Thursday, 15 July 2021
We don’t just grow and fell trees. We also lead in conserving landscapes. For World Nature Conservation Day, we’re highlighting several projects th...
Aberfoyle village lies on the edge of Loch Ard Forest and beside the River Forth, which rises at nearby Loch Ard. Sample the village's history and wildlife on the wooded trails here and discover its strange links with the world of fairies and elves.
Climb to the top of Doon Hill to find a solitary Scots pine amongst the oaks. It is thought to mark the entrance to a Fairy Queen’s underground palace.
Uneven gravel path with some narrow, rough rocky and muddy sections, as well as exposed tree roots. Long steep slopes onto Doon Hill.
Allow 1½ hours
This trail begins by crossing the old stone bridge over the River Forth, then passes an ancient kirk and the cemetery where Reverend Kirk is buried. Once in the forest, the route winds up to the top of Doon Hill. Enjoy the view over Aberfoyle and the hills beyond as you catch your breath.
Look out for the big Scots pine on the summit. Some say it's a fairy tree and a great place to make a wish – or you could try running around it seven times, which is said to make the fairies appear!
A charming walk along the meandering River Forth and through the native oak woods of Easter Park. In spring there are bluebells and in autumn an array of fungi.
Sections of uneven earthy and rocky path with extensive muddy parts after heavy rain. Some fairly steep slopes. Includes a section of boardwalk, two bridges and low branches.
Allow 2½ hours
This trail – great for walking or cycling – leads out of Aberfoyle across the River Forth and past the atmospheric Old Kirk (church) and cemetery. The route then winds over the hill through open native woodland and stately conifers, before returning along the old railway line beside the river. Watch out for red squirrels amongst the conifers – Norway spruce seeds are their favourite food.
Look out for fingerposts to two historic routes from Aberfoyle. The Statute Labour Road links Aberfoyle and Loch Arklet and makes a great long distance cycle route to Loch Katrine. The Military Road connects Aberfoyle with the West Highland Way and Loch Lomond at Inversnaid. It was originally built to service the 18th century Inversnaid Garrison.
There are stunning views along these old routes, but do be aware of the distances and remote, open terrain involved.
There are public toilets at the car park, and plenty of places to eat, drink and shop in Aberfoyle.
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 gateway to Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
Towering larches and great views over the Lake of Menteith