Argyll Forest Park
The Argyll Forest Park is a quiet, secluded area where it’s easy to get away from the beaten track. Containing rugged mountains, an abundance of little trout lochs, unspoilt woodlands and beautiful glens, the forest park is one of the most beautiful in Scotland.
Cyclists will, however, find a good network of carefully constructed cycle tracks. Walkers will also find marked out trails for all levels of ability, and for those who are experienced and suitably prepared, take to the hills: see our hillwalking page.
Why not start off at the Rest and Be Thankful? For centuries, travellers have been thankful of the rest afforded by the summit of the road which climbs up the side of narrow Glen Croe. Just round the corner from Arrochar, the road climbs higher and higher above the floor of the glen before levelling off at a small area known as the Rest and Be Thankful. There are beautiful views down Glen Croe from here, and a couple of walks beginning here.
There are also hills to be climbed from the Rest and Be Thankful. Parking your car here, you can climb a number of Corbetts, including Ben Donich, The Brack, Beinn Luibhean and Beinn an Lochain. A little further is Stob Coire Creagach.
The Rest and Be Thankful is also the point for turning off to the little village of Lochgoilhead, which sits at the northern end of Loch Goil, a sea loch. The Corbett of Beinn Bheula lies in this direction.
Have a look at the old road climbing lower down in the glen and imagine the people and horses climbing up – looking forward to that rest at the top! Just on the other side of the Rest and Be Thankful is Loch Restil, whose surface always seems to be rippling with rising trout. A little further on is Butterbridge, which is a beautiful spot to stop and soak up the remote atmosphere of these hills. It is also a couple of miles from Abyssinia, an old ruined house which has been the subject of many ghost stories – usually involving an old lady. Venture in this direction at your own risk…
Other great places to visit in the Argyll Forest Park include Loch Goil, Ardentinny, Glenfinnart and Glenbranter Forest. And why not check out the excellent visitor centres in the area? The closest one to Arrochar, just 3km away, is at Ardgartan – further afield you will also find visitor centres at the Achray Forest, East Loch Lomond Woodland, Loch Ard Forest, Inverliever Forest and Knapdale Forest.