14/11/2012 | 10 comments
Destination: Learnie, Red Rock Trails, Inverness-shire
Opened in March 2006 and designed by Paul Masson, who also designed the Laggan Wolftrax trails, a funding injection meant the existing network of trails, built predominately by local riders, could be repaired, upgraded and made to last.
Don’t expect long loops, as the trails are really a collection of singletrack sections linked by forest roads but it’s means you can mix and match them, re-ride your favourite sections and create the perfect ride for your taste and ability.
How to get there
From Inverness, take the A9 north until you reach the Tore roundabout. At the roundabout, follow the A832 towards Cromarty. The Red Rock car park lies just off the A832, roughly 3 miles past Rosemarkie village. Turn right off the A832 into the car park.
Sat Nav: Rosemarkie
Just parking on-site but nearby Rosemarkie and Cromarty have toilets, shops, restaurants and pubs.
The 500m green-graded Home Trail is a short and enjoyable descent with some lumps that, if taken at speed, could see some air under your tyres. You’ve then got five blue-graded sections that, for novice and intermediate riders, are the gems of the centre. The Fir Hill section is probably the pick but all are spot-on examples of blue not having to mean dull.
The 3.6km black-graded Learnie Hill section is an entirely different beast and up there as one of the most testing trails in the country. Awkward uphill rock features and then very tricky rock gardens as the trail tips downhill. Chuck in some roots on the fast singletrack sections between the rocks and you’ve got a jarring spin out. You’ve also got a fun rollable bike park-style run and a three-tier dirt jump area.
Nearest bike shop
Parking is £2 for the day.