Mabie

Where we are

MTB Trail Update - 13 June

All MTB trails open. Please be aware of timber lorries loading.

Escape from it all in a forest buzzing with nature

There’s something here for everyone – open space to play, picnic and barbecue, lots of trails with spectacular views, and plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching. 

Mabie’s woods and hills are peaceful today, but there’s plenty of evidence of industry here, if you know where to look. The Romans made charcoal and smelted iron in these hills, and forestry has always been important in this area.The Forestry Commission bought Mabie in 1943, as part of a major wartime tree-planting scheme to rebuild timber reserves. 

Mabie is also one of the world-class 7stanes mountain biking centres and caters for beginners right through to the most expert of riders.

Our Guide to Dumfries and Solway (PDF 6.5MB)

Walking trails

Walking

Orchard Trail

A beautiful stroll beneath the redwoods and giant sequoia along the burn to reach the tranquil sensory garden and wildlife sculptures in Garden Wood.

Wide, firm surface throughout. Includes a number of short moderate slopes.

Easy (all abilities)
½ miles / 0.8 km

Allow
¼ hour

More information

Stimulate your senses with furry leaves, trickling water, and chocolate-scented flowers in the sensory garden and look out for wooden wildlife sculptures and a poetry trail along the way.

Walking

Chinney Field

A picturesque circuit of Chinney Field, which is filled with wild flowers in the summer and has good views across the Nith Estuary.

Wide, firm gravel surface throughout with some loose stones. Long moderate slopes with short steeper sections. One bridge.

Moderate
1 ¼ miles / 2.1 km

Allow
¾ hour

More information

Play poohsticks from the bridge as you cross the Mabie Burn and then visit the old sawmill below the field, which was once used to process timber from Mabie Forest. The area around the Old Sawmill is also a lovely spot for a picnic or barbecue.

Walking

Dalshinnie Glen

Take a wander through the Stately Douglas Firs to find the relaxing tranquil Dalshinnie Loch.

Wide, firm gravel surface with some uneven loose sections and exposed tree roots. Moderate slopes with some steep sections.

Moderate
2 ½ miles / 4.0 km

Allow
1¼ hours

More information

This trail climbs up through the woods to Dalshinnie Loch, perfect for picnics and dragonfly-spotting. Nightjars also hunt and nest in the scrub here.

Walking

Nith View

Explore this quiet larch and beech dominated part of the forest for ever-changing views over the Nith Estuary and the rolling Galloway hills.

Mostly wide, firm gravel surface with some uneven sections and exposed tree roots. One short rough rocky section. Includes some steep slopes and a number of short flights of steps.

Moderate
4 ½ miles / 7.2 km

Allow
3½ hours

More information

This trail climbs up through the woods to join a level forest road that circles the wooded flanks of Larch Hill. From this high vantage point you can enjoy ever-changing views over Mabie Forest, including the Nith valley and Dumfries and out towards the Solway coast. On a clear day you may even glimpse England’s Lake District. On the way, look across the valley to spot the Goldielea Viaduct, which used to carry trains between Dumfries and Stranraer.

Walking

Lochaber Trail

A wonderfully varied exploration of Dalshinnie Loch nature reserve and the two hills above. There are extensive views of Criffel and the Solway Firth from both Marthrown and Craigbill Hills.

Mostly gravel surface. Short sections of rough earth and stone with muddy patches. Long steep slopes for up to 500m. Includes some steps and a 0.9m opening.

Strenuous
5 miles / 8.1 km

Allow
3½ hours

More information

This trail climbs up through the woods to Dalshinnie Loch, perfect for picnics and dragonfly-spotting. Nightjars also hunt and nest in the scrub here. Keep climbing to a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the glittering Solway estuary, then wind through Mabie Nature Reserve - there’s a host of butterflies here in summer. Watch out for ospreys fishing on Lochaber Loch as you pass above it.

Mountain biking trails

7stanes logo

Mabie is one of the world class 7stanes mountain bike venues. It features a superb variety of green, blue and red graded trails, an extreme downhill section for the serious experts, and a skills area for honing your technique.

The Mabie 7stanes map (PDF 1MB) shows the trails.

Mountain Biking

Big Views Loop

Gentle slopes and sweeping scenery give you an easy enjoyable ride.

5 miles / 8.0 km

Green: Easy

More information

Big Views by name, big views by nature - this trail offers excellent views of the Solway Firth and Nith estuary. You’ll mainly find forest road on this route and the gradients are manageable, ensuring a pleasant ride.

Mountain Biking

Woodhead Loop

The Woodhead Loop is slightly harder than the Big Views Loop and explores the far side of the forest using quiet forest roads and some easy singletrack.

6 ¼ miles / 10.0 km

Blue: Moderate

More information

Explore the woods on forest roads and easy singletrack, this route is the perfect option for novices looking to build their confidence.

Mountain Biking

Phoenix Trail

A mixed cross-country route in stunning woodland on natural trails and singletrack.

11 ¾ miles / 19.0 km

Red: Difficult

More information

A fast, challenging ride in places with rocky obstacles and tight berms. The Phoenix Trail takes you cross country through majestic woodland on both natural trails and singletrack.

Activities

A great place to play

There’s an adventure playground nestling amongst the trees next to the car park, offering safe fun for the kids and a picturesque spot for a picnic.

Watch out for wildlife

Mabie Forest is home to red squirrels, badgers, roe deer, foxes and bats. We actively manage an area near Dalshinnie Loch to encourage the elusive nightjar, by creating open areas amongst the scrubby birch trees where it can nest and hunt.

Many species of insects, butterflies and moths also live here – the forest hosts over 20 of Scotland's 32 resident butterflies, including the scarce pearl-bordered fritillary. Dead trees are left standing in the forest to provide a home for insects and their larvae, which in turn provide food for woodpeckers and bats. Take the Lochaber Trail to find out more about butterflies and see how many you can spot.

Lochaber Loch wildlife hide

There’s a hide on the edge of Lochaber Loch, from where you can watch for birds such as mute swan and great crested grebe. You might also be lucky enough to spot ospreys fishing on the loch in summer.

Facilities & access

Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Play area
Play area
Barbeque
Barbeque
Picnic area
Picnic area

Time for a break?

There are toilets, including accessible facilities, near the main car park. 

There are refreshments available at Mabie House Hotel.

There are public toilets and plenty of places to eat, drink and shop at nearby Dumfries.

Car parking charges

Please note, parking charges are as follows:

  • £1 for up to 1 hour
  • £2 for up to 3 hours
  • £3 for all day
  • £12 for minibus and coach all day

Cash and credit cards are accepted at the first pay and display machine.

Annual Parking Permits valid in Ae, Mabie and Dalbeattie for 2019 are on sale from 1 December. They cost £39 for a car or £59 for a minibus and are valid till the end of the calendar year. A perfect Christmas gift for the forest lover in your life! 

To buy one or for further information please contact the Ae Office, phone 0300 067 6900 or email dumfriesborders@forestry.gsi.gov.uk.

tripadvisor mabietrip advisor certificate excellence

 

Getting here

Mabie Forest lies just beside the A710 between Dumfries and New Abbey. Look out for signposts to the forest from the A710 about 4 miles (6.5 km) from Dumfries. Turn into the forest and it’s about ½ mile (1km) to the car park, at grid reference NX 950 709.

Please note that 'Mabie Farm Park' is signposted just before the entrance to the forest, but there is no vehicle access to the forest from the farm park.

Using SatNav?

DG2 8HB is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

The nearest railway station is at Dumfries. There are regular buses between Dumfries and Sandyhills that stop near the entrance to the forest. You’ll find details at Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0131 370 5500
More contact information

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