Step into Balloch Woods
Balloch Woods clothe the hillside above Creetown, on the edge of the wide Cree Estuary. The richly varied woodland woodland follows the course of the Balloch Burn, and has good populations of woodpeckers, tree creepers and red squirrels.
Each season has something to offer: there are primroses and bluebells in spring, and in autumn vivid orange larch needles drift to the forest floor. There’s a particularly rich collection of mosses and ferns, especially in the gorge carved by the burn.
You’ll find shops and places to eat in Creetown.
Mountain biking trails
Balloch Woods is a community woodland: we manage the forest in partnership with the Balloch Community Woodland Project, which has helped to develop the trails and has lots more information about the woods. We welcome anyone who’d like to help look after the place or has an idea for an event or project here.
The woods’ name comes from the Gaelic word ‘bealach’, meaning a pass or a ford. In the past it was sometimes called Whinnie Face after the yellow gorse that flowers on the hillside.
How to get here
Creetown is just off the A75 between Newton Stewart and Gatehouse of Fleet. You can get into the woods directly from the village: go up Kirk Brae, near the museum at the south end of the village, and past the church to find the forest entrance at grid reference NX 477 583. This is the starting point for the Burnside Trail.
Other trails start from a small car park at the east end of the woods. From the centre of Creetown go up High Steet, opposite the Ellangowan Hotel, then take a left fork and after about 250 yards turn right onto a minor road that becomes single track. Follow this for about a mile (1.6 km) to the car park at grid reference NX 492 590.
DG8 7EU is the nearest postcode for the car park.
Check Traveline Scotland for details of buses to Creetown.
Near Gatehouse of Fleet, Cally Woods offers a range of trails through what was once the parkland around a grand house, and longer routes down to the sea. Four miles up the Cree estuary, Kirroughtree is one of the gateways to the Galloway Forest Park. It’s one of the 7stanes mountain biking centres, with some of the best single track riding in the country.
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For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.