The ancient Argyll region of Lorn is a nature lover’s paradise. And if you love forests, you’re in for a treat. Around Oban you can take your pick from a host of woody wonderlands. They’re fabulous places to explore, with forest trails leading to thundering waterfalls, glorious viewpoints and archaeological features. The woodlands are rich in wildlife, with red squirrels, sea eagles, beavers, otters and red deer. Whether you’re looking for a gentle woodland walk or an epic mountain bike trail. you’ll find it in the forests of Oban and Lorn.
Sutherland’s Grove at Barcaldine on the banks of Loch Creran north of Oban offers a range of woodland walks and cycle routes through a diverse landscape of gigantic fir trees and ancient oakwoods. Enjoy a gentle riverside stroll, climb up beside a dramatic gorge or venture deeper into the forest to find Glen Dubh reservoir. You’ll be rewarded with stunning views over the Firth of Lorne and its islands.
Nearby Glasdrum Wood near Creagan Bridge is one of Scotland's National Nature Reserves. Ash and oak dominate the woodland. Follow the woodland trail circuit of 1km, which is well surfaced. There are four oak benches along the way to stop and enjoy the views of Loch Creran and the munros beyond. See if you can spot the rare chequered skipper butterfly.
Glen Nant near Taynuilt is another of Scotland's National Nature Reserves. It’s a fine example of Atlantic oakwood, with rich woodland blanketing the slopes of the glen. It’s a lovely place for a walk at anytime of the year.
Ballachuan Hazelwood on the island of Seil covers a low ridge which overlooks the Cuan Sound. It’s a rich habitat for butterflies and supports an incredible selection of lichen, mosses and fungi. Turn your eyes to the shoreline and the sea beyond and you may spot otters, herons and porpoises.
Fearnoch is a lovely, quiet woodland near Taynuilt. With way-marked routes, it’s perfect for a stroll, cycle or horse-ride. Keep an eye out for woodland birds and red squirrels overhead. You may also notice large piles of pine needles that are home to wood ants. Head to the picnic tables above the car park for dramatic views of Ben Cruachan, the highest mountain in Argyll.
Shian Wood stands on a low, flattened ridge jutting out from the southern shore of Loch Creran near Benderloch. It’s a great place to explore with a short circular walk. Enjoy carpets of spring flowers and spot marsh fritillaries and other butterflies. Woodland birds dart through the trees and breeding birds nest where wet heath merges into reedbeds and saltmarsh near the shore.
Beinn Lora near Benderloch offers fantastic walking and biking. Take the circular coastal trail for an energetic walk through a wide variety of tree species with panoramic views to the west. If you are more adventurous take the trail to The Eagle’s Eyrie and the summit of Beinn Lora where your efforts will be rewarded with arguably one of the best views in Argyll.
Highland Titles Nature Reserve near Appin offers a range of walks. There's woodland, moorland, mountain and lochans to sit by. The new higher level walk has spectacular views of Loch Linnhe and beyond. Two hides have been located by the lochans.
Some of these forests are within striking distance of each other, so you could visit a few in a day. Take a look at the North Argyll Trilogy guide, which shows you how to enjoy a great day out visiting Beinn Lora, Sutherland's Grove and Glasdrum NNR.
Find out more about things to see and do in Oban and Lorn.