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The Hills

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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?

The Hills route card (PDF)

Walking trails

Walking

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.

Moderate trail grade icon
1 miles / 1.6 km

Allow
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 and access

Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint

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.

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

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?

Phone
0300 067 6900 (option 1)
More contact information

Nearby forests

Man on wooden viewing platform looking over pond with lillies and trees on bank behind him.

Escape from it all in a forest buzzing with nature

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Mountain biking
Mountain biking
Cycling
Cycling
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
All ability trails
All ability trails
Wildlife hide
Wildlife hide
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Play area
Play area
Horse riding
Horse riding
Barbeque
Barbeque
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'The Hills': 1.61 miles
Close up of tree bark

Quiet woodland walks next door to Dumfries

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Distance from 'The Hills': 4.10 miles
A heart shaped stone sculpture surrounded by boulders and smaller rocks

A mountain biking classic with gorgeous lochside trails 

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Mountain biking
Mountain biking
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Easy-access facilities
Easy-access facilities
Wildlife hide
Wildlife hide
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'The Hills': 9.15 miles