Discover a remarkable ancient open-air art gallery of 4,000 year old rock carvings


Step back in time at Achnabreac

There’s plenty to see in the attractive open woodland here, including one of the finest set of cup and ring marked rocks in Britain. Follow the Cup and Ring Trail to marvel at these mysterious ancient symbols, take a gentle stroll around a fascinating wetland area or simply bring a picnic and relax in the peaceful forest.

If you’re looking for something more energetic and exhilarating, this is also home to the Firetower Trail, a mix of mountain bike routes through the forest with exciting options for the more experienced mountain biker. Download the Firetower Trails leaflet (PDF 1.6 MB).

Parking Picnic area Walking Easy-access trails Mountain biking Ancient monument

Life’s essentials

You’ll find public toilets and plenty of places to eat, drink and shop at nearby Lochgilphead.

Walking trails

Cycling trails

Mountain biking trails

Cycling for everyone

Achnabreac and Kilmichael Forest offer a range of cycling experiences suitable for everyone. The towpath beside the Crinan Canal, part of the National Cycle Route 78, is perfect for families looking for a gentle, scenic ride. There are also plenty of forest roads criss-crossing the woodland that you can explore at your leisure. For the more adventurous, take to the Firetower Trails – an exciting mix of forest road and challenging single track sections with plenty of trail features.

Wildlife watching

Kilmichael Forest is a precious remnant of the Atlantic oakwoods that began spreading when the Ice Age ended and once stretched along the whole Atlantic seaboard from Norway to the south of Spain. The old oakwoods and the more recent conifers are home to a whole host of creatures that you might spot as you explore. Watch out for red squirrels, red and roe deer, crossbills, tiny goldcrests and hunting sparrowhawks. On the Dragonfly Trail you can watch visiting wildfowl, and look out for dragonflies, damselflies and frogs along the way.

An ancient coastal kingdom

Achnabreac is part of the ancient kingdom of Dalriada, the birthplace of the Scottish nation. It was centred on Dunadd, a rocky crag just to the north of Achnabreac, which was the crowning place of its kings. Explore the area to find remains of thousands of years of human occupation, including some remarkable prehistoric rock art.

Kilmartin House Museum is a great place to find out more about this area’s fascinating history. Along the Dalriada Heritage Trail you can discover more amazing cup and ring marked rocks as well as other evocative archaeological sites.

Contact: Forest Enterprise Scotland

Address: Whitegates, Lochgilphead, Argyll

Postcode: PA31 8RS

Telephone: 0300 067 6650


How to get here

Achnabreac is about 2½ miles (4km) north of Lochgilphead on the A816. Look for a turning onto a forest road, with a green sign to ‘Achnabreac’. Follow this for about ¼ mile (500 metres) to reach the turning into the car park at grid reference NR 851 909.

Using SatNav?

PA31 8RE is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

There are regular buses running between Lochgilphead and Tayvallich, which stop at Bridgend and Cairnbaan, both close to Achnabreac. Find details at Traveline Scotland.

Nearby places

From Achnabreac it’s not far to scenic Knapdale, home of Scotland’s reintroduced beavers, as well as Crinan and its famous canal.

There are lovely forest trails, including Dunardry on the craggy slopes above the canal and from the picturesque harbour at Crinan, both with spectacular views over the Crinan basin and out to the Sound of Jura and the Atlantic islands.

Mid Argyll has some brilliant cycling: quiet country roads, canal towpath and miles of forest track, here and beyond. Pick up Landranger 55 / Explorer 358 map to help you explore.

Our leaflet guide to the forests of Mid Argyll & Kintyre will help you explore more wonderful woodlands.

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