidays.

Stay the night

Motorhomes and campervans that are self-contained and have their own toilet facilities will be able to stay overnight at this car park from 1 April – 31 October 2022.

To help plan your stay, please see the details below:

  • Height barrier – No
  • Motorhome capacity of car park – 3
  • Suitable for large vehicles/caravans – No
  • Parking notes – Parking in rear of car park will enable easier exit. Please leave a 4m gap between other motorhomes and ensure access to the forest road is unrestricted.

Please visit our Stay the Night page for full details, participating locations, best practice, and terms and conditions of use.

Stay the night

Car parking information

There is no charge to park in this car park. Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates.

More about parking

Getting here

Ardgartan car park lies on the south side of the A83 between Loch Long and the Rest and Be Thankful, 3 miles west of Arrochar.

If coming from the direction of Arrochar, ignore the 'Forest Holidays' turning; Ardgartan is ½ mile beyond this.

Using SatNav?

G83 7AS is the nearest postcode, about 1 mile along the road towards Inveraray.

Public transport

Buses heading from Glasgow to Inveraray and beyond can stop next to the entrance to Ardgartan. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6600 (option 2)
More contact information

Nearby forests

A tree covered mountainside viewed through leaves on branches

A scenic stop off on the iconic Rest and Be Thankful

Facilities and activities
Parking icon
Parking
Mountain access
Mountain access
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Ardgartan': 0.49 miles
Landscape view over the tops of conifer trees to a narrow loch with steep sided and wooded slopes under a blue and cloudy sky.

Start your hillwalk up The Arrochar Alps

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Mountain access
Mountain access
Distance from 'Ardgartan': 1.20 miles
Landscape view over tree tops to open hillside with pointed peak under grey sky.

Follow the path of 13th century Viking raiders

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Distance from 'Ardgartan': 1.77 miles