The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre
COVID-19 has changed the way we do lots of things we do. We want to ensure your visit is an enjoyable and safe one.
Make sure you follow the Scottish Government’s FACTS advice – helping to protect yourself, your family and your local community, and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code helping to keep Scotland beautiful.
Latest forest information
- The Visitor Centre is closed, but we'll continue with our Christmas Tree sales from 30 November to 24 December as planned (sales will take place outside in our Centre courtyard).
- The Lodge Café will now be open weekends only, offering a restricted takeaway service, between 10am-3.30pm. They will also be featuring a festive Christmas Barbecue every Saturday and Sunday between 28 November and 24 December.
- Go Ape is closed until 12 December.
- The car park and public toilets will remain open until 4pm, 7 days a week.
- The former Duke's Trail is no longer a waymarked route. Scroll to the Walk section for further details.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Duke’s Trail (closed)
A trail notice is in effect
- The Dukes Trail is no longer a promoted trail. The waymarkers and damaged bridge have been removed and we are working to complete a route to allow for a new waymarked blue trail to The Craigmore viewpoint offering spectacular views across the Forth Valley in the coming months. The red waymarked, ‘Lime Craig trail’ offers an alternative 6.5km loop from The Lodge.
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.
Allow 2½ hours
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The Lodge visitor centre is currently closed.
The Lodge Cafe is open seven days a week, at the following times:
- January: 10am-3pm
- February-March: 10am-4pm
- April-October: 10am-4.30pm
- November-December: 10am-4pm
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.
Water and sheltered tie-up points are available outside the visitor centre. No dogs (except assistance dogs) are allowed in the café area.
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.
FK8 3SX is the nearest postcode.
Get in touch
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