Ardgartan forest notice
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.
- Toilets are open.
- Tree felling is currently taking place at Coilessan. Whilst the Coilessan shore and peninsula circuits remain open, expect some delays and obey all instructions and signage. The small parking area at Coilessan is currently CLOSED to allow these works to take place safely. Thank you.
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.
Riverside Trail (diverted)
A trail notice is in effect
Please note due to a bridge collapse the Riverside Trail has been diverted, for your safety please follow all on site safety signage.
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.
Allow 1 hour
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.
Loch Shore Trail
A great combination of river bank and loch shore with views across Loch Long.
Uneven gravel surface, with some narrow, grassy and rough, rocky sections. Includes some short steep slopes and one bridge. Some very muddy parts. Look out for vehicles along access road.
Allow 1½ hours
This great little trail crams a lot into a short space! The trail follows the bubbling Croe Water and passes the Forest Holidays cabins before reaching Loch Long. There’s plenty of wildlife to watch for along the way: red squirrels live in the forest, and on the loch shore you might see orange-beaked oyster catchers or even grey seals.
Ardgartan shore and Coilessan Glen
Forest rides, loch shore and a fun descent back to the start.
Mostly forest road with sections on tarmac. Long, moderate climbs and descents.
Allow 2 hours
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!
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 & access
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.
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.
G83 7AS is the nearest postcode, about 1 mile along the road towards Inveraray.
Buses heading from Glasgow to Inveraray and beyond can stop next to the entrance to Ardgartan. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.
Get in touch
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