Skip to main content


Where we are

Benmore Forest Notice

The Black Gates Trail will be closed until the end of October for the essential felling of larch trees affected by Phytophthora Ramorum. We will also be undertaking work on the forest road in advance of harvesting. Please follow all signage.

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.

Guide map to Argyll Forest Park (PDF 4.6MB)

Walking trails


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.

1 ¼ miles / 1.9 km

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.


Black Gates Trail (closed)

A trail notice is in effect

This trail will be closed until the end of October for the essential felling of larch trees affected by Phytophthora Ramorum. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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.

3 miles / 4.8 km

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


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.

21 ¾ miles / 35.0 km

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.



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.

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?

0131 370 5674
More contact information

Share your experience

Our website uses cookies.
By continuing, we assume your permission to deploy cookies, as detailed in our Privacy and Cookies policies.