The David Marshall Lodge in Aberfoyle
The David Marshall Lodge (as of Aug 2013 to be known as "The Lodge") is an iconic building situated in the heart of The Trossachs just a few minutes from Aberfoyle village centre. It is part of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and is the flagship centre for activities in the Loch Achray and Loch Ard Forests. The building has recently (2013) had a major facelift and re-opened for visitors in August 2013. From The Lodge you have stunning views towards the Loch Ard Forest, Ben Lomond and the Gargunnock and Campsie Hills.
Entry to the Lodge is free and there are full disabled facilities. The new cafe area now has splendid views looking over the Loch Achray Forest. New childrens play areas have been installed along the route of the Waterfall Trail and at Lumber Jill a new ingenious use of trees has been used to create a maze for children to play on.
The paths around the Lodge have now been re-routed to provide a more accessible route from Aberfoyle to The Centre.
In 1960 the David Marshall Lodge was gifted to the Forestry Commission by the Carnegie Trust. David Marshall from Dunfermline, was the chairman of the Carnegie UK Trust during the 1950s and had the idea to build the lodge in Aberfoyle. In the 1960s it was a very new concept to focus on recreation and nature in the Forest.
The Lodge was nearly built in the Peak district but through public outcry The Trust reconsidered its decision and located the Lodge in Aberfoyle, and it has been enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year since and plays an important part in outdoor education and leisure in the Trossachs.
Go Ape hire wire course
Go Ape Aberfoyle has Britain’s longest zip wires at over 400 metres long and is a great day out to enjoy some outdoor adventure with friends, work colleages or family.
The adventure starts with the 400m zip wire that takes you 150ft above ground over the waterfall, then you start the Tree Top Course with its variety of obstacles and zip wires. Its great fun and children over a certain height can all take part. Check out the Go Ape page for more details and to make a booking and get a 10% discount if you book using the form on the page!
Maps and Trails
The Trails around The Lodge have been improved and the familiar walks such as The Waterfall Trail, The Oak Coppice Trial are still in place. The Highland Boundary Trail is now called the Lime Craig Trail? and a new walk form The Lodge called The Dukes Trail which is 4 1/2 miles long takes you up to The Dukes Pass and then back to the start point in a circular route.
A new map has been produced by the Forestry Commission which is not yet available on their website so here is a copy of the current map which has all the trails but not all the markers.
A new wildlife hide has been built near to the waterfall and this is a great quiet place to sit and see what wildlife turns up. Jays and Red Squirrels are aplenty but at certain times you might be lucky enough to see a Pine Marten.
The National Park Authority has also produced a walking map with some routes also starting from The Lodge such as the walk up Craigmore but also includes other walks within a short distance from and around Aberfoyle. A copy of the map can be viewed and downloaded here.
For more information about The Lodge and events taking place throughout the year visit the Forestry Commissions Lodge Page.
Further information on all of the walking and cycling routes within The National Park and for a complete list of all the maps available for download go to our walking routes page.