Take in Cairngorms National Park on two wheels
The Cairngorms National Park is a haven for cyclists with all kinds of tracks and trails to ride out on. With plenty of tough and challenging routes taking in forest surfaces and jumps to more sedate trails suitable for families and more casual cyclists, we’ve compiled a list of our favourites into this handy guide:
Ballater to Aboyne
If you’re as happy on the road as you are off it, then the 36km route between Ballater and Aboyne is the one for you. Taking approximately three hours to complete depending on your approach to the off-road challenges, this is an ideal route for a family or group of cyclists with a degree of experience. It takes in tarmac surfaces along the main road and forest trails making protective equipment essential.
To find out more: http://iansommerville.com/blog/the-deeside-way-ballater-to-aboyne/
Glenlivet Trail Centre
The Glenlivet Trail Centre has everything you need to get your cycling buzz in the Cairngorms. From family-friendly trails to those purpose-built for experienced mountain bike riders to get some air time, the trail centre will provide plenty of fun whichever route you choose to take on. With a number of exhilarating single track runs to build up some speed and plenty of forest trails where you’ll be tested to the limit, the Glenlivet Trail Centre also offers spectacular scenery for your rest stops!
For more information visit: http://www.ibikeride.com/scotland/1681-glenlivet-mountain-bike-trail-centre
The Old Logging Way: Aviemore to Glenmore
A perfect cycling route for families and those relatively new to off-road cycling or mountain biking. Covering four miles along “The Old Logging Way”, this is a purpose-built off-road course that will test your skills and help you on your way to becoming a more competent mountain biker. Located in the very heart of the Cairngorms national park, you can ride through the beautiful woodland and take in the scenery at your leisure.
To find out more visit: http://www.visitaviemore.com/activities/onyourbike/
Lecht Trail Centre
With two specially designed trails for novice and experienced mountain bike riders, the Lecht Trail Centre is growing in popularity all the time. The Red Fox trail is designed for the more competent – and confident – riders, with plenty of off-road challenges and jumps to contend with; while the Blue Hair trail is designed for novices providing an opportunity to hone your skills before moving up. The trails cover almost 2km and there is even a skills park for you to warm-up beforehand.
To find out more visit: http://www.moredirt.com/trail/United-Kingdom_North-Scotland/Red-Fox-Trail—Lecht/432
Laggan Wolftrax Trail Centre
You can take it steady or go head-first into the numerous challenges at the Laggan Wolftrax Trail Centre. With trails catering to everyone from first-timers to experienced mountain bikers you can learn how to tackle the forest trail surfaces or get the adrenaline flowing as you get some serious air-time over the jumps. Routes vary in length as well as difficulty, with the shortest measuring 3.6km and the longest 13km so there’s plenty for you to try as your confidence builds.
To find out more information you can visit: http://www.lagganforest.com/mountain-biking.asp
The Speyside Way: Nethybridge to Boat of Garten
The Speyside Way is a popular route for walkers and cyclists alike, with some of the most picturesque sections of the Cairngorms national park visible – and accessible – from the various roads and tracks. From a mountain biking perspective, the route between Nethybridge and Boat of Garten offers a range of gradients and terrains to test your off-road skills. Spanning 5-miles it’s a good challenge for novice and expert riders.
Find out more by visiting: http://cairngormbikeandhike.co.uk/bike-hike/trails/
Burma Road, Aviemore
Covering 25-miles and filled with steep inclines and challenging terrain the Burma Road in Aviemore might sound daunting; but for keen cyclists it’s a must. There are stunning views around every turn and there is plenty to test your on and off-road skills. With a total ascent of just over 600-metres it takes you to one of the highest points in the national park, so you’ll need to get your legs pumping, but it’s the kind of route that will leave you with a sense of accomplishment at the end.
More information can be found here: http://www.mapmyride.com/gb/aviemore-sct/cairngorms-burma-road-route-18513258
Kincraig Loop: Inverdruie to Kincraig
Situated around two-miles south of Aviemore is the start of the Kincraig Loop. Inverdruie might only seem to be a small village in the Cairngorms, but it’s the start of a major cycling route that attracts novice and experienced riders alike. It may only last around an hour, but the Kincraig Loop packs a lot into such a small amount of time. Previous riders would describe the route as “undulating” rather than “hilly” throughout the 23km circuit. As with most parts of the region you’ll find some wonderful views of the mountains, lakes and Scottish countryside.
You can find out more here: https://www.wildernessscotland.com/
The Lecht Road: Aviemore to Inverness Trail
So you’ve tested yourself over short and medium distances, and across a range of terrains, now it’s time to test out your endurance. The Lecht Road – also known as the Aviemore to Inverness Trail – is an 85km route that will test your riding skills and your fitness in equal measure. Just to keep you on your toes, there is also one steep climb and descent so you’ll need to work out when to push it and when to save your energy in preparation.
To find out more about the Lecht Road, visit http://www.nationalparks.gov.uk/visiting/national-parks-week/top-15/top-15-cycle-routes
Glenshee Mountain Bike Track
A purpose-built mountain track in the heart of the Cairngorms national park – what more could any keen off-road cyclist ask for? The 3.2km course may only take you ten minutes to complete, but the chairlift will take you to the top over and over again so that you can learn from your mistakes, learn the route and take time out of each of your runs until you’re happy. This is a great mountain bike track for you to learn more about your own ability, the capabilities of your bike and how to approach key points on the trail.
To find out more visit: http://cairngorms.co.uk/discover-explore/things-to-do/cycling-trails-2/