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?
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.
Allow ¾ hour
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.
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.
The Hills lies beside the A711 Dumfries to Dalbeattie road. Look out for signs to the car park about 3 miles (5km) from Dumfries.
DG2 8HY is the nearest postcode.
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.
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