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Geology trails

Follow any of Scotland’s geotrails to see amazing rocks and fossils and learn about the legacy of our glacial past.

Scotland’s incredible scenery tells the amazing story of 3 billion years of Earth's history. The geotrail guides below can help you to uncover some of the highlights.

Find out about the other geotrails you can follow when you visit a geopark. Or contact your local geoconservation group to ask what else you can see in your area.

Cairngorms National Park geotrails

Explore how glaciers shaped Scotland’s most famous mountain range. A handy leaflet details the landscapes and geology on three popular walks in the park: the Allt Mòr, Ryvoan and Farleitter Crag trails.

View the Trails through Time in the Cairngorms National Park leaflet.

Tayside geotrails

Discover the stunning scenery and geological heritage of the coastal path between Arbroath and Auchmithie. Learn about the geological features of Corsiehill Quarry. Or find out how ice and meltwater shaped Strathardle.

You can download Geodiversity Walks on the Tayside Geodiversity website.

Strathclyde geotrails

Walk round Ardmore Point to learn about desert sandstones, flash floods, and the folding and faulting of ancient rocks. Or visit Fossil Grove in Glasgow’s Victoria Park to see petrified tree stumps that have survived for millions of years, fossilised in river mud and protected by layers of volcanic lava.

Find out more about Ardmore Point and Fossil Grove on the Geological Society of Glasgow website.

Lothian and Borders geotrails

Edinburgh’s geological highlights include the remains of an ancient volcano and the seven hills on which the city rests. Explore Holyrood Park to learn the fate of the extinct volcano. Or start a series of geological walks at Calton Hill, in the centre of the capital.

You can download a range of free Lothian and Borders GeoConservation group leaflets from the Edinburgh Geological Society website.

Geological excursion guides are also available to buy from the website.

Fife geotrails

A walk in St Andrews can take you past evidence of fossil trees and worm burrows, ancient volcanoes and earthquakes. Folds in the rocks along the foreshore at St Monans reveal a turbulent geological past. And the first land vertebrates were direct descendants of the fish found in Dura Den fossils.

Contact geoHeritage Fife for geotrail leaflets for the three areas above.

Another geological hotspot is the Lomond Hills, a volcanic landscape that was once covered by a shark-infested sea. Six stops between Craigmead and East Lomond form the local geotrail.

Read more in Rock History: Accessing The Lomonds, which you can download from the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust website.