Leacainn Muir Forest Drive
Enjoy a leisurely drive
Take an adventurous drive from the salty shores of Loch Fyne up through forest and wild moor to the cool, fresh waters of Loch Awe, Scotland's longest inland loch. The route covers 12½ miles (20 km) over forest roads. Allow at least an hour for the trip, but linger as long as you like – bring a picnic, dawdle at the wildlife hide and enjoy the fabulous views to Ben Cruachan. Our Leacainn routemap will help you plan your visit.
Please note, the Forest Drive is now closed for the winter.
The Forest Drive is open from 1 April until 31 October. There are car parks at either end, at Auchindrain near Loch Fyne, and Ardray on Loch Awe.
The route follows forest roads through a working forest. Please take note of any signs and keep an eye out for timber lorries and other road users. There are areas of the forest drive with no mobile phone signal.
Time for a cuppa?
On the Loch Fyne side there are public toilets and a seasonal tearoom at Auchindrain, where you can get a cup of tea and hot food.
At the Loch Awe end, the nearest public toilets are in Ford. You can also find toilets and places to eat in Kilmartin or Dalavich.
Mountain biking trails
Watch the wildlife
Squeeze into our wildlife hide at Loch Sidheannach and be amazed at how many birds and animals use this quiet hill loch. It's about half way along the Forest Drive and depending on the time of year it's a good place to see golden eagles and osprey, as well as butterflies and dragonflies, and several different species of duck.
You can walk or cycle the Forest Drive too, but be prepared for some climbs: the road rises to 1,100 feet (350 metres) at its highest point.
How to get here
Drive it any way you like - start or finish at Loch Fyne or Loch Awe.
To start from Loch Fyne follow the A83 south west from Inveraray to Auchindrain (about 6 miles / 9.6 km). This is a good place to park, get information and use the toilets and tearoom. The Forest Drive begins across the A83 on an unclassified road signposted to Brenchoille (grid reference NN 029 031).
The nearest postcode is PA32 8XN, across the road at Auchindrain.
To start from Loch Awe follow the A816 north from Lochgilphead. Shortly after Kilmartin turn right onto the B840. The road goes through the small village of Ford before following the south-eastern shore of Loch Awe. Stay on this road for about 4½ miles (7.2 km) until you see the Ardray car park beside the loch and the start of the Forest Drive on your right (grid reference NM 933 061).
The nearest postcode is PA33 1BU, a little further up the road at Braevallich.
There is no public transport to the Loch Awe side of the Forest Drive. On the Loch Fyne side you can get to Auchindrain by bus from Inveraray. See Traveline Scotland for more information.
Head south from Auchindrain on the A83 to reach Ardcastle, a lovely lochside forest with trails down to the pebbly beach and great views over Loch Fyne. On the other side of the road is Glashan forest and reservoir, with more scenic woodland and waterside trails around Loch Glashan.
On the opposite shore of Loch Awe there are some fabulous woodland walks and picnic places including the beautiful remnant oakwoods near Barnaline and some of the tallest conifers in the west at Cruachan.
Share your experience
For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.