Bikemagic trail guide: Carron Valley, Scotland

Nikalas Cook

Destination: Carron Valley, Nr Stirling

Carron Valley sits between Edinburgh and Glasgow, so mountain bikers have been coming here for years.

Woodsy singletrack. Image by Peter Macdonald Photo via Flickr

The way-marked red route was added in 2006 and there were big plans for further development. Unfortunately politics and planning machinations reared their heads and it never quite happened.

You can read the full sorry tale on the Carron Valley Development Group site. However the red trail is a gem and is well worth a lap or two.

Another rocky section. Image by Peter Macdonald Photo via Flickr

How to get there

From Stirling, join the A872 at junction 9 of the M80 (Stirling Services roundabout).

Follow the A872 south to Denny. At the junction with the A883 in Denny, bear right, staying on the A872. Follow the road for another half kilometre and look for the junction with the B818 on the right, signposted Fintry. Follow the B818 for about 8km. The Carron Valley Car Park is on the left, about 2 km past Carron Bridge.

Sat Nav: FK6 5JL

Facilities

Toilets and parking onsite. Nearest pub is at Carron Bridge which is a couple of miles away.

Trails

The 10.5km red trail is a trail of four parts. First up is Pipedream. This is a gentle but interesting singletrack climb that gains you height without you even noticing.

Concentrate! Kelpies Staircase is a challenge. Image by Peter Macdonald Photo via Flickr

Next is Eas Dubh which includes the technical and rocky Kelpies Staircase.

You’ve then got the blistering fast, bermed Cannonball Run.

Finally, you hit the orange grade free-ride Runway section.

Another rocky section. Image by Peter Macdonald Photo via Flickr

It’s all rollable for less confident riders but hit it at speed and you’ll fly. Sign posting is really good meaning it’s easy to repeat your favourite sections so, you get a lot of riding out of the 10.5km.

There are also plenty of unmarked trails to explore.

Nearest bike shop

Rock and Road Cycles, Stirling

Other info

Parking is £3 for the day.

The Loup of Fintry aterfall is one of the valley’s most photographed landmarks. Image by Andy Magee via Flickr

At the time of writing the Pipedream section was closed for re-surfacing but was due to re-open in early November. Also, the toilets were closed due to burst pipes.

Useful sites

Carron Valley Trail map (pdf)
Forestry Commission guide to Carron Valley
Carron Valley Development Group

It gets chilly in winter. Image by Andy_Mitchell_UK via Flickr.

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Bikemagic trail guide: Carbisdale, Sutherland, Scotland