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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.

The Bin

Where we are

The Bin Forest Notice

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.

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.

  • Timber haulage is taking place in the Bin Forest and is expected to continue until 30th November 2020. Please follow all on site signage and do not restrict access when parking vehicles at forest gates, particularly the Bellmouth entrance from the A96.

Big impressive trees and Deveron valley views

Named for the hill at its heart, The Bin contains many of Aberdeenshire’s most impressive grand firs. Some date back to the 1840s and are among the oldest in the country.

Medicinal powers were once attributed to the Gallon of Water, a small pool near the knobbly top of the Bin, but today most people make the climb for the invigorating views across the Huntly countryside.

Be sure to visit The White Wood. Local people planted this new area of woodland with native trees, shrubs and wild flowers as a living monument to peace. The white wood is located off the Queen tree trail between Ferny Knowe and Clean Hill.

Guide map to forests of Aberdeenshire (PDF 4.1MB)

Walking trails


Ferny Knowe Trail

A short stroll around Ferny Knowe and Boddum Hill with some great views through the majestic larch trees.

Mostly wide, uneven gravel and grassy surface. Some exposed tree roots and slightly soft sections. Includes one fairly steep slope.

1 ¾ miles / 2.8 km

1 hour

More information

Lots of wild things make their home in Bin Forest. If you want to see red squirrels or roe deer, early morning or dusk are the best times to visit. Keep an eye turned to the sky as you explore – you might glimpse a peregrine falcon or sparrowhawk wheeling high above the woodland.


Queen Tree Trail

Generations of trees can be seen on this trail, from grand firs planted in the 1840s to seedlings pushing through the soil.

Firm but uneven gravel and grassy surface. Some steep slopes. Includes exposed tree roots and slightly muddy sections.

3 ½ miles / 5.5 km

2 hours

More information

The grand fir trees planted here grew from seeds brought back from North America by plant-hunter David Douglas. The Queen Tree, which gives this trail its name, could have grown from one of them! Native trees thrive here too – gean (wild cherry) and rowan are also common at the Bin.


Gallon of Water Trail

Climb through the forest to the top of The Bin for great views and a pool that was believed to have healing powers. 


Sections of rough, narrow earth path. Long steep slope with one short flight of wooden steps. Includes some rocky, rooty and potentially muddy parts.

4 miles / 6.5 km

2½ hours

More information

The ‘Gallon of Water’ is actually a shallow pool at the top of Bin Hill. People used to believe its waters had healing powers – it was particularly well known as a cure for whooping cough.

Start this walk by following the yellow markers of the Bin Hill Trail before branching off to follow the white markers to the Gallon of Water.

Facilities & access

Picnic area
Picnic area

The nearest public toilets are in the small historic town of Huntly, just a couple of miles south.

Getting here

The Bin is on the east side of the A96 about 2 miles north of Huntly. The car park is well signposted, a ¼ mile north of the turn-off to Drumdelgie.

Using Sat Nav?

AB54 4TS is the nearest postcode.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

0300 067 6380 (option 2)
More contact information

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