You can find the Lochaber Loch wildlife hide on the edge of Lochaber Loch, where you can spot regular visitors like mute swans. If you’re lucky, you might even spot ospreys fishing on the loch in the summer months. Whilst you’re on the trails in Mabie Forest, keep an eye out for The Ghost Stone, one of the 7 Stanes that give the centres their name.
Situated in a beech wooded area by a small stream known as the ‘Misty Glade’, the spooky sculpture is made from white marble. The 2.25 ton stane appears to be standing by itself, and the surface is engraved with a local lace pattern. Why not check out the other stanes on your visit too?
Mabie Forest is home to a variety of wildlife including red squirrels, badgers, deer, foxes and bats. The forest is managed in association with Butterfly Conservation Scotland, and their reserve occupies 100 hectares in the middle of the forest, which is home to 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, keeping the eco-system existing in harmony with the environment.
There’s something for everyone at Mabie. As well as a brilliant selection of mountain bike trails, the picturesque setting is perfect for picnics, walks for people of all abilities, wildlife spotting, and there’s plenty of open space for kids to play too. The adventure playground is hidden amongst the trees, not far from the car park, offering a safe space for children to play and the perfect spot for a picnic.
There is a barbeque and picnic area, as well as accessible toilet facilities near the main car park. Please note that car parking charges apply.
Getting to Mabie Forest
Mabie lies on the A710 between Dumfries and New Abbey. Follow signs for Mabie Forest and turn off (to the right) around 4 miles from Dumfries then follow on up to the car park. Nearby Mabie House Hotel offers a delicious lunch and welcomes riders year round.
(Trail information: Forestry Commission Scotland)