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Venue: Contin

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Venue Type:
No. of Trails: 3
Car Park
Contin is on the A835 some 6 miles west of the roundabout at Maryburgh. Once into Contin village ( from the south ) stay on the A835, heading north. When you get to the 40mph limit on the north side of the village, indicate for a right turn. You'll see the Forestry Commission sign ahead on the right.

Click here to see a detailed map and information about any additional locations.
An FC car park at the bottom of the trail. There is a village shop nearby for basic food / drinks etc, and a bike shop in the nearby village of Strathpeffer.

Trails at Contin


Trail TitleLength (Miles)Ascent (Mtrs)Time (Hrs)Tech GradeFitness Grade
Lap of Strathpuffer Route6.22591 Moderate Easy
Off-road link from Garve5.61680.75 Easy Easy
Black Dyke to Erchless17.95353.5 Moderate Moderate

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Comments and ratings for Lap of Strathpuffer Route
Short route, but it the surfaces really vary throughout, keeping your interest up. Great for a visit and a lap or two, but at 4.30am on a cold winters night, when you've lost count of how many laps yo... read whole comment...
wildhighlander gave this trail 4 stars about 8 years ago
Lovely wee loop, with a nice mix of flowing singletrack swooping through the forest as well as more open sections over the hill. Short, but sweet.
cat89 gave this trail 4 stars about 8 years ago

Lap of Strathpuffer Route

Viewed 2987 times
Length: 6.2 Miles
Ascent: 259 m
Time: 1 hr
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Easy
Av. Trail Rating:
(2 votes so far)
This is one description of a lap of this circuit, but there are many other options open to you here, as there are various other paths dotted around the place, offering other little loops or short cuts to the route I've described.

The route starts off on a Forestry Commission road, climbing steadily for about a mile, before branching off to the right onto some singletrack through the trees.

A couple of hunded yards into the trees on the singletrack go straight ahead at the junction where there is an option to turn right, and emerge from the trees back onto the FC road, and turn right.

Climb climb climb on the FC road to the 2 mile mark, where you get a brief downhill. Keep right where the road splits at the start of the downhill section. You start to climb again, but at 2.5 miles in, on a lefthand hairpin on the FC road, turn off the road to the right where there are two little bridges side by side leading on to the singletrack.

The next 1.2 miles of singletrack vary from hard packed dirt / mud, bedrock, & little sections of northshore, all mixed in with short climbs & descents. There are a couple of places where there are options to turn off the main route, but the main loop is usually always obvious.

You emerge from the trees at about 3.7 miles, where the trail turns off to the right along a wider section of path. There is another path from your left running down the hill at this point that joins in with the route you are following.

Follow this track for roughly half a mile. Once it takes a hard left and you start a gentle climb, keep looking for the little gap in the trees to your right where the singletrack turns off. It is easliy missed ! It is sometimes marked with some tape, or reflectors in the trees to the right, but not always, so keep your eyes peeled !

Take the singletrack to your right, and climb to a small rise, and head for the hilltop in front of you with the wooded bench on top. Good view from here.

Turn right at the bench, and follow the descent through the gorse to a hardpacked roadway. Turn right onto the road, and follow it for about 150 yards, before veering off to the right where the hardcore path climbs away from the road, as the road turns left.

At the top of this hill you have a short downhill with 3 drainage ditches across the path to negotiate. With the speed you get from the downhill they are all perfectly 'bunny-hoppable', but they take no prisoners so don't get them wrong ! Alternatively you can roll the first two on the right just off the path, and roll the 'gap' in the centre of the third one. Brakes on after the third one, and look for the junction in the path to your left, it's marked by two rocks on the path as well.

Take this left and follow the singletrack to the last climb of the circuit, where there is a viewpoint on a rock just off the trail to your right at the summit.

The downhill starts off through the trees, and opens up on a right hand bend that gets tighter the further you are into it, and it's off camber as well for some extra fun ! After this there are no surprises from the trail, a good high speed run downhill. Look out for dog walkers though !
You'll cross a muddy ( usually ) FC road before you're back on the singletrack, to emerge onto an FC road again. Turn left, and go left again after about 50 yds, turning off the FC road just before it meets the junction with the other FC road.

You're now back into the trees for the final singletrack run downhill, which can be very muddy / slippy, before emerging onto the FC road at the bottom of the hill, near the car park.

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Comments and ratings for Off-road link from Garve
Not a trail you would actually come here solely to ride, but it certainly makes for a much nicer route between the Contin trails and Garve railway station and Rogie Falls en route is a highlight.
cat89 gave this trail 3 stars about 8 years ago

Off-road link from Garve

Viewed 1811 times
Length: 5.6 Miles
Ascent: 168 m
Time: 0.75 hrs
Tech Grade: Easy
Fitness Grade: Easy
Av. Trail Rating:
(1 votes so far)
If travelling to Contin by rail, this is a much more pleasant (and safer!) way of getting from Garve station to the trails at Contin.

The route:

From Garve station, take the small road that heads East (ie. the one heading away from the A835) over the river and past the cemetery. At the end of this road (tag 1) turn right at the T-junction. The road will soon become fire road and there should be a sign to Contin, although this is easy to miss.

This forestry road will take you round the North side of Loch Garve, before splitting at a railway bridge (tag 2). Here, turn right under the railway bridge, taking the track signposted to Contin.

About 2 miles later, you have the option of taking a detour of, at most, 200 yards to see Rogie Falls (tag 3). Not long after this point you reach the main fire road through Torachilty Forest (tag 4), at which point you can pick up the Strathpuffer route less than 1 mile in. Alternatively, continue down to the carpark and head on from there.

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Comments and ratings for Black Dyke to Erchless
walls gave this trail 4 stars about 3 years ago
Epic route, the scenery is outstanding, the run down to Erchless from the sumit is really fast but not very technical. Did I menation it was really fast. Only bummer is hte shuttle with the cars, but ... read whole comment...
foobarr68 gave this trail 4 stars about 3 years ago

Black Dyke to Erchless

Viewed 387 times
Length: 17.9 Miles
Ascent: 535 m
Time: 3.5 hrs
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Moderate
Av. Trail Rating:
(2 votes so far)
A bit of a pain due to requirement for two vehicles, or a very long return cycle - but an excellent trail that feels quite remote. This is over some extremely exposed terrain, so the usual warnings of "dress appropriately, map and compass, etc" apply.

Park near the entrance to Erchless estate (near Struy) and also in the "visitor's carpark" at Black Dyke, near Marybank. Retrace back to the main road at Black Dyke, cross the bridge and turn left, sign marked for "Falls of Orrin circular route". This section follows the river Orrin, with a very pleasant woodland surround. It's worth stopping at the falls, about a kilometre up the track.

Continue to follow the track, and cross over at the crossroads and cross the bridge. Pass through the estate gate (be wary of any red flags between August and October as this indicates stalking is in progress). The road continues up to Orrin damn, after which it starts to degenerate eventually becoming a landrover track.

Turn left when the track splits into two, this is the last deviation and the track can be followed all the way to Erchless.

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Average rating for the trails at Contin

4 Stars

5 votes for this rating
This venue has been viewed 14905 times

Overall comments about Contin

More trails in this forest than you'd expect in such a small area. Although the route used for the 'Puffer loop isn't exclusively for cyclists, there isn't much pedestrian traffic and there seems to b... read whole comment...
cat89 commented about 8 years ago

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