Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
Queen Elizabeth Forest Park stretches from the east shore of Loch Lomond to Strathyre. The Forest Park comprises of mountains, moorland, forest, woodland, rivers and lochs. It was first designated as a Forest Park by the Forestry Commission in 1953 to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
The park is home to a wide variety of animal and plant life. The sheer size of the park ensures that visitors will experience peace and quiet along with the scenery. There is also a wide range of activities and facilities available.
The David Marshall Lodge Visitor Centre is a good place to begin the exploration of Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. The building housing the centre, known locally by its original name, the David Marshall Lodge, was given to the Forestry Commission in 1960 by the Carnegie Trust.
From the centre can be seen some of the best views in the area. There is a children’s play park, cafe, toilets and a gift shop in the centre.
This is the ideal base from which to explore the forest environment. Marked paths starting from here range from a half mile to a four mile trek. For example, the West Highland Way is a long distance footpath stretching from Milngavie, near Glasgow, to Fort William in the north, and which passes through the park.
Canoeists will be able to get afloat at Lochs Lubnaig and Voil. More advanced kayakers will find a challenge at Monachyle Burn located at the head of Loch Voil, and Calair Burn to the south of Balquhidder village, in spate conditions.
For the less agile Achray Forest Drive allows passengers to enjoy views across the forest towards the Trossachs, and is a less strenuous way to explore the forest. Along part of the drive between Lochs Venachar and Achray there is an area of wetland known as Blackwater Marshes. This is a good birdwatching area. Some of the wildfowl that might be seen are greylag, goose, teal and widgeon. It is also an area of raised bog containing much botanical interest.
Getting to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park
Aberfoyle, Callander, and Strathyre are the nearest towns or villages. From Glasgow, follow signs on the M8 for Aberfoyle. From Stirling or Callander follow the A81 to Aberfoyle via Dukes Pass.
Forestry Commission Scotland
231 Corstorphine Road
Tel: 0131 334 0303