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This large Forestry Commission site has many gems hidden away among its lofty pines, but if you go exploring beyond the route outlined here you’ll need to have your wits about you because one part of the forest looks very much like another. This particular walk is easy to follow, however, as it uses Devilla’s only waymarked route – a short trail through lovely woodland to picturesque Bordie Loch (which wouldn’t look out of place in the Cairngorms). There are interesting information panels along the way, picnic tables at the loch, and weans will enjoy the red squirrel signs and animal carvings en route.
Time: 40mins to 1hr
Distance: 2.5km for the full loop, but if you just want to go to the loch and back it’s 0.8km each way.
Ascent: 6m – mostly flat with only slight inclines.
Path info: Good woodland paths, suitable for all abilities.
Start & finish: Forestry Commission car park off the A985 just east of Kincardine. Google Maps: bit.ly/Devilla OS grid reference: NS964871.
Information: The Forestry Commission have produced their own leaflet about Devilla and the red squirrel trail - https://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/images/pdf/rec_pdfs/devillaguide.pdf
The Red Squirrel Trail starts from the ‘Welcome to Devilla’ information panel, which is located on the western side of the car park, opposite the weird wooden ‘entry gate’ structures. It’s worth reading the panel as it has useful information about the site, its wildlife, and shows where you are in relation to the wider forest.
When you’re standing looking at the panel, the trail starts on your left. Take this path, which is then easy to follow all the way to Bordie Loch. Along the way you will encounter further information panels about Devilla’s wildlife and history – note these are all double-sided, so do spin them over to see what’s on the reverse sides. Look out for the red squirrel info posts too!
Just before you reach the loch, a path joins from the left. You can go either way at this point as it forms a loop around the loch, but I think it is better to ignore the path on the left and continue straight ahead, as you are more likely to spot the wooden animal carvings if you go straight on. Kids, keep your eyes peeled!
Keeping the loch on your left, head along the path and you will pass through a nice picnic area with tables and benches.
The path continues to snake its way through the forest, with further red squirrel posts to read, and then you reach an information panel next to a large stone, titled ‘Preachers on the Moor’. Immediately after this, the path veers sharply to the left, and then passes a red waymarker and another red squirrel post.
Carry along the path until you encounter another picnic bench on your right. The main path veers left here, but if you walk just five metres along a fainter path that starts next to the red waymarker, you will find a flat stone on the ground with two large holes in it.
This is the ‘Standard Stone’, where King Duncan supposedly raised his standards before fighting a Danish army at a battle on Bordie Moor in 1038. As you can imagine, accurate records of its purpose and function are thin on the ground. Other theories suggest it has something to do with riding the old marches between Tulliallan and Culross, or that it once held stone crosses. You decide!
Return to the main path and continue to follow it in the direction you were originally going. The path passes another bench and then heads downhill and to the right, and when you encounter the next red squirrel post, try spotting the two red squirrels up in the trees!
Carry on along the path. The loch soon reappears on your left and you then find yourself back at the junction at the start of the loop. This end of the loch offers the best views across the water.
Turn right at the junction and retrace your steps back to the car park.
Note: this route is for supporting information only. Anyone venturing into the countryside does so at their own risk and should be properly dressed / equipped for the occasion.
Enjoy Scotland’s Outdoors – know your access rights & responsibilities: