Walk 96 – Red Squirrel Trail, Devilla Forest, Fife – 1.7 miles

Take a short walk around this peaceful forest between Kincardine and Dunfermline. Devilla covers a massive 700 hectare area and is home to the red squirrel thanks to the plating of Scots pine trees back in the 1950s, which create the perfect habitat for them. While you are there look out for The Standard Stone, an ancient relic linked to MacBeth, and also take a detour to see the remains of Bordie Castle. On a warm day take a picnic to enjoy  at the lochside. 

buggy-friendly-image  Buggy-friendly walk

Print  Dog-friendly walk

Devilla Red Squirrel Trail

viewranger-logo-new-jan-2017  Download the route to your mobile phone HERE (viewranger app required)

parking-available-icon  Car park at the entrance to Devilla (FK10 4AS)

route-image  Route: Exit the car park towards a wooden archway. Pass under it and continue straight along a narrow forest track. When you reach a fork at a small loch keep right. The path then takes you around the loch. There is another fork approximately halfway round: keep left to complete the loop and return to the car park by retracing your steps from here. 

 

11th November 2016

I have passed Devilla many times over the past couple of months and have always been intrigued as to what lay behind those massive evergreens you can see from the main road. I was really surprised about the size of the area when I looked at an online map! Much larger than I had imagined and plenty of footpaths through it. This walk will be the first of many there I think!

Once inside the forest I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of plants and trees growing. From the main road it is easy to assume that the whole place is a dense dark forest however that is far from the truth as you can see from these photos.

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This particular route turns out to have a name: The Red Squirrel Trail. As you walk around you see a number of signposts pointing out where you can see wooden red squirrels darting to the treetops! Great for keeping the kids amused on the way round I would imagine! I am assured that the forest is home to real red squirrels but we weren’t lucky enough to see any on this occasion. Definitely another reason to return because as far as I am aware grey squirrels tend to be the dominant species in Scotland and it is quite rare to come across an area home to reds. I certainly wasn’t expecting to find them here halfway between Kincardine and Dunfermline!

The small loch is very tranquil and there are lots of picnic benches placed around it. They appear to be wheelchair/buggy friendly picnic benches too which is a big plus! It would make a lovely place to have a bite to eat on a sunny afternoon, although not today in the freezing Autumn temperatures we were experiencing!

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We came to a sign pointing out the way to the remains of Bordie Castle and followed a faint footpath along to check it out but the only thing we came across was this large stone…. surely that’s not it?!  A quick google search when I got home told me that indeed no, that was not it! Had we walked a little further we would have found it: the remains of a 17th century 3-storey house, now incorporated into the structure of a modern farmhouse. Find out all about it here. The stone, it turns out, is a monument known as The Standard Stone, linked to MacBeth and an ancient battle!

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Pointing the way to the Bordie Castle remains, the Firth of Forth visible in the background
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A few steps from the sign is this stone which I now know to be the The Standard Stone, but at the time we were sure it must be all that was left of Bordie Castle 😀

 

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