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The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre

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The Lodge Forest Notices

  • The team at The Lodge have been working hard to get our café back open after a short closure, and are now pleased to be able to provide hot and cold refreshments from our shop area omn certain days. See below for details.
  • We hope to be able to provide a full café service early in 2020.
  • All trails are open, but the Dukes Trail has a small section of water damage approximately half way round. Please avoid the coned-off damaged area.
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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, including a gentle stroll to a waterfall and more strenuous routes to lofty woods and rocky crags.

Guide map to Queen Elizabeth Forest Park (PDF 4.7MB)

Visit Scotland five star award     Green Tourism gold award

The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre on Facebook

Walking trails

Walking

Waterfall Trail

A pleasant stroll through the trees 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)
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.

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
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.

Walking

Duke’s Trail

Follow in the footsteps of the Duke of Montrose, climbing above Duke’s Pass for great views before passing through Achray Forest’s stately spruce woods.

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

Strenuous
4 miles / 6.5 km

Allow
2½ hours

More information

This longer trail follows an old drovers’ road to The Duke’s Pass, named after the Duke of Montrose who had this scenic road built through his estate in the 19th century. Cool off at the waterfall or visit the Red Squirrel Hide at the end of the trail.

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
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.

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 wildlife camera feeds in the Visitor Centre, featuring ospreys, red squirrels, water voles and other amazing animals found in the Forest Park. The Aberfoyle Osprey camera feed is available online here.

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.

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.

Facilities & access

Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Easy-access facilities
Easy-access facilities
Cafe or refreshments
Cafe or refreshments
Visitor centre
Visitor centre
Picnic area
Picnic area
Tourist information
Tourist information

Opening hours

The Lodge visitor centre is open most days of the year:

  • November to 23 December: 10am4pm
  • 24 December: 10am2pm
  • 25 & 26 December Closed
  • 27-31 December: 10am2pm
  • 1 January: Closed
  • 2 January: 10am–2pm
  • From 3 January to 29 February: 10am–4pm

Café 

The team at the Lodge have been working hard to get our café back open after a short closure and are pleased to be able to provide a hot food offer this week on Friday 6, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 December, and from the following week from Wednesdays to Sundays. 

Homemade soup; plus bacon, egg and sausage rolls are available on these dates, and you can choose from a selection of cold drinks and snacks from our shop area (7 days a week).

Complimentary tea and coffee will also be available in our shop area.

We hope to be able to provide a full café service early in 2020.

Car parking charges

  • £1 for up to 1 hour
  • £3 for all day
  • £12 for minibus and coach all day

Season passes are also available to purchase from the visitor centre.

Dogs

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

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Events

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The Lodge Christmas Market

Starts
14/12/2019
10:00 am
Ends
14/12/2019
4:00 pm

Price
Free

The Lodge host their incredible Christmas Market on two consecutive weekends in December, with local crafts, stalls, acticvities, trees galore, and much more. Bring the family! Pick up a festive trail quiz from the front desk and discover what Quercus and friends get up to at Christmas on the waterfall trail - remember to hand in your quiz for a wee prize.

christmas-the-lodge.jpg christmas-the-lodge.jpg

The Lodge Christmas Market

Starts
15/12/2019
10:00 am
Ends
15/12/2019
4:00 pm

Price
Free

The Lodge host their incredible Christmas Market on two consecutive weekends in December, with local crafts, stalls, acticvities, trees galore, and much more. Bring the family! Pick up a festive trail quiz from the front desk and discover what Quercus and friends get up to at Christmas on the waterfall trail - remember to hand in your quiz for a wee prize.

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

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