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Benmore

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Latest forest information

The Big Tree Trail is open, however please be aware of a small diversion due to a broken set of steps and a section of trail with reduced width due to a recent landslip.

Please follow our Keep it clean advice before and after a visit to any woodland.

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

Walk between colourful plants and giant conifers

Benmore boasts some of Scotland's most impressive specimens of really big conifers. The trails take you amongst giant Californian redwoods, Douglas fir and Western hemlock. In spring and early summer Benmore bursts into colour when its remarkable collection of rhododendrons comes into bloom.

Benmore Estate was given to the nation in 1928 by the Youngers, a well-known Edinburgh brewing family. In the 19th century it was planted with many north American conifers, which have now matured into an impressive and beautiful forest. The estate includes Puck's Glen to the south and the beautiful Benmore Botanic Garden.

Walking trails

Benmore route card (PDF)

Walking

Big Tree Trail (diverted)

A trail notice is in effect

There is a small diversion on the trail due to a set of broken steps as well as a section with reduced width as a result of a recent landslip.

Walk beneath (and indeed over) some towering Douglas firs, cypresses and silver firs planted in the nineteenth century. Some great views from the top.

Uneven gravel and earth paths with exposed tree roots and muddy sections. Some long steep slopes and low trees to duck under.

Strenuous trail grade icon
1 ¼ miles / 1.9 km

Allow
1 hour

More information

A great way to see Benmore's colossal conifers. Rest and enjoy the experience on benches along the way: sit quietly and you may see roe deer and red squirrel too.

Walking

Black Gates Trail

A trail notice is in effect

The trail has now reopened, but please be aware of haulage trucks on the forest road.

A full tour of Benmore Forest that combines the giant conifers of Benmore with the spectacular gorge of Puck’s Glen and provides great views across the valley.

Narrow and rough rocky sections in Puck’s Glen that may be wet. Several steep slopes with long flights of uneven steps. Includes a number of bridges.

Strenuous trail grade icon
3 miles / 4.8 km

Allow
2 hours

More information

From Benmore's Black Gates, climb up through majestic big trees and catch amazing views over Glen Massan and the River Eachaig before dropping into the deliciously atmospheric Puck's Glen, with its twisting path, waterfalls and bridges. A gentle road brings you back to the car park at Benmore.

Cycling trails

Cycling

Loch Eck Loop

A trail notice is in effect

The section on the East side of the loch has reopened after the recent felling but please be aware of haulage trucks on the forest road.  The section on the West side of the loch remains open but there are still works taking place which may result in short delays.  Please follow all onsite signage or instructions.

A treat for cyclists with a day to spare.

Forest road and paths, with a short section on public road. Some very steep slopes with occasional loose material on the paths.

 Cycling post icon
21 ¾ miles / 35.0 km

Allow
6 hours

More information

A rewarding day out for fit and determined cyclists. The circular loop climbs high above beautiful Loch Eck on the east and hugs the shoreline on the west. Most people start and finish at Glenbranter and cycle clockwise to get the main climb out of the way early in the day. Either way you'll have magnificent views over the Clyde and out to west coast and islands.

Activities

Cycling

There is easy access to the 21 Mile Loch Eck Loop cycle trail from Benmore. Download the route card from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking

There are public toilets and a café in Benmore Botanic Garden.

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

The forest trails begin on the opposite side of the main road from the free car park at Benmore Botanic Garden, which is 6 miles north of Dunoon on the A815.

Using SatNav?

PA23 8QU is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

Buses between Dunoon and Inveraray stop at Benmore Botanic Gardens. 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

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