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The perfect place to start your forest adventure – lots to see and do and a café with one of the best views in Scotland

The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre

Enjoy a day at The Lodge

Whether you want to do a little or do a lot, The Lodge is made for you. Relax and enjoy the spectacular views, stroll to the waterfall, visit the Red Squirrel Hide or swing through the trees with Go Ape – the choice is yours. There's also a cafe with panoramic views, a well-stocked shop full of Scottish goodies, clothing and souvenirs, and all the information you need to explore the Forest Park.


Parking (charge) Visitor centre Tourist information Easy-access facilities Toilets Cafe or refreshments Picnic area Walking Easy-access trails

Grab a bite to eat

Spend some time relaxing in the comfortable cafe at The Lodge - it has one of the best views in Scotland and provides delicious light meals, snacks, cakes, ice creams and drinks whenever The Lodge Visitor Centre is open. It's the perfect place to recharge your batteries after a long walk or Go Ape session.

Pick up a memento

The shop at The Lodge has a great range of Scottish goodies, clothing, wildlife items and souvenirs, so you're sure to find the perfect reminder of your day out or the ideal gift for someone special.

Opening times

You’ll find plenty of information at The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre to help you plan your visit. The Lodge is open most days...

  • January to February: 10am – 3pm
  • March to April: 10am – 4pm, Easter holiday weekends 10am – 5pm
  • May to June: 10am – 5pm
  • July to August: 10am – 6pm
  • September: 10am – 5pm
  • October: 10am – 4pm
  • November and December: 10am – 4pm

Closed 24th December at 4pm - reopens 3rd January 10am-3pm.

There are toilets, including easy-access facilities, at The Lodge.

Car parking charges

Please note, parking charges are as follows:

£1 for up to 1 hour

£3 for all day

£12 for minibus and coach all day

Season passes are also available. For more information please contact us.

Catch a glimpse of nature

This is a great place to watch wildlife – there’s the easy-to-reach Red Squirrel Hide as well as live CCTV footage in the Visitor Centre, featuring ospreys, red squirrels, water voles and other amazing animals found in the Forest Park. Take a look at the live feed on our red squirrel page.

Have a tree top adventure

The Lodge is also home to the award winning Go Ape. If you want a bird’s eye view of the forest or to leap through the canopy like a red squirrel, then this is the place to be.

Stretch your legs

There are scenic waymarked trails from The Lodge too, including gentle rambles suitable for everyone and some more strenuous routes that reward your effort with stunning high level views.

Fun in the forest

Navigate your way through a brushwood maze, dip your toes in the water play feature or gaze at the tree canopy from the comfort of a hammock, as you explore the nature play features speckled around the Waterfall trail.

A remarkable building

The Lodge is an unusual and impressive building, perched high on a hill above Aberfoyle. It offers some of the most spectacular views in the area, including a stunning view across Loch Ard Forest to Ben Lomond. The building was gifted to the Forestry Commission by the charitable organisation The Carnegie Trust in 1960. It was originally named the David Marshall Lodge in honour of the Chairman of the Carnegie Trust at the time.

The Duke’s Pass

The public road that winds out of Aberfoyle, past The Lodge, to Loch Katrine is known as The Duke's Pass. This popular route, regarded as one of Britain's best drives, leads you through some of the most scenic parts of the iconic Trossachs landscape. The road was originally built by the Duke of Montrose in the 19th century to improve access to his estate, and was later upgraded to accommodate the Victorian tourists drawn to the area after the publication of Sir Walter Scott's epic poem 'The Lady of the Lake', celebrating the beauty of Loch Katrine.

Contact Name : Cowal & Trossachs

District Office Name : Cowal & Trossachs
Address : Aberfoyle
  Stirling
 
Postcode : FK8 3UX
Telephone : 01877 382383
Email : cowaltrossachs@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

How to get here

The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre is near Aberfoyle.

  • From Glasgow follow the A81 north to Aberfoyle.
  • From Stirling follow the A84(T), A873 then A81 west to Aberfoyle.
  • From Callander follow the A81 south to Aberfoyle or, for a more scenic route, take the A821 – known as The Duke’s Pass – via The Trossachs.

The Lodge is a mile (1.8km) north of Aberfoyle on the A821.

The car park is at grid reference NN 520 014.

Using SatNav?

FK8 3SX is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

There are regular buses from Stirling (the nearest railway station) to Aberfoyle. You’ll find details at Traveline Scotland.

National Cycle Route 7 also passes through the Forest Park.

Nearby places

Forest Park highlights close to The Lodge include:

Three Lochs Forest Drive – the perfect way to reach the heart of Loch Achray Forest and enjoy stunning Trossachs views without needing to walk very far. The route follows a quiet forest road and is suitable for most vehicles. There are car parks, toilets, play features and scenic trails along the way (open Easter to October).

Loch Katrine – discover the legendary loch that inspired poets and artists. You can enjoy the spectacular Highland scenery by taking a steamship ride along the loch, cycling along the shore or following some picturesque trails. A highlight is the Art & Literature Trail along the shore.

Loch Ard – The Great Forest of Loch Ard stretches from Aberfoyle to the foothills of Ben Lomond. One of the best ways to enjoy this forest is to cycle the shore of picturesque Loch Ard – the trails are ideal for families and there’s lots of fun things to see and do along the way.