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Most of our visitor centres, car parks and mountain bike trails are now open. Check what’s open near you before you travel and enjoy your visit safely.


Where we are

Benmore 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.

Please bear with us and check back regularly for updates. You can also find more information by visiting our COVID-19 page and our FAQs.

The Black Gates Trail and some other sections of the forest will be closed until further notice due to the felling of trees infected with the disease, Phytophthora ramorum. There will be no access to Puck's Glen - which is fully closed - from Benmore during this time. The Big Tree Trail is open but some diversions are in place.

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

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 (diverted)

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 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?

0300 067 6600 (option 2)
More contact information

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