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Most of our visitor centres, car parks and mountain bike trails are now open. Check what’s open near you before you travel and enjoy your visit safely.


Where we are

Rowantree Forest Notices

COVID-19 has changed lots of things we do. And as we re-open the majority of our facilities and welcome more of you back in Phase 3, we need your help to do it safely. Please check what’s open before you travel; enjoy your visit safely by following NHS and Scottish Government guidance; take your litter home with you; and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

At this location:

  • The car park is open and normal charges (if any) now apply.
  • Toilets are closed while we work to make them safe for you to use. A phased reopening of our public toilet facilities began on Monday, 20 July 2020. For now, please “go before you go” and check helpful apps or websites to find toilets that are open nearby.

Please bear with us and check back regularly for updates. You can also find more information by visiting our COVID-19 page and our FAQs.

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!

Guide map to Bennachie (2.8MB)

Walking trails


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.

3 ½ miles / 5.6 km

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.


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 & access

Picnic area
Picnic area

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

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

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

0300 067 6380 (option 2)
More contact information

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