Take to the trails of Ardgartan
Ardgartan (meaning the High Garden in Gaelic) is at the heart of an area of vast natural beauty. The forest of Sitka and Norway spruce is an ideal habitat for red squirrel, roe deer, buzzards and owls. Mixed woodland along the many small rivers and burns is home to otters, kingfishers and bats.
The trails offer great views for cyclists, walkers or horse riders. If you don’t feel like following the waymarked trails, just wander where your fancy takes you... through the forest, across the hills or by the secluded loch shore.
Our guide to Argyll Forest Park will help you explore Ardgartan and other woodlands in this wonderful part of Scotland.
Rest your weary legs
If you’d like more time here so you can explore more of the trails, try a stay in one of the Forest Holidays cabins.
A delightful stroll through the beech and oak woodland alongside the sparkling Croe Water.
Firm gravel surface with some grassy and uneven sections. Includes some exposed tree roots and very muddy sections. Two short steep slopes, a bridge and some broad steps.
1 ½ miles / 2.4 km Allow 1 hour
Watch for red squirrels scampering among the trees and listen for the many species of birds that live in the forest. Otters live here too: you might see their footprints or tail marks on the sandy shore, or if you're very lucky catch sight of one in the river’s large pools.
A great combination of river bank and loch shore with good views across Loch Long.
Uneven gravel surface, with some narrow, grassy and rough rocky sections. Includes some short steep slopes and one bridge. Some very muddy parts. Look out for vehicles along access road.
2 ¼ miles / 3.7 km Allow 1½ hours
This great little trail crams a lot into a short space! The trail follows the bubbling Croe Water and passes the Forest Holidays cabins before reaching Loch Long and the boat house. There’s plenty of wildlife to watch for along the way: red squirrels live in the forest, and on the loch shore you might see orange-beaked oyster catchers or even grey seals.
Ardgartan shore and Coilessan Glen
Cycling - 6.9 miles / 11.0 km
Forest rides, loch shore and a fun descent back to the start.More information...
Start by following the trail south towards the farm at Coilessan and round by the loch shore – you might just glimpse otters here. Then it’s a climb through red and roe deer’s territory in the shadow of Cnoc Coinnich before heading back down Coilessan Glen. Take a breather on the way to admire the view over Loch Long towards the Clyde!
Mostly forest road with sections on tarmac. Long, moderate climbs and descents.
Mountain biking trails
Off the beaten track
The network of trails here is very popular with bikers looking for some real cross-country rides. They're good to walk along too.
For an interesting route between two forests, try the link route between here and Arrochar.
How to get here
From Glasgow, follow the A82 along the western shore of Loch Lomond to Tarbet. Take the A83 signposted for Campbeltown and continue through Arrochar village. Ardgartan forest is on your left.
Alternatively, cross the River Clyde by ferry from Gourock to Dunoon. Take the A815 north from Dunoon, and follow this road for about 25 miles (40 km) to the junction with the A83. Turn right and follow the road up over the Rest & Be Thankful pass and down towards Arrochar. Just before you reach the shores of Loch Long, Ardgartan forest is on your right.
The car park is at grid reference NN 269 037.
G83 7AS is the nearest postcode, about 1 mile (1.6 km) along the road towards Inveraray.
Buses between Glasgow and Oban pass Ardgartan. You'll find details at Traveline Scotland.
From Arrochar, just up the road, you can climb The Cobbler, which dominates the head of Loch Long. Lochgoilhead offers some magical walks in a beautiful setting that feels miles away from the world’s cares.
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