Carrick Forest Drive

Dumfries & Galloway / Souh Ayrshire | Loch Doon | Scenic road | ★★

[Loch Gower, midway along the route]

This 6 mile driving route allows visitors to explore an otherwise remote part of Galloway Forest Park between Loch Doon and the outflow for Loch Bradan, making use of private logging tracks owned by Forestry and Land Scotland. Care needs to be taken with the potholes: we found it OK in a normal vehicle but it's probably inadvisable for those with low ground clearance. If you're used to dramatic hill walks to Munro summits, you may be a little disappointed; if not, the expanses of brooding forest broken up by quiet lochs, all from the comfort of your car, may be just the ticket. Which you buy (before or after depending on your direction of travel) from the Roundhouse Cafe at the north end of Loch Doon. Also check out the similar Raiders' Road Forest Drive elsewhere in the park if this is the sort of thing that floats your boat.

[The viewpoint for Loch Riecawr on the Forest Drive also has a small adventure playground]

Location & info

📌 Carrick Forest Drive ★★
The best viewpoint, above Loch Riecawr, is at G.R.: NX 438940 ///curl.hers.overt. East entrance is at minor road end, southwest bank of Loch Doon, 7 mi south of Dalmellington, G.R.: NX 482945 ///intention.summer.suspended. West entrance is on minor road 4 mi south of Straiton, G.R.: NX 400981 ///dolly.helped.rock

▶ 10 km / 6 mi
Gravel track with some potholes / ruts - unsuitable for vehicles with low ground clearance
Open daily, May to October | £2 per vehicle (pay at Roundhouse Cafe on Loch Doon)

💬 The public road east from Stinchar Bridge, which might otherwise be an extra access point for (or escape route from!) the forest drive, was littered with serious potholes and impassable for normal cars when we visited in 2015.

[Carrick Lane burn, towards the eastern end of the route]


  1. Took drive up yesterday, 12/4/19, good easy going until you get to end of loch Doon, the forestry road is the roughest road I have ever encountered, they have tried to resurface it with what looks like clay, looks like the trucks have ploughed along it and produced ruts a foot deep, you have to drive on top of rut or lose your sump. Got as far as loch Gower, usually a 5min drive takes 15-20 min.
    Road need skimmed and packed.
    Even the 4 wheel drives were down to 5-10mph.

    1. Thanks for the update. That's a bit annoying - hope the Forestry Commission get around to fixing it soon.


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