Scotland has some of the best trail riding in the world and is fast emerging as the destination of choice for visitors aware of the vast range of marked trail centres and wilderness riding available. Whither you tour in a VW Camper or Beetle, The Tartan Camper Company can provide you with cycle racks that can accommodate 4 adult bikes….. A camper will give you complete flexibility and will ensure that you can experience as many trails without being tied to hotel locations….
Mountain Biking in the Highlands
Fort William is a focal point for all things mountain biking each summer as nearby Nevis Range have hosted the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup for 7 years now, picking up a multitude of awards – not least the riders favourite – for the event.
For the more moderate mountain biker there are off-road opportunities by way of a huge range of forestry tracks, for example. These include the Rothiemurchus Estate, Glenmore and Inshriach forests near Aviemore with miles of safe tracks through the pinewoods, or further south try the Laggan Wolftrax blue trail. Leanachan Forest near Fort William also offers plenty of waymarked routes (one even uses a disused narrow-gauge railway trackbed, winding high into Glen Spean) while further up the Great Glen and west towards Cannich and Glen Affric there are many trails both waymarked and unmarked. The Northern Highlands also has its share of routes including on the Black Isle, Aldie Burn in Easter Ross and at Borgie on the north coast. Escaping to the quiet of Culbin Forest rewards visitors with a range of gentle trails and the option of joining the picturesque coastal paths.
For a longer route of 80 miles/ 128km the Great Glen offers a good option – Sections of fully way-marked Mountain bike Route managed by Forest Enterprise can be linked with some on road sections around Drumnadrochit to form a continuous route between Fort William to Inverness.
For the more serious rider there are equally good options – Leanachan, Laggan Wolftrax, Learnie and Golspie offer red and black standard trails (one described as “well gnarly from the top down – the toughest black in Scotland?” At Nevis Range, the 2 mile / 3km track descending 2000ft/ 610m from the top Gondola station to the car park is Britain’s biggest downhill and only national and international race location. Existing trails are now being developed at Nevis Range and Golspie to offer an even better experience and Learnie has just re-profiled the bottom section of their Fun Park with a series of jumps and drops but don’t worry, chicken runs are available.
The new access legislation that came into force in February 2005 also gives mountain bikers a right of access as long as they act responsibly making planning your own off road route another option. The Scottish outdoor access website gives more advice on responsible access.