Galloway Forest Park
Glentrool Visitor Centre is the gateway to the Galloway hills, where you can pick up maps and information on the hill ranges. The Merrick, South Scotland's highest mountain at nearly 2,800ft can be climbed from Bruce's Stone. There are also several waymarked trails for walking and cycling.
For up to date information on trail closures etc follow link www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark and click on updates page.
- Up to 1 hour, all vehicles: £1.00
- Car up to 3 hours: £2.00
- Car day tariff (expires midnight): £3.00
- Minibus and coach day tariff (expires midnight) £12.00
Come and sample the Highlands of the Lowlands and sit by the stunning water
of Minnoch and falls, beside our tea room which offers information, refreshments
and gift shop.
There are waymarked trails, cycle routes and picnic areas. Don't miss Loch Trool and Bruce's Stone which over looks the scene of a battle between Robert the Bruce and the English, just 3 miles past the Visitor Centre.
Galloway Dark Skies
Due to its remoteness, the Galloway Forest Park has been awarded the status of being one of only four "Dark Sky Parks" in the western world, along with the Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah and Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania. This means that the largest forest park in Scotland has become the only Dark Sky Park in the UK, causing double celebration amongst astronomers, as 2009 also marked the 400th anniversary of Galileo's astronomical discovery of the telescope.
Once the sun sets on the three hundred square miles of rugged wilderness that is the Galloway Forest Park, under an inky-blue sky they become the darkest in all of Europe. It is here that enthusiasts come to stand in awe, wonder and amazement at the vast universe which is revealed above them. Onlookers are given the rare chance to witness shooting stars; the Andromeda Galaxy, the Aurora Borealis and stellar nurseries, where new suns of distant planets are born.
The dark skies of the Galloway National Park allow man to be able to view the vast expanse of universe, from Earth. Being able to view the twinkling star-studded sky is a uniquely human pleasure, that if we are not careful, may slip from our grasp in most parts of the world due to increasing light pollution. The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) has set up this award in high hopes to reduce light pollution, as unnecessary amounts are leaking and hiding the raw beauty of the night sky and it is this that is having harming effects on both wildlife and humans.
For all the latest Dark Sky Park News and upcoming events, please visit the Forestry Commission Scotland Dark Skies web pages.
This footpath leads you from Bruce's Stone (3 miles on from the visitor centre) to the summit of South Scotlands mainland highest mountain at 843 metres.
The footpath begins at the Bruce's stone car park, and climbs through woodland before emerging onto the open hill, about half way up. The first summit you meet is Benyellary, before you drop down and then back up onto the Merrick.
The Merrick should only be attempted by experienced hillwalkers. Remember mountain weather condidtions can change quickly, ensure you have adequate clothing, food and are wearing sturdy footwear.
Walk along Loch Trool and enjoy the sound of the water lapping against the rocky shores. Stand where the Battle of Steps of Trool was fought between the English and the Scots. Take in the stunning views across the tranquil waters to the Fell of Eschoncan and Buchan Hill, the foothills of the Merrick.