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The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre

Where we are

Latest forest information

  • Due to unforseen circumstances, the cafe is currently only able to serve drinks and snacks with no hot food available. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Open water

  • This destination contains areas of open water which can be hazardous if you are not suitably prepared. Follow our water safety advice and take care.

About

The gateway to Queen Elizabeth Forest Park

With trails suitable for all, tree top adventures, a great café, toilets and plenty of information, this should be your first stop when it comes to exploring Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.

Enjoy panoramic views and scenic trails, from a gentle stroll to a waterfall past a monument commemorating the Women's Timber Corps, better known as the Lumberjills, to more strenuous routes through lofty woods and rocky crags.

Visit Scotland five star award Green Tourism gold award

The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre on Facebook

Walking trails

The Lodge route card (PDF)

Walking

Waterfall Trail

A pleasant stroll through the trees past a monument to the Women's Timber Corps, leading to a dramatic waterfall that appears as if by magic. Plenty of places to sit or play along the way.

Wide, firm gravel surface throughout, with some loose stones. Long gentle slope for 400m with some short moderate sections. Short section of uneven wooden boardwalk.

Easy (all abilities) trail grade icon
1 miles / 1.8 km

Allow
½ hour

More information

Look out for reflective artworks and feel the breeze beside the tumbling waterfall. Wind back up to The Lodge from here or continue through towering Norway spruce and over an arched wooden bridge to reach the Red Squirrel Hide.

The women's timbers corps bronze statue in autumn
The WTC statue at The Lodge, on the Waterfall Trail. Image: WTC
Walking

Oak Coppice Trail

A scenic walk through ancient oak woodland that is cloaked in velvety green lichens – a sure sign of the clean air up here.

Largely firm gravel surface, with a few uneven sections. Several short steep slopes and one short flight of steps.

Moderate trail grade icon
1 ¾ miles / 2.9 km

Allow
1 hour

More information

This is an atmospheric meander amongst ancient oak trees that were once coppiced every 15 years or so, stimulating new growth from the stumps. The new stems could be used for building, fuel and to make charcoal for iron smelting.

A woodland trail with moss covered trees

Walking

Craigmore View Trail

Follow in the footsteps of the Duke of Montrose, climbing above the Duke’s Pass for great views of The Lodge and the Loch Ard Forest.

Varied surface with some long, fairly steep sections. Narrow and uneven rocky path with some muddy parts.

Strenuous trail grade icon
1 ¾ miles / 2.8 km

Allow
1½ hours

Walking

Lime Craig Trail

A fair climb through the forest to Lime Craig for magnificent views over the Carse of Stirling and along the Highland Boundary Fault.

Sustained steep slope for 700m up to Lime Craig, but largely firm gravel surface. Rough rocky section for further 250m up to viewpoint which can be avoided. Includes two bridges.

Strenuous trail grade icon
4 miles / 6.6 km

Allow
2½ hours

More information

Part of this trail follows the route of the old gravity railway that was used to transport limestone extracted from the quarry on Lime Craig. The best views are from the summit of the craig. On a fine day, you’ll see Ben Lomond, Ben Venue and Ben Ledi as well as getting a bird’s eye view south over the low-lying Flanders Moss and Carse of Stirling to the Campsie Fells beyond.

A creek beside a trail with trees to the side

Activities

Watch for wildlife

This is a great place to watch wildlife – there’s the easy-to-reach Red Squirrel Hide as well as live video feeds of our squirrels in the wildlife room. The wildlife room has a live camera showing our garden bird feeders and recorded footage of local birds of prey.

a red squirrel clinging to a tree at the lodge

Aberfoyle's ospreys

We have had to make the difficult decision to remove our long standing osprey nest camera.

This camera was installed many years ago near a nest in a standing dead tree. Unfortunately, this tree has naturally degraded over the years and is no longer safe for staff to climb for regular maintenance of the camera. Our nest has also sadly sat empty for the last 4 seasons, despite there being around 30 nesting pairs in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. The reason they have not recently been using our camera nest is probably because of the condition of the tree and does not indicate any concern for the numbers of ospreys.

Ospreys can still be seen regularly in our region, from Balmaha to Inversnaid along Loch Lomond’s eastern shore and at Loch Achray and the Lake of Menteith, close to Aberfoyle.

Go Ape tree top adventure

The Lodge is also home to the award winning Go Ape. If you want a bird’s eye view of the forest or to leap through the canopy like a red squirrel, then this is the place to be.

Someone on a zip line at GoApe, with the sky above.

Orienteering

If you want to test your navigation skills and see some bits of the forest most visitors don't then why not pick up a free orienteering map from reception. We have three courses to choose from that vary in length and navigational difficulty - great for families with young children, or anyone seeking something more challenging than a sign-posted route.

A close-up shot of three people looking at a map

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
All ability trails
All ability trails
Easy-access facilities
Easy-access facilities
Treetop adventure
Treetop adventure
Cafe or refreshments
Cafe or refreshments
Visitor centre
Visitor centre
Orienteering or wayfaring
Orienteering or wayfaring
Picnic area
Picnic area
Tourist information
Tourist information

Opening hours

The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre is open seven days a week, 10am to 4pm (10am to 3pm January).

The Lodge Café is open 5 days a week and currently closed every Tuesday & Wednesday.

Car parking information

The charges to park at The Lodge are:

Payment options: Coin and card

  • £2 for up to 1 hour
  • £5 for all day
  • £14 for minibus or coach all day 

We recommend you bring both coins and cards with you in case our machine is having an off-day. Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates. Nearby car parks with free parking can be found in our local forest list without the £ symbol. 

Annual parking pass available:

Blue badge holders park free. Please display your Blue Badge clearly.

More parking info

Dogs

Water and sheltered tie-up points are available outside the visitor centre. No dogs (except assistance dogs) are allowed in the café area.

Accessibility

The logo for Euan's Guide, indicating that we're listed there, with disabled access reviews

Getting here

The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre is 1 mile north of Aberfoyle on the A821. Follow signs for 'Forest Park Visitor Centre'.

National Cycle Route 7 passes through the Forest Park.

Using SatNav?

FK8 3SX is the nearest postcode.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6615
More contact information

Nearby forests

Woman in blue walks dog along woodland path with ferns, Aberfoyle

Head uphill or along the river from the centre of historic Aberfoyle

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking icon
Parking
Easy-access facilities
Easy-access facilities
Cafe or refreshments
Cafe or refreshments
Picnic area
Picnic area
Tourist information
Tourist information
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View of forest over Loch Ard

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Parking icon
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Parking icon
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