The forest was first planted in the 1920s, primarily with Sitka spruce. It has the designation of a 'Priority Forest' for Red Squirrel conservation. The land on which the forest is situated acts as a drainage basin for the Water of Ae, which has a thriving population of otters.
The village of Ae was built in the 1940s to house forestry workers.
A variety of mountain bike trails have been built as part of Forestry and Land Scotland's 7stanes project that ranges from beginner trails to highly advanced trails. Forest of Ae has also been a staple location for stages in the Scottish Downhill association.