Kirroughtree Visitor Centre
Kirroughtree Forest Notices
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.
- Toilets are open.
- All mountain biking trails are open.
- The visitor centre is open.
- Please Note: Strimming will be taking place across all walking and mountain biking trails from 7th to 21st September. Please be aware and follow any on-trail notices.
- The Breakpad bike shop is now open 10am-5pm, seven days a week.
Galloway Forest Park’s gateway centre
Whatever the season, there's always something to see and do at Kirroughtree. Even at night, when the stars put on a show!
Relax in the visitor centre, enjoy the view and fuel up for the trails. Wander to the Wild Watch Hide to spot red squirrels and birds, or meander to Bruntis Loch. There's adventure play, mountain bike trails and quiet forest roads for gentle family cycles.
Wild Watch Trail
A short path to the Wild Watch Hide, where squirrels and woodland birds visit the feeders. Continue further along the path to find Kirroughtree’s second play park.
A firm and generally flat path, with some short gentle gradients. No obstacles. Good in all weathers.
Allow 30 mins
Anniversary Cairn Trail
Follow this trail through mature woods to the stunning viewpoint at the Galloway Forest Park 50th Anniversary Cairn, then back past the tranquil Bruntis Loch.
Firm gravel paths with some wide forest roads. Generally moderate gradients. Includes a bridge. Shares some sections with mountain bike trails – look out for bikers.
Allow 1 hour
Little Bruntis Trail
This path visits both the Big and Little Bruntis Lochs, before heading through mixed woodland with beautiful big beech trees. Keep your eyes open for the workings of the historic tin mines, as well as roe deer and red squirrels.
A firm gravel path. Fairly steep gradients. Includes a short section (100m) on quiet public road.
Allow 1½ hours
Larg Hill Trail
A scenic circuit around wooded Larg Hill rewards you with great views over Newton Stewart, a visit to lovely Bruntis Loch and follows the course of a tumbling burn.
Firm gravel paths and forest roads, with some sections muddy after rain. Long fairly steep gradients. Includes short section of quiet public road. Shares some sections with mountain bike trails.
Allow 3 hours
In spring watch out for great spotted woodpeckers nesting close to the roadside – look for tell-tale round holes in dead treetrunks where they nest and bring up their young. Listen for the adults drumming (rapid pecking) in the trees – this is the woodpecker’s way of advertising for a mate and marking its territory.
Mountain biking trails
Kirroughtree Skills Area
This small set of trails is an ideal warm up for your ride or, if you are new to mountain biking, they’ll give you a taste of the type of trail features you'll find at Kirroughtree.
You’ll find a lot packed into this small section of trails, where you can practise for the more difficult obstacles you might meet on our longer routes. It’s the best place to perfect your technique before you get down to serious business.
Take an easy ride through the scenic Bargaly Glen.
The perfect route for first timers or children. Enjoy a relaxing ride through the mixed woodland of Bargaly Glen along farm tracks and quiet public roads.
Great if you are looking for something with a bit of added excitement. Offers some beautiful views and the option of the Doon Hill extension.
Ideal for beginners or kids who are confident on their bikes, this winding route is mainly singletrack with a couple of small rock drops thrown in for good measure.
A technically testing and physically demanding trail.
Black Craigs combines fast flowing singletrack and rocky technical features to test your skills. A highlight is McMoab, with its huge slabs and ridges of exposed granite linked by boulder causeways.
From the fast flowing single track to the testing rocky technical challenges, on the Black Craigs you’ll find plenty of exposed granite and features to get your adrenaline pumping.
To reach the start of Black Craigs, follow the red-graded Twister trail to its half-way point.
World class mountain biking
Kirroughtree is one of the world class 7stanes mountain bike venues. It features a superb variety of green, blue and red graded trails, an extreme downhill section for the serious experts, and a skills area for honing your technique.
Kirroughtree is brimming with wildlife. Explore the visitor centre to discover what lives in the trees, waterways, open hills - and even high in the trees! It’s a short distance from the centre to the Wild Watch Hide, where you might catch red squirrels and woodland birds feeding. You might even spot roe deer.
Fun for the whole family
The play park at Kirroughtree is a great place for the kids to burn off some energy, and there are several trails suitable for little legs and pushchairs. You could also try out our orienteering trail – work as a team or compete against each other.
Dark Sky Park
Scotland has some of the darkest skies in Europe, and Galloway Forest Park is one of the darkest places in Scotland – which is why it’s the UK’s first Dark Sky Park. Kirroughtree is a brilliant place to enjoy the night sky – look out for information panels at the visitor centre which will help you spot the stars.
Fishing in the Forest Park
There’s great fishing in the Forest Park, including brown trout and pike. You can buy a permit at any of the visitor centres for Loch Braden, Loch Dee, Black Loch, Spectacle Loch, or Garwachie.
Long distance cycle route
National Cycle Route 7 (Glasgow to Carlisle via Dumfries and Glen Trool) also winds through the Forest Park, linking Kirroughtree with the other two visitor centres here. You might not want to tackle the whole 200 miles, but get a taste of the experience on scenic stretches of the route.
Facilities & access
The Visitor Centre is open:
- Daily 11:00am to 5:00pm
Car parking charges
- £1 for up to 1 hour
- £2 for up to 3 hours
- £3 for full day
- £12 for minibus and coach all day
- £12 for fortnightly pass
Annual parking permits are also available. Contact us for more information.
Stay the Night
Motorhomes and campervans will be allowed to park overnight at this car park.
This is part of a short-term national trial that will run until later in the year, open to self-contained vehicles only. Motorhomes and campervans can stay for one night only at a time between 6:00pm and 10:00am. Camping and overnight parking of cars is not allowed.
Before you visit, please read our Stay the Night guidance, terms and conditions:
Bike hire and repairs
Bikes can be hired from the The Break Pad bike shop. You can book your bike online before you visit. The shop also offers repairs, safety checks and friendly advice.
The bike shop is open 10:00am - 5:00pm, seven days a week.
Dogs are welcome in the visitor centre and café.
Kirroughtree Visitor Centre is well signposted from the A75 at Palnure, about 1.5 miles east of Newton Stewart.
DG8 7BE is the nearest postcode. Despite what your satnav may suggest, we strongly recommend you stay on the A75 until Palnure and turn off to the visitor centre there.
There are regular buses between Dumfries and Stranraer, via Newton Stewart and Gatehouse of Fleet. Get off at Palnure and follow the signs to the visitor centre – it's about 1 mile (2 km) away on foot. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.
Get in touch
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