Located approximately 2 miles north of Huntly on the A96, the Bin Forest offers a number of waymarked trails and some stunning views of the surrounding countryside. It’s a forest that we have passed many times en route to/from Elgin but never got around to exploring – until Sunday 24th August that is!
Opting for the Bin Hill Trail, the yellow route, we were taken out of the car park on a steep little start, winding through trees on a fairly narrow path in darkened woods, a wake up call for the legs having been sat in the car for the best part of 50 minutes. The gradient was sharp enough to be challenging yet rideable, even with a toddler in a WeeRide sitting in front of me.
“It might be called ‘the Bin’ but it’s got nothing to do with rubbish! This site takes its unusual sounding name from the Gaelic for hill or mountain – bheinn (pronounced ‘ben’). Bin forest was first planted in the 1840s with fir tree seeds brought back from North America by the famous Scottish plant-hunter David Douglas. Originally planted to supply timber, this forest now offers much more than just wood.” (http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/visit/the-bin)
“Look across from the high paths to the River Deveron, Look up for a glimpse of Peregrine falcons or Sparrowhawks, Look out for signs of Fox and Pine Marten, and look down to see many wild flowers growing along the paths in Summer. Explore this Working Forest to find the Gallon of Water, a shallow pool at the top of Bin Hill, which legend has it was thought to cure whooping cough.” (http://www.visitaberdeen.com/attractions-and-activities/view/the-bin-forest)
We did spot numerous birds of prey circling above, but we didn’t know to look for the Gallon of Water (Should have done my research beforehand!). However, with plenty more routes to explore I’m sure we will be back to explore further in the not too distant future.
- Gallon of Water Trail, 0.7m/1.0km (White)
- Ord Brae Trail, 1.6m/2.5km (Green)
- Ferny Knowe Trail, 1.6m/2.5km (Red)
- Queen Tree Trail, 3.5m/5.5km (Blue)
- Bin Hill Trail, 4.1m/6.5km (Yellow)