Mountain Biking


Looking at an OS map to plan a mountain bike route can be a bit hit or miss. It isn't possible to tell the condition of a path from the map, it could be through a boulder field that is difficult to walk on, never mind cycle, or it could be a sheep track so narrow and rutted your pedals hit the ground. Small boggy patches that aren't mentioned on the map can also make paths impassable at certain times of year.

Looking on the internet can also be a bit hit or miss. Write ups by people walking the route can give you an idea of what to expect, but they write it up from a walking point of view and can miss out key information required by a mountain biker. They usually have more photographs than mountain bikers who tend to just take photographs when they are having a break.

Having a camera with GPS tagging, I decided to document some of the more adventurous routes I have done. Taking plenty photos with the ability to show the location on Google Maps, and writing the route up from a mountain biking point of view, I hope to share my experiences with others to allow them to have a safe and successful mountain biking day out.

The information in the header of each route has links for the route profile and also the route co-ordinates in GPX and KML formats.

As well as natural mountain biking routes, there also numerous Forestry Commission mountain biking centres throughout Scotland offering trails of various grades to suit all abilities.

From South to North, here is a list of the trail centres:

Glentress, near Peebles

Kirroughtree, in Galloway

Forest of Ae, near Dumfries

Mabie, near Dumfries

Dalbeattie, near Dumfries

Glentrool, in Galloway

Newcastleton, near the Borders

Innerleithen, near Peebles

Carron Valley, near Falkirk

Witch's Trails, near Fort William

Laggan Wolftrax, near Aviemore

Learnie Red Rock Trails, near Inverness

Moray Monster Trails, in Morayshire

Balblair, in the North Highlands