A forest that’s buzzing with nature, full of fun and always a great escape


Mabie the best forest to explore...

There’s something here for everyone – open space to play, picnic and barbecue, lots of trails with spectacular views, and plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching.

Mabie is also one of the world-class 7stanes mountain biking centres and caters for beginners right through to the most expert of riders.

Our guide to the Forests of Dumfries and the Solway (PDF 6.5MB) will help you explore Mabie and other woodlands in this wonderful part of Scotland.

Parking (charge) Toilets Picnic area Barbeque Play area Walking Easy-access trails Cycling Mountain biking Wildlife hide Horse riding Viewpoint

Time for a break?

There are toilets, including accessible facilities, near the main car park. 

There are refreshments available at Mabie House Hotel.

There are public toilets and plenty of places to eat, drink and shop at nearby Dumfries.

Car parking charges

Please note, parking charges are as follows:

  • £1 for up to 1 hour
  • £2 for up to 3 hours
  • £3 for all day
  • £12 for minibus and coach all day

Cash and credit cards are accepted at the first pay and display machine.

Annual Parking Permits valid in Ae, Mabie and Dalbeattie for 2019 are on sale from 1 December. They cost £39 for a car or £59 for a minibus and are valid till the end of the calendar year. A perfect Christmas gift for the forest lover in your life! 

To buy one or for further information please contact the Ae Office, phone 0300 067 6900 or email

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Walking trails

Our guide to the Forests of Dumfries and the Solway (PDF 6.5MB) will help you explore Mabie and other woodlands in this wonderful part of Scotland.

Cycling trails

Mountain biking trails

Mabie is one of the world class 7stanes mountain bike venues. It features a superb variety of green, blue and red graded trails, an extreme downhill section for the serious experts, and a skills area for honing your technique.

The Mabie 7stanes map (PDF 1MB) shows the trails.

  • Trail update (14 March): All trails open, with diversions in place on the Woodhead Loop (Blue) Route and Phoenix Trail (Red).

A great place to play

There’s an adventure playground nestling amongst the trees next to the car park, offering safe fun for the kids and a picturesque spot for a picnic.

Watch out for wildlife

Mabie Forest is home to red squirrels, badgers, roe deer, foxes and bats. We actively manage an area near Dalshinnie Loch to encourage the elusive nightjar, by creating open areas amongst the scrubby birch trees where it can nest and hunt.

Many species of insects, butterflies and moths also live here – the forest hosts over 20 of Scotland's 32 resident butterflies, including the scarce pearl-bordered fritillary. Dead trees are left standing in the forest to provide a home for insects and their larvae, which in turn provide food for woodpeckers and bats. Take the Lochaber Trail to find out more about butterflies and see how many you can spot.

Lochaber Loch wildlife hide

There’s a hide on the edge of Lochaber Loch, from where you can watch for birds such as mute swan and great crested grebe. You might also be lucky enough to spot ospreys fishing on the loch in summer.

A hive of industry

Mabie’s woods and hills are peaceful today, but there’s plenty of evidence of industry here, if you know where to look. The Romans made charcoal and smelted iron in these hills, and forestry has always been important in this area.

The Forestry Commission bought Mabie in 1943, as part of a major wartime tree-planting scheme to rebuild timber reserves. Visit the Old Sawmill beside Chinney Field to see how timber was processed at Mabie in the past.

Contact: Forest Enterprise Scotland

Address: Ae Village, Parkgate, Dumfries

Postcode: DG1 1QB

Telephone: 0300 067 6900


How to get here

Mabie Forest lies just beside the A710 between Dumfries and New Abbey. Look out for signposts to the forest from the A710 about 4 miles (6.5 km) from Dumfries. Turn into the forest and it’s about ½ mile (1km) to the car park, at grid reference NX 950 709.

Please note that 'Mabie Farm Park' is signposted just before the entrance to the forest, but there is no vehicle access to the forest from the farm park.

Using SatNav?

DG2 8HB is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

The nearest railway station is at Dumfries. There are regular buses between Dumfries and Sandyhills that stop near the entrance to the forest. You’ll find details at Traveline Scotland.

Nearby places

Find some other great places to visit near Mabie by visiting the Forests of the Solway Coast page.

Dalbeattie Forest

Explore picturesque Dalbeattie for its granite trails, woodland adventure and community connections. Follow shady paths to discover its tranquil lochs and burns and glimpses of red squirrels, roe deer, waterfowl and dragonflies. If you’re a mountain biker, Dalbeattie’s technical trails may be your new favourite playground.

The Hills

You’ll find The Hills just to the north of Mabie Forest. Follow the trail through this beautiful mixed deciduous wood to find a stretch of old railway line that provides a sheltered haven for wildlife including
ferns and lizards.

Forest of Ae

Ae Forest is the perfect place to visit, whether you want to relax with a picnic beside the river, watch woodland wildlife, stroll through the trees or burn off some serious energy on horseback or on the superb mountain bike trails.

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For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.