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.

Find out more in our Queen Elizabeth Forest Park Map and Trail Guide (PDF 4.7MB).

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Accessibility information

This visitor centre has additional accessibility advice to help you plan your trip. Click the button for more information from DisabledGO. There is a mobility scooter available to borrow at The Lodge which can be used to access the Waterfall Trail.  To borrow the scooter or for more information please speak to one of our staff when you arrive.

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

Visitor Centre and cafe opening times

You’ll find plenty to do at The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre, including our newly reopened café. The Lodge is open most days. Times as follows:

  • January/February/March: 10am-4pm
  • April/May/June:10am-5pm
  • July/August: 10am-6pm
  • September/October: 10am-5pm
  • November/December: 10am-4pm

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


Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome to join their owners in the visitor centre's Foyer. No dogs (except assistance dogs) allowed in the café area - outdoor seating is provided. For all canine visitors, there’s water available and sheltered external tie-up points.

Car parking

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.

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Walking trails


disabled go squareAccessibility information

The Waterfall Trail has additional accessibility advice to help you plan your trip. Click the button for more information from DisabledGO. There is a mobility scooter available to borrow at The Lodge which can be used to access the Waterfall Trail.  To borrow the scooter or for more information please speak to one of our staff when you arrive.

Cycling trails

Mountain biking trails

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. The team here are 2016/17 regional winners of a Scottish Thistle Award for best outdoor/adventure experience so you know you're guaranteed a good visit!

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.

Have a go at orienteering

If you want to test your navigation skills and see some bits of the forest most visitors don't then why not pick up a free orienteering map from reception. We have three courses to choose from that vary in length and navigational difficulty - great for families with young children through to athletes that seek something more challenging than a sign-posted route.

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.

The Lodge House

Redevelopment is now complete on the former warden’s house at the Lodge Forest Visitor Centre, creating a new activity base. The facility is available to community groups, education providers and businesses to use as an activity centre and events hub to support outdoor activities around the Lodge and surrounding Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. If you are interested in using this space please get in touch with the team at or 0300 067 6615.

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.


The Women's Timber Corps - affectionately known as the Lumberjills - stepped up to the mark to manage the country's forests during World War Two. A life sized bronze sculpture stands in the grounds of The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre as a lasting commemoration to their efforts.

Rob Mulholland's 'Vestige'

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Rob is a sculptor and environmental artist based in the Scotland.  His practise explores the complex relationship between humans and the natural world. In Vestige Rob wanted to create a community within the protective elements of the woods, reflecting the past inhabitants of the space.

Before the First World War this area of Scotland was open hillside with small sheep farming Crofts and rural communities. The crofters were moved to other land by the government as there was a desperate need for timber after the war. The area was planted with fast growing conifer trees suitable for harvesting softwood and the landscape altered once again. You can still see the faint outlines of the crofts and past settlements within the forest.

The six male and female figures represent a vestige, a faint trace of the people and communities that once occupied and lived in this space. The figures absorb their environment, reflecting on their surface the daily changes of life in the forest. Rob’s installation is a permanent feature on The Waterfall Trail at The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre, so come for a walk and see if you can find it.


Contact: The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre

Address: Duke's Pass, Aberfoyle

Postcode: FK8 3SX

Telephone: 0300 067 6615


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 March 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.

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For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.