Destination: Abriachan Forest, Nr Inverness
Sitting high above Loch Ness, the Kelpies trails at Abriachan Forest are best suited to less experienced riders.
There’s 14km of trails in total and the local community have made a real effort purchasing the land from Forest Enterprise a few years ago and developing it as a community enterprise to encourage outdoor recreation.
While you probably wouldn’t make a trip to the area to solely ride Abriachan’s trails, if you’re in the vicinity and have your bike with you, it’s well worth an afternoon’s blast.Endless skies over Abriachan. Image by HighlandBlade via Flickr.
How to get there
Follow the A82 south from Inverness for 8 miles before turning right (to the west) up a small, steep lane signed to Abriachan.
In the village, fork left following signs to Abriachan Forest Walks.
Turn left after the small loch (Loch Laide).
Sat Nav: ABRIACHAN
Parking, toilets and what you’d expect in a village of 140 people.
Both the 3 km green trail and the 7 km blue trail are well surfaced and rideable no matter what the weather. Both are good fun, with berms and even some small jumps. They’re both definitely more mountain biking than forest road ride and the blue trail especially gives you a real sense of being out in the wilds of the Scottish Highlands.
The 4 km red trail hasn’t been given surfacing treatment and, especially in the wet, is no pushover. Rocks and roots litter the steep climbs and descents and a clean run is worth a pat on the back.
Both the red and the blue routes finish at a little jumps area. With a good progressive range of jumps and lines it’s great for learning to get your tyres off the ground.The hills above Loch Ness. Image by swan-scot via Flickr.
Nearest bike shop
The best reason to come to Abriachan is the views. From the top of the hill the scenery stretches away around you to the the Monadh Liath hills and Loch Ness to the south, the Affric hills and from Ben Wyvis up to Ben Bhraggie in the north.
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