The David Marshall Lodge
Just 7 miles from The Ridings, in the Queen Elizabeth Forest, part of the Trossachs National Park, is the David Marshall Lodge. Situated near Aberfoyle over the glorious Duke’s Pass, it is an ideal place to become familiar with the wildlife of the Trossachs and to easily explore some of its beauty.
Lots To Do
With marked paths from easy to strenuous, a spectacular waterfall, a hide to watch red squirrels and numerous birds, an information centre, sculptures reflecting the nature around them, children’s play areas and a cafe with panoramic views to get some welcome refreshment. There is also a Go Ape here too if you want to swing through the trees rather than walk underneath them!
The Lodge was gifted to the Forestery Commission in 1960 as a place for recreation and nature appreciation. The building has been redeveloped and refurbished since then with an interesting and spacious information centre with footage of osprey and other wildlife and a live webcam of the squirrels as well as a shop and a cafe.
One of the delights of the Trossachs is the potential oportunity to see a red squirrel. And you have a good chance of seeing not just one, but several at the David Marshall Lodge. Walk from the Visitor Centre to the hide – around half a mile – and you have a good chance of seeing red squirrels darting up and down the trees to reach the feeding boxes, and leaping along the forest floor. They are delightful creatures with their big fluffy tails. Beatrix Potter summed them up perfectly in Squirrel Nutkin. You can while away hours here just watching them come and go.
All This And Birds too!
There are also many garden birds – see how many you know. From robins to blue tits, coaltits, nut hatches, jays and many more.
On the way to the hide is the magnificent waterfall which is a simple joy. Spend some time listening to the flow of the water and watching the continuous flow down the fall and through the rocks.
A Walk In The Park
There are several marked pathways through the woodland graded from easy with wheelchair access to strenuous which are walks with a climb that are rewarded with stunning views. From the Lodge itself you can look out over the Trossachs and identify some of the areas with the help of the information board.
As well as the trees and nature there are sculptures, dens and activities for children and delights to see like this fairy door in the tree!
A Tribute To Women Of The War
You may have heard of the Women’s Land Army but have you heard of the Lumberjills? A statue and a recording pays tribute to these female forestry workers during the Second World War. They chopped down trees which were vital for railway sleepers and as pit props for the coal industry to produce essential heat and light. The Forestry Commission wants more people to know about these amazing women and have erected a statue at the Lodge to commemorate their work. Click here for more information about the Lumberjills
Rain Or Shine, Old or Young
There really is something for everyone here – and it is all free, although there is a charge for parking. The less mobile or able can enjoy the park from the Lodge building. It’s a good place to go when it is raining too! For more information about events, opening hours, facilities and walks go to the Forestery Commission website