GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Culbin Forest Walks and Cycling

17 miles (28 km)

Enjoy a cycle or walk around this large coastal forest near Nairn. There are a huge number of tracks to choose from including the easy Hill 99 trail which is waymarked.
The route below begins at the car park at the Culbin Forest Nature Reserve and takes you around the forest on various tracks. The route includes a visit to the Culbin Sands Nature Reserve on the coast at Nairn. Here you can see a variety of coastal birds including bar-tailed godwits, oystercatchers and knots. The route then heads back through the forest passing a series of idyllic woodland lochs before returning to the start point.
Other highlights in the forest include the beautiful Findhorn Bay where you can see ospreys and seals at the river-mouth and a view over the water towards the village of Findhorn. You can also climb the Hill 99 viewpoint trail where there are fabulous views of the surrounding area from the top of the viewpoint tower.
National Cycle Network Route route 1 runs just past the forest so there is scope for continuing your ride if you have time. The forest is located about 16 miles north east of Inverness.


IV12 5BX - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

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Culbin Forest OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Culbin Forest Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Dog Walking

The forest and beach are an excellent place for a dog walk so you'll probably meet other owners on your visit. During the ground-nesting bird breeding season (1 April to 15 August) you are requested to please keep your dog close to you, preferably on a short lead.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

To the east there's the pretty Loch Oire and Loch Na Bo to visit near Elgin.
In Findhorn you can pick up the epic Moray Coast Trail and follow it between Findhorn and Burghead.
The Dava Way also starts in Forres. This shared cycling and walking trail runs along a disused railway line from Forres to Granton-on-Spey, Highland. If you follow it south it will take you towards the Darnaway Forest and the Logie Steading Findhorn River Walk. The estate includes some fine riverside walks, a garden centre, a cafe and some splendid waterfalls at the photogenic Randolph's Leap.
Also nearby is the historic Brodie Castle. The 16th century castle is run by the National Trust for Scotland and includes some lovely grounds with 400 varieties of daffodil, sculptures, gardens and a wildlife rich lake.


Culbin Forest - - 6641

Another scene from this vast forest, taken at NH983608. Orienteers walking towards the race start deeper in the forest.

Culbin Forest - - 13013

A crossroads in the Culbin Forest with differing species at each side.

The Edge of Culbin Forest - - 622873

The Edge of Culbin Forest. Alongside a barn of the farm, Wellhill.

Culbin Forest - - 548884

The forest was planted in the 1920s on an area of notorious everchanging sand dunes. The trees have now stabilised the sand.

Channel Through Salt Marsh - Culbin Sands - - 185122

Channel Through Salt Marsh - Culbin Sands. As well as being important as a saltmarsh habitat, evidence of iron age and bronze age faience jewellery and pictish weaponry has been found here.

Sands at The Bar, Culbin - - 1743602

Sands at The Bar, Culbin. The sands in this square on the Moray Firth can only be seen at low tide.

Salt marsh at Culbin - - 1743803

Salt marsh at Culbin. Between the northeastern ridge of sand dunes and Culbin Forest is an area of salt marsh.

Footpath at Culbin Sands Nature Reserve - - 1344642

Footpath at Culbin Sands Nature Reserve, looking towards the forest. The signpost indicates the branch path leading to the car park at Kingsteps


GPS Files

GPX File

Culbin Forest.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Culbin Forest.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)