If you’re used to the bigger Trail Centres then don’t get too excited about our local forests. Some singletrack does exist but it can be hard to find without local knowledge. That said, there’s plenty of reason to head to the forests.
For a start they are accessible. Miles and miles of forest roads and no cars. There are many waymarked routes so navigation tends to be quite easy. Then there’s the weather. Wet and windy days out on more open trails can be a little unpleasant whereas the trees usually give plenty of shelter from the worst of the weather. And quite often, simply getting out and riding somewhere new is good enough for any biker.
Look out for Forest Enterprise leaflets for both North Argyll & Lochaber regions as these provide good information on formal routes and contain maps.
Forest Enterprise marked routes in the forest above the Ballachulish bridge. Start at St. John’s Church on the A82 along from Ballachulish village or alternatively follow the signs to Glenachulish just after the golf course on the Oban road. The riding tends to be mostly on forest road. However, the climbs are challenging, the descents fast and it’s a popular spot for a quick blast.
The forest at the Glencoe Hospital Lochan is a popular place for walks, and so cycling here is generally best limited to gentle exploration or easy family rides. That said, for those in the know, there are quite a few tracks for some off road fun created by local bikers. These are hard to find without a local guide. Call in at CrankItUp Gear for some top tips!
For a bit of exercise, you can also try the forest road climbing the slopes of Meall Mor behind the National Trust for Scotland Visitor Centre. The road currently reaches close to the beallach (col) and there is a rough track which leads all the way to the mast above Ballachulish.
Between Onich and Corran, again this forest has a few walking tracks which when quiet can be ridden. You can also ride through the back of the forest and go cross country to Loch Lundavra, joining up with the West Highland Way.
Lots of forest roads, and of course, the option of continuing over to Ballachulish. Look out for the bothy in the forest. Again, you’ll need the locals to show you the good bits!
Bridge of Orchy
There’s an hour or so of entertainment on a bike route through the forest starting close to the Bridge of Orchy Hotel and ending half way down Glen Orchy. Look out for the Forestry Commission North Argyll Cycle Routes leaflets which describe the route in more detail.The single track road through Glen Orchy is itself reason enough to spend an hour or two exploring by bike.
Located on the far side of Fort William. Here you’ll find Nevis Range and the home of the UCI World Championship 2007 Downhill, 4X and Cross Country courses. No Fuss Events run their annual 10 Under the Ben 10 hour endurance event on the Witch’s Trail circuit. For further route information call in at the bike shops in Fort William, or at Nevis Range.
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