Email to a friend Glentress in Scotland is one of the more established trail centres in the UK and is a hugely popular destination. For a few of the team it had been quite some time since their last visit, which they remembered fondly. They were keen to find out how the trails had developed and what had changed since their last outing. Credit: Steve Behr Skills area: 1. This green-graded loop gives beginners a chance to get used to their bikes and riding off-road.
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Glentress Black Route The Scottish Borders Probably the most interesting mountain bike route in Scotland Glentress was the first centre to be built for the innovative 7stanes project - 7 mountain bike centres located in the south of Scotland.
Glentress however, is the most famous and now attracts over , visitors per year. Phase one of the 7stanes project is now complete and a second phase will see an improvement in centre facilities and more novice and family-friendly trails being built over the next two years.
Glentress Forest is located on steep sided hills that rise to over metres. It was the first to be established in south Scotland by Forestry Commission Scotland and includes stands of Douglas Fir as well as the more common spruce and larch. There have been guided walks and bike routes here for many years, the more technical routes are a recent innovation.
They incorporate trail building expertise from all over the world. The volunteer trail builders go by the name of Trail Fairies, if you live locally and would like to help ask at The Hub. It does involve physical work and can be quite strenuous at times, the more people that come along the better! If you are visiting the forest with children and are looking for something a little less challenging there are two Trailquest Routes which take in some of the historic features of the forest.
An information leaflet and map is available at the toilets just before the ponds. Peebles is a couple of miles from Glentress. It has a bike shop and bike hirer. Innerleithen is six miles further east: shops, pubs etc. There is a bike shop here too. Near to Innerleithen are more mountain bike routes in Elibank and Traquair Forest. The total ascent is metres, it includes over twelve miles of purpose-built single track, flowing descents, steep drops and water splashes.
The scenery is pretty good too! Keep straight on at the high level car park passing between the Skills Loop and the Freeride area.
Near a fork in the road the route joins the Soor Plooms singletrack 1. This follows the contour for just over a kilometre then you join a forest road again. This climbs gently then you turn right to the Goat Track 2 : metres with a 40 metre drop - quite technical. This is a steep climb on a footpath shared with other forest users. After half a kilometre and 70 metres of climb you turn left to a dedicated singletrack: The Kipps 4 for the final climb up the hill. Now begins the interesting stuff, starting with The Kipps descent, a 50 metre drop.
You briefly join the radio mast access road then cannon down the Boundary Trail 5. Again this is technical, metres long, metres descent. By now you are at metres elevation. Join a forest road to travel north-west towards Caresman Hill. At a bend you join The Deliverance 6. This misnamed singletrack shoots down to metres then climbs up again to metres. The descent is stoney and is as usual fairly technical.
Following The Deliverance climb the singletrack potters along fairly easily taking you towards Kirn Law. The descent off Kirn Law begins gently at first but soon steepens up. At first there are some timber trails that need care then you go into a series of zig zags taking you through the trees and ending at a forest road. You are only on this very briefly then you turn left to The Wormhole singletrack 7 , a 40 metre drop over metres - this is steep! Right to road, left to singletrack, over at the junction, then finally zip down Falla Brae and you are home.
This is run by mountain bike professionals Emma Guy and Tracy Brunger. In addition there are spray wash facilities, spare parts and accessories. Likewise if you expect to remain in the forest after dark, mention it at the hub. Tracy and Emma have been known to search for injured bikers only to find they were camping.
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