COVID-19 and Forestry and Land Scotland
FLS has reduced its operations to felling that is contributing to essential business requirements to help keep Scotland ticking over. Our staff are working from home where possible; staff who are working continue to practise social distancing rigorously following Government and NHS guidance to keep safe.
Fresh air and being outdoors benefits physical and mental health and well-being, and for local visitors the majority of walking trails on Scotland’s national forests and land remain open. Be aware that staff cannot maintain our standard checks and maintenance. All our mountain biking trails and all car parks are closed.
All visitors are reminded to maintain social distance at all times.
Benmore Forest Notice
Advance notice: We will be working here soon to remove larch trees infected with Phytophthora Ramorum that are subject to a Statutory Plant Health Notice issued by Scottish Forestry. Further information on start date and access restrictions will be provided as soon as possible.
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.
Big Tree Trail
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.
Allow 1 hour
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.
Black Gates Trail
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.
Allow 2 hours
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.
Loch Eck Loop
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.
Allow 6 hours
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.
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 & access
There are public toilets and a café in Benmore Botanic Garden.
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.
PA23 8QU is the nearest postcode.
Buses between Dunoon and Inveraray stop at Benmore Botanic Gardens. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.
Get in touch
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