One of two forest drives in Galloway Forest Park, this drive is an easy way to see more of the Park's woods and wildlife without having to walk too far.
It's a 10 mile two-way forest drive, which is open to vehicles between April and October and for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders year-round. There is a small fee of £2, payable by card or in coins.
There are various places to stop along Raiders' Road. Head for Otter Pool car park, about half way along, for the perfect riverside picnic spot with plenty of room on the grassy banks to play. Alternatively, stop at Stroan Loch for peaceful waterside views, an old viaduct and the start of the scenic but strenuous Buzzard Trail.
Because it’s so dark, the Forest Park is one of the best places in the world to enjoy the stars – which is why it has been designated a Dark Sky Park. On a clear night the stars are so bright that you don’t need a telescope or even binoculars to enjoy them. There are information panels about stargazing at Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre.
The Galloway Kite Trail, a scenic 24 mile (40 km) tour around Loch Ken, is an exciting way to view spectacular red kites in lovely scenery. During the summer, the trail includes the Raiders’ Road Forest Drive, so look out for red kites soaring overhead as you explore. Bennan Viewpoint car park and trails at the east end of the Forest Drive, near Mossdale, are particularly good for sightings.
There are public toilets with accessible facilities at Otter Pool car park, half way along the forest drive. Nearby Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre has a café and shop.
You can drive Raiders' Road Forest Drive in either direction. The west entrance is on the south side of the A712 (also known as The Queen's Way) between Newton Stewart and New Galloway, near Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre. The east entrance is on the A762, just north of Mossdale village.
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