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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 Hills

Where we are

The Hills 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.

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.

Follow overgrown railway tracks through a wild wood

This quiet woodland on the edge of Mabie Forest is being managed to encourage the trees to regenerate naturally. This approach gives native plants a better chance of re-establishing and encourages birds like pied flycatchers and owls to feed and nest amongst the young trees.

What species will you spot as you explore?

Dumfries and the Solway Guide Map (PDF 4.6MB)

Walking trails


Flycatcher Walk

Explore this lovely ash and oak woodland, home to the long-eared owl and the pied flycatcher. Follow the line of the former railway near the striking Goldielea Viaduct.

Loose gravel track with some uneven sections. One steep slope.

1 miles / 1.6 km

¾ hour

More information

This attractive woodland is a popular place for dog-walkers and those looking for a gentle leg-stretch. There are bluebells in spring, the chance to spot visiting flycatchers in summer and the trees put on a colourful show in autumn.

Listen for the sweet warble of the black and white pied flycatchers, and watch for short-eared owls hunting over areas of open ground. Part of the route follows an old railway line that once linked Dumfries and Stranraer, and now provides a refuge for wildlife, including ferns and lizards. Look across the valley to see the Goldielea Viaduct, which was also a feature of the old line.

Facilities & access


Grab a refreshment

Visit nearby Mabie forest for parking and toilets, including accessible facilities. You’ll also find refreshments at Mabie House Hotel on site.

There are also plenty of places to eat, drink and shop as well as public toilets in nearby Dumfries.

Getting here

The Hills lies beside the A711 Dumfries to Dalbeattie road. Look out for signs to the car park about 3 miles (5km) from Dumfries.

Using SatNav?

DG2 8HY is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

Dumfries is the nearest railway station. There are regular buses from Dumfries to Dalbeattie, which stop at Goldielea. The Hills car park is less than ½ mile (1km) from here. You’ll find details at Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

0300 067 6900 (option 1)
More contact information

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