The Balnakailly Woodland is the most northern part of the forest and takes you to the most northern part of the island. The Balnakailly loop, a partnership between Bute Forest and the Discover Bute Landscape Partnership Scheme takes you through both parts of the woodland and can be completed in part or in full. In full it is approximately 4 miles.
If walking the loop anti-clockwise then start at the Rhubodach – Colintraive ferry crossing and head north through the gate, across the field and take the stile into the woodland.
You’ll find a whole variety of wild flowers, ferns, mosses, lichens, fungi and animals depending on the time of year that you visit.
The path takes you through the oak woodland which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, until you drop down over a small wall and though the line of spruce. A short walk through the spruce takes you to the Balnakailly settlement, the remains of a farmhouse and a peaceful, sheltered area.
You can then continue the loop along the forest track (easier walking and much less boggy!) until you reach the turning circle. A diversion here straight to the right of the signpost will take you across uneven ground to the WW2 bunker, where there are truly stunning views across the Kyles of Bute.
Head back to the forest track and continue along, taking in the odd clear view through the trees across the water. Head back down past our work area where you can see our sawmill in action.
You will come out onto the A886 next to Rhubodach Cottage and walk along the grass verge next to the road or along the shoreline back to the ferry terminal.
You can see a video of the construction and launch event here.