Monday, 16 May 2022
Sitka spruce. It’s the most common productive tree in Britain. But why has this native of the pacific coast of North America become so widespread in NW Europe? In this article we l...
Whether you have an hour or a day to spare, there's a trail here to suit you. The forest rises high above Dunoon giving you fabulous views over the Firth of Clyde and Loch Striven, as well as a great chance to see local wildlife.
Corlarach means 'common pasture' – a place where local folk used to graze their cattle and sheep. Those animals are gone, but you might be lucky enough to see grouse, roe deer, red deer and the many birds of prey which thrive here today.
Meander up through the young conifers for great views over Dunoon and the Clyde.
Uneven gravel and earth paths, with some narrow and muddy sections. Includes some long fairly steep slopes and two openings 1.1m wide.
Allow 1½ hours
Climb to the top of the forest for superb panoramic views across Cowal and the Firth of Clyde. Return via the charming mixed woods along Balgaidh Burn.
Long steep slopes for up to half a mile. Uneven gravel paths, with earthy and rocky sections. Includes two openings 1.1m wide.
Allow 2 hours
Forest roads may be affected by road building work or movement of timber trucks.
Please follow all safety signage and do not pass lorries being loaded with timber until instruced to do so.
Feel the excitement of exploring a forest by bike – you never know what wildlife you might encounter around the next corner!
There's a steep single-track section above Toward Farm, but generally the cycle trail follows undulating forest roads. Horse riders will need to cross a small ford in order to avoid a wooden footbridge.
Allow 3 hours
Corlarach forest can look impenetrable from below, but from the inside it’s a vibrant, interesting place, teeming with life. The first larch and spruce trees were planted here in 1948 and are now mature giants. Buzzards, kestrels and tawny owls hunt around them – listen out for their eerie cries as you ride.
The Corlarach Loop is a long trail suitable for bikes and horses. It offers great views down the Firth of Clyde when it passes our other local woodland at Ardyne.
The nearest public toilets are back down the hill in Dunoon.
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.
The turning for the car park at Corlarach is on the west side of Kilbride Road in Dunoon, just south of the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
PA23 7LN is the nearest postcode.
There are lots of public transport options to Dunoon, although the forest entrance is a 1¼ mile walk uphil from the Pier Esplanade. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.
Hillside arboretum with over 150 tree species
A deep, woodland gorge with cascading waterfalls