Monday, 27 June 2022
Rachel Orchard is one of our Trees and Timber Apprentices working from our base in Durris, Aberdeenshire. As a newcomer to the forestry sector she has hit the ground running by win...
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.
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.
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.
Allow ½ hour
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.
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.
Allow 1 hour
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.
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.
Allow 1½ hours
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.
Allow 2½ hours
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The charges to park at The Lodge are:
Payment options: Coin and card
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.
Water and sheltered tie-up points are available outside the visitor centre. No dogs (except assistance dogs) are allowed in the café area.
Head uphill or along the river from the centre of historic Aberfoyle
A picturesque loch ideal for family strolls and cycle rides