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Venue: Loch Muick

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Venue Type:
No. of Trails: 3
Car Park
From Ballater take the B976 over the bridge and turn right. After half a mile or so turn left (signposted 'Glen Muick') just before a bridge. Stay on this single track road with passing places all the way to the end (about 8 miles). The Spittal of Glenmuick FC carpark is at the end of this road.

Click here to see a detailed map and information about any additional locations.
Part of the Balmoral estate, Loch Muick is a couple of miles long and sits at the end of Glenmuick. The dramatic steep-sided hills surrounding the loch make for some stunning views (particularly from the high vantage points accessed by the trails listed here). The loch is very well known locally and is heavily used by walkers, day trippers, and hikers. The car park at the Spittal of Glenmuick is well used and actually has toilets (these are temporary type toilets, which were in place as of June 2011).

Trails at Loch Muick


Trail TitleLength (Miles)Ascent (Mtrs)Time (Hrs)Tech GradeFitness Grade
Neep Route158524 Hard Hard
Broad Cairn and Lochnagar17.810136 Hard Hard
Glen Clova & Lochnagar22.314188 Hard Very Hard

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Comments and ratings for Neep Route
We did this route at the weekend and it was awesome. Just to say there is a diversion at Moulzie. The footbridge upstream from Moulzie at NO277789 has been washed away. You can either try crossing a... read whole comment...
hadders gave this trail 5 stars about 3 years ago
I do this from the Doll side as Im in Angus but great ride whatever way you do it, two cracking big descents with lots of grins to be had.
sab6247 gave this trail 5 stars about 5 years ago
This is a brilliant route - the downhill to Glen Clova is outstanding and a good techy descent back to Loch Muick - great trail! The push back up from Glen Clova is worth it!
stoneymtb gave this trail 4 stars about 6 years ago
An awesome route, if your prepared for a fair bit of carrying your bike at the start your rewarded with a really good technical descent which will test your bike hopping skills getting over the draina... read whole comment...
jamesmtb2013 gave this trail 4 stars about 6 years ago
An excellent big mountain ride for a sunny day. The hike-a-bike section near the end of the second climb is brutal but well worth it for the breathtaking views from the top... and, of course, the exhi... read whole comment...
cat89 gave this trail 4 stars about 7 years ago

Neep Route

Viewed 4864 times
Length: 15 Miles
Ascent: 852 m
Time: 4 hrs
Tech Grade: Hard
Fitness Grade: Hard
Av. Trail Rating:
(9 votes so far)
This is the standard route used by the 'Ecurie Neeps' MTB club.

Usually an annual ride for the Neeps in the spring or summer. When the sun is out the views are hard to beat. This is the recommend route round the loch. Several different routes have been tried, but this one makes the most of the available ascents and descents (ascending on fire-road and solid tracks, and descending on rough interesting terrain).

From the car park, after a flat section, you ascend all the way up to 680m (at Tag1) using the ‘Capel Road’ which is in fact a rough fire-track. From there you have the biggest and best decent of the day all the way down to about 280m or so. This descent starts out on a grassy rough land-rover track and gradually twists down becoming more and more rocky to the tree-line where it becomes more rooty and closed in. It is steep in places, and you need to watch out for some ‘wheel stopping’ rocks, but there is nothing to technically difficult (tech rating is ‘Moderate’).

At Tag2 you are very close to the road at the end of Glen Clova, but this route has you turning back the other way and continuing back up the fire-track which becomes progressively rocky and gradually climbs up to the trees at about 470m (Tag3). From there you have a steep ‘hike-a-bike’ climb up the hillside to Tag4.

Once up here you have an easy pedal to the top of the second descent of the day. This is a walkers path which twists its way down the steep side of the hill all the way back down to Loch Muick again. Rocky in places, the track has loads of ‘drainage ditches’ (fun for bunny-hopping over, or a nightmare of pinch-flats… or both :-) The last section is just a flat spin round the north side of the loch back to the car park.

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Photos for Broad Cairn and Lochnagar
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Comments and ratings for Broad Cairn and Lochnagar
neilneep gave this trail 5 stars about 8 years ago

Broad Cairn and Lochnagar

Viewed 3741 times
Length: 17.8 Miles
Ascent: 1013 m
Time: 6 hrs
Tech Grade: Hard
Fitness Grade: Hard
Av. Trail Rating:
(1 votes so far)
A hard route only really suitable for a good day, most of the ride is above 2000ft and you will riding over, or close to 3 Munro's. The reward is one of the longest continuous downhill sections in Scotland at around 2400ft vertical.

The trails starts at the Loch Muick car park. Set out along the lochside until you hit the lightning strike climb - this is steep and loose and requires high fitness to complete without dabbing. Once at the top, follow the path to the sheep shed at Tag 1 and head up the obvious path to the right towards Broad Cairn. The path disappears into a boulder field where you will have to carry your bike. The map suggests the path skirts to the left but the best route is over the top.

The first section down is a little rocky, but the path soon becomes more obvious again and rises up and down over another couple of peaks. A fast but not steep section followed by a short climb takes you to Tag 2, where you take the trail to the right. There is a short but entertaining singletrack descent before the start of the second major climb of the day. This section can have snow even in June.

The path crosses the high plateau with great views to the North. Another climb takes you to the path to Lochnagar at Tag 3. If you haven't been up before it is worth a small detour to the left to take in the views. Otherwise head right.

This is the start of the big descent. It starts rocky but not steep before heading down a series of steps at Tag 4. The steps can be tricky and there are also big drainage ditches to content with. The trail flattens out again but the drainage ditches can catch the unwary - I managed to smash my chin on one, requiring 5 stiches.

At Tag 5 the trail crosses the burn, this is the start of the really technical section - it is steep, rocky and tight. Even a very good rider would have trouble clearing everything. The trail eventually spits you out at the loch next to the shooting lodge. Follow the fireroad around the loch back to the car park and congratulate yourself on having completed one of the best epic rides in Scotland.

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Photos for Glen Clova & Lochnagar
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Comments and ratings for Glen Clova & Lochnagar
Mr bro and i rode this on a hot summers day and it was an amazing ride. It took us seven and a half hours of which much was spent hike a biking but the descents and views were easily worth it. The ... read whole comment...
skill77 gave this trail 5 stars about 6 years ago
Clova to broad cairn is a tester, but looks like a great day out, dont hink I woudl have liked the hike a bike in 20 degC+
mig gave this trail 5 stars about 8 years ago
BTW, well done on the pics Neil, some really good stuff in there.
wayne commented about 8 years ago
A truly epic day out on the bike!
wayne gave this trail 5 stars about 8 years ago

Glen Clova & Lochnagar

Viewed 3372 times
Length: 22.3 Miles
Ascent: 1418 m
Time: 8 hrs
Tech Grade: Hard
Fitness Grade: Very Hard
Av. Trail Rating:
(3 votes so far)
A combination of the two trails above. Not for the faint-hearted, this is a big day, probably too big for the heat we did it in. Nevetheless a stunning ride with two fantastic descents and 1 truly horrendous climb - 700m out of Glen Clova up to Broad Cairn, carrying/pushing your bike a fair chunk of it.

This route takes in three of the five possible Munros in the area. It just misses out the actual climb to the very top of the other two, but it would be very easy to include them if you wanted.

In order of appearance:-

Broad Cairn – on route
Cairn Bannoch – on route
Carn an t-Sagairt Mor – Slight detour needed
Carn a’ Choire Bhoidheach – Slight detour needed
Lochnagar – on route

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Average rating for the trails at Loch Muick

5 Stars

13 votes for this rating
This venue has been viewed 24632 times

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