Back o’ Bennachie
Relax at the Back o' Bennachie
Spilling down the northern slopes of the hill, the forest at Back O’Bennachie is a delight. There’s a large, open picnic area where you can have a barbecue or play a game of forest football, and trails through atmospheric forest.
On the hillside above the forest you can find the remains of the quarry that supplied stone to build local villages, and a superb circuit that takes in three of Bennachie’s summits. Our guide map of Bennachie (5MB) will help you explore.
The toilets here are open from 1st April to 31st October. You’ll find places to eat in Oyne, Chapel of Garioch and Inverurie.
Car parking charges
Please note, parking charges are as follows:
- £1 for up to 1 hour
- £1.50 for up to 3 hours
- £2 for all day
- £8 for minibus and coach all day
Season passes are also available. For more information please contact us.
From a fresh green burst in spring to an autumn blast of gold, the larick (larch) here provides a different colour for all the seasons.
A moderate to fairly steep trail, with varied surfaces: firm forest roads, earthy paths that can be muddy and rough sections with rocks, roots and large steps.
1 ½ miles / 2.4 km Allow 1 hour
The trail passes through native, naturally-growing trees like Scots pine, as well as forest planted with other species chosen for their timber value.
Mither Tap Quarry Trail
A great workout on the hill, visiting the Mither Tap and Bennachie’s highest summit - Oxen Craig.
A very steep, rough trail with long climbs, large steps, rocky and some areas on the summits which may be muddy.
5 ½ miles / 9.0 km Allow 3¾ hours
The longest route to the landmark of the Mither Tap, this trail also visits Bennachie’s highest summit at Oxen Craig. On the way you’ll pass the old quarry at Little Oxen Craig, where stone was cut in the 1800s to build houses in nearby villages. Watch out for the sculpture installed here.
Mountain biking trails
Going to the top?
It may not be a Munro, but climbing Bennachie can be a real mountain experience with real mountain dangers. Ice and snow make the paths extremely hazardous in winter and spring. Even in summer the wind blows constantly at the top and temperatures will drop suddenly in rain. Don’t get caught out - dress warmly, take boots and waterproofs and be prepared to turn back when the weather changes.
Beauty, timber and wildlife
All the forests around Bennachie are constantly changing. These are working woods, managed to produce a crop of trees in a cycle that involves felling and re-planting. We plan this work so visitors can continue to enjoy the forests, and so the wildlife that depends on the trees is protected.
Along the Working Wood Trail you can find out more about our work. The timber from the Bennachie forests supplies local sawmills, paper mills and other wood processors: next time you buy some chipboard, it might have come from the slopes of Bennachie.
How to get here
Follow the A96 north from Inverurie for about 7 miles (11.2 km). At the Oyne Fork turn left onto the B9002, signposted to Insch. Follow this road through Oyne village for about 2 miles (3.2 km), then turn left on a narrow road signposted ‘Back o' Bennachie Forest Walks’. The car park is about 1 mile (1.6 km) up this road, at grid reference NJ 661 245.
AB52 6RH is the nearest postcode.
Buses serve Oyne village, about 1 ¾ miles (2.8 km) away. Check Traveline Scotland for details.
Share your experience
For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.