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We look forward to welcoming you to Scotland's forests. To enjoy your visit safely please plan ahead, follow local signage and park considerately.

Rowantree

Where we are

Latest forest information

We strongly advise that visitors stay away from all forests for now. Many forests all across Scotland have been seriously affected by strong winds over the weekend, resulting in fallen trees blocking roads and trails. In the event of a safety incident, emergency services would be unable to reach many areas. We are working hard to clear obstructions and hope to welcome you back soon.

  • The toilets are currently closed.

About

The most popular route to Mither Tap - with good reason

Rowantree is the starting point for a popular trail up the Mither Tap, the landmark hill that dominates Aberdeenshire’s countryside. Many local folk reckon it’s the best choice for your first trip to the top. Our map will help you explore.

The route follows an ancient track called the Maiden Causeway, which was probably the main approach road for the Pictish fort at the top of the hill. Legend tells how the track was built by the devil to win a bet for a maiden’s hand. Not surprisingly, the maiden tried to run away – and was turned into stone!

Rowantree route card (PDF)

Walking trails (1)

Walking

Mither Tap Maiden Causeway

A walk of legends to the impressive Pictish hill fort. The Maiden Causeway itself is named after a local girl who bet the devil that she could bake a batch of oatcakes before he could build a road up Bennachie.

Steep, rough and uneven rocky trail with steep rock steps. Some parts are narrow and can be wet and muddy after rain.

Strenuous trail grade icon
3 ½ miles / 5.6 km

Allow
2½ hours

More information

There are other stories along the way too: look for ‘Hosie’s Well’, which springs from the tears of a heartbroken soldier. You can also see ‘Little John’s Length’, a long ridge that’s the bed of Jock o’Bennachie, the giant who guards the hill.

Activities

Onto the hill

The climb to the Mither Tap makes a great outing, and for such an impressively craggy summit it’s very accessible. But this is open hill country where the weather can change quickly, even in summer. Check our advice about hillwalking before you set off.

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking icon
Parking
Mountain access
Mountain access
Picnic area
Picnic area
Ancient monument
Ancient monument

The toilets here are open from Easter to September. There are places to eat in in Oyne, Chapel of Garioch and Inverurie.

Car parking information

There is no charge to park in this car park. Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates.

More about parking

Getting here

Follow the A96 north from Inverurie for about 7 miles (11.2 km). Turn left onto a minor road signposted to ‘Maiden Stone’, just before the turning to Oyne. After about ½ mile (800 metres), take a right turn signposted ‘Rowantree Forest Walks’. The car park is about ½ mile (800 metres) along this road, at grid reference NJ 692 244.

Using SatNav?

Nearest postcode: AB51 5HZ 

Public transport

The nearest point for public transport is the village of Pitcaple, about 2 miles (3.2 km) away on the A96. It is served by buses between Huntly and Aberdeen. Alternatively, you could take a taxi from Inverurie, which is served by buses and trains. Check Traveline Scotland for details.

Get directions

Nearby forests

Mountain biker riding through open forest

A favourite start point for those climbing Oxen Craig

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Mountain access
Mountain access
Barbeque
Barbeque
Picnic area
Picnic area
Ancient monument
Ancient monument
Distance from 'Rowantree': 1.20 miles
Aerial view of visitor centre and forest at Bennachie

The best place to start for Bennachie first-timers

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
All ability trails
All ability trails
Visitor centre
Visitor centre
Mountain access
Mountain access
Picnic area
Picnic area
Ancient monument
Ancient monument
Distance from 'Rowantree': 1.75 miles
Forest floor covered in moss

The best views of Bennachie on a quieter walk to the summit

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Mountain access
Mountain access
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Rowantree': 3.50 miles

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6380 (option 2)
More contact information

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