- Squirrel Trail (green)
A short circular walk of 1 km is the green Squirrel Trail turning right through the gates leading to the Red Squirrel Hide (NS 19701 BNG 97941 Height 38M) and up to the Contemplation Shelter and back down to the car park. Please note this path has two steep sections, the path up from the hide of 17M in height and the path from the Contemplation Shelter down to the car park of 25M. There is a bench in the hide, 2 picnic tables near the hide by Jan’s Hideaway (Ardroy OEC’s resource centre), another picnic table on the way up the path (NS 19658 BNG 97946), a bench at the top of the incline (NS 19639 BNG 97941 Height 55M), another near the Totem Pole (NS 19584 BNG 97644 Height 61M), 2 benches in the Contemplation Shelter (NS19583 BNG 97628 Height 60M) which has outstanding views over Loch Goil and a bench on return to the car park. This walk is described as easy to moderate and takes about half an hour to walk it. Look out for various sculptures along the route.
- 2.5 km Circular Walk (blue)
The long blue circular walk around the whole northern area is approximately 2 ½ km and takes about an hour to walk it. It is described as easy to moderate. All the features mentioned in the Squirrel Trail are the same up to the Red Squirrel Hide at the middle path and again from the top middle path back to the car park. On continuing along the lower path, look out for the scent of the Wild Garlic in season (NS 19664 BNG 98082 ), the ancient and biggest pollarded Oak of over 5.4m girth in the woodlands to the west of the path (NS19715 BNG 98300), turn left at the junction to go uphill at Clach Bhadach passing the nursery plantation (NS 19625 BNG 98410 Height 63M) and on upwards to the bench (NS 19516 BNG 98422 Height 106M) at the junction where it’s possible to walk up to the Forest Road above Cormonachan Community Woodlands on the yellow route with no path. This is the highest area the path reaches and the incline on this section of climb is 56M. The top path route is now south passing the highest point 100 metres from the top NW junction (NS 19501 BNG 98320 112M) through the Sika spruce forest area to the Labyrinth, Flat Stones ‘Have a Go’ (NS 1620 BNG 97976 Height 57M) and the 6 Wee People sculptures area then joining the Squirrel Trail again by the bench at the top of the middle path. Continue onwards to the Contemplation Shelter and back down to the car park.
Contemplation Shelter with view over Loch Goil
- Off-Road Walk (red)
The red marked easy to moderate walk of about 1 km (approx. 20 minutes) is an alternative route ‘off the road’ between Lochgoilhead and Carrick Castle and vice versa through Cormonachan Community Woodlands. It passes through a Rhododendron ponticum tunnel at the north end of the path and meets the car park at the southern end. This was the original old road or drove road between the two villages of Carrick Castle and Lochgoilhead.
Entrance to Cormonachan Community Woodlands from the Car Park. Please note to can pick up a leaflet here.
- Northern Route to Forest Road (yellow)
The yellow marked route that is moderate to steep and is over rough ground (no path) as another alternative if walking to or from Lochgoilhead on the Forest Road to the west of Cormonachan Community Woodlands. There is a sign on the forest road pointing to Cormonachan Woodlands for those seeking that entrance to the woodlands.
- Proposed new Path to Upper Cormonachan (Medieval Settlement and Waterfalls)
Currently Cormonachan Community Woodlands has planning approval for this new 2 km path that will commence at the Contemplation Shelter and proceed south to Upper Cormonachan where there will be spurs to the Forest Road, Medieval Settlement, beautiful Waterfalls and eventually to another Car Park by Cormonachan Burn. The non-native Sitka spruce and Larch trees have been felled along this route and replaced with native trees planted away from the paths route. The Archaeological Investigation has been completed at the Settlement and soon there will be an interpretation sign on a lectern erected on the Settlement site about its history and occupation since the 16th century. Funding has yet to be found for the main construction of the project, delayed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic – see Future Projects for an update. If you attempt to walk in this ‘off-piste’ area before the paths are complete, take great care as it is very muddy, slippery and wet having to cross several burns en-route.
”NO OVERNIGHT PARKING” is allowed in the car park and ”NO CAMPING OR FIRES” are permitted
and please ”LEAVE NO TRACE” when visiting these ancient woodlands.
Upper Cormonachan Waterfalls – middle section
Upper Cormonachan Medieval Settlement Site Plan