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Venue: Kemnay

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Venue Type:
No. of Trails: 3
Car Park
From North exit the A96 at Port Elphistone and take the B993 West towards Kemnay. Fron the South exit the A96 at Kintore and take the B994 towards Kemnay. From the West, again take the B993 from the Tillifourie turn off on the A944.

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Kemnay is a village in rural Aberdeenshire, and part of the commuter belt for Aberdeen. It has 3 pubs/hotels, 3 takeaways and various small shops. There's a car park in the centre of the village, from the main road through the village take the turning opposite Kemnay Primary, turn right at the end of the road and it's just on your left.

Trails at Kemnay


Trail TitleLength (Miles)Ascent (Mtrs)Time (Hrs)Tech GradeFitness Grade
Fetternear & Slack Woods12.32771.5 Easy Easy
Bennachie and Pitfichie32.710475 Hard Hard
Aquhythie & Fetternear10.12521.2 Easy Easy

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Comments and ratings for Fetternear & Slack Woods
Excellent cross country straight forward trials- worth it for the short sections of singletrack
gav501 commented about 8 years ago
gav501 gave this trail 5 stars about 8 years ago
Rating of my own trail entry. Good for a quick bash to keep the fitness up, or for a relative beginner. It has variety but isn't that technically challenging. Interesting in the dark too! I've probabl... read whole comment...
ravelin gave this trail 3 stars about 8 years ago

Fetternear & Slack Woods

Viewed 879 times
Length: 12.3 Miles
Ascent: 277 m
Time: 1.5 hrs
Tech Grade: Easy
Fitness Grade: Easy
Av. Trail Rating:
(2 votes so far)
This is a local ride for me, one I do if I don't have much time. It's a mixture of just about everything. Some paved minor roads and estate roads, some rough(ish) land-rover track and some single-track through the woods. It's possible to do at night with lights if you know it, but route-finding can be a bit problematic first time out as some of the single-track side route aren't terribly obvious. Even in daylight some of the trails aren't the easiest to follow at times e.g. in Autumn when they are under a covering of fallen leaves.

The route starts at the entrance to Fetternear Estate on the other opposite side of the River Don, just after you cross the bridge. There's space here to park 4-5 cars, or park in Kemnay itself and cycle the short distance to the start. Note that the paths etc both in Fetternear Estate and Slack Woods are popular with dog walkers (including me), families etc out for a walk, especially on nice days, so be aware!

To start, at the entrance gates to the estate, don't go through them but instead turn right along a faint path in the trees back towards the bridge. You'll come to the top of a short, steep slope which can be ridden down. Just keep to the left to avoid the tree that someone has helpfully painted a target on along with the words "Place head here". Follow the faint path through the trees with the river Don to your right, nettles can be a problem here, especially if wearing shorts! Eventually you'll run out of path so you bear left to come out of the trees onto the estate road.

Follow the road for a short distance until you see a bridge over a stream to your right. Cross the bridge and then a short time later take the right-hand land-rover track at the Y junction. Follow this track for around 3km, with views down to the River Don below, until you pass through 2 gates, one shortly after the other (the only real irritation on this route). Take a sharp right here on the minor road and cross the River Don on the foot bridge.

Once across the bridge, climb the stairs and turn right to follow the minor road for around 700m. As you see the the edge of Slack Woods on your left there's a track entering the field. Take this track then turn almost immediately right onto a narrow path into the tree. You'll know you've got the right path if you whack your pedal off the rock that helpfully sits right in the middle of it. Now you have to grind your way up the short climb on a sometimes overgrown and muddy track.

Once at the top of the climb continue straight ahead along the good track until you come to a clear-felled area on your left (if you get to the barrier at the end of the track you've gone too far). Just short of the clear-felled rear there's a path to your left into the trees, take it. This path winds its way along the edge of these trees, with fields to the right. It's twisty, rooty, but not too muddy or too difficult to follow. At the end it'll dump you out onto a somewhat overgrown fire-road. Turn right and climb briefly to re-join the main track.

Once at the main track, turn right, heading back the way you came earlier. Now comes the tricky bit! You are looking for a faint path to your left after about 5-600m. It's tricky as there's actually a number of paths, a few of which I've explored, and all but the one your looking for lead nowhere particularly rideable. Best description I can think of is it goes into some mature deciduous trees not long after a section of dense, young conifer trees ends. Once on it, follow the single track path as it swings right alongside a wall and loops round back to the main track again. It can be muddy in places after rain but is quite straightforward (apart from a tight turn after a tree stump that I can never seem to do without putting my foot down).

Now on the main track again, turn right and head back up the track until almost where you turned off for the little loop you've just done. This time you want to turn left, again along a faint path to do another small loop. Again this is relatively straightforward, but look out for the wheel swallowing hole at one point just to right of the path. Again this dumps you out onto the main track, a bit lower down the hill. Turn right and enjoy the decent back down to the minor road again.

From here it's time to backtrack a bit. Turn right and follow the minor road back to the foot bridge across the River Don. Turn left at the house and through the two gates again (I told you they were irritating), following the track you came down earlier back uphill. This time though keep an eye out for a track heading uphill off to your right. There's a green signpost pointing up it, but it's still easy to miss.

Follow the grassy path uphill until you can go no further. Turn right into a better, but still narrow path that skirts around a conifer plantation until you come to a more open area. Keep going straight ahead up the wide track until it flattens out, then head slightly right along a root section of path into the trees. Here the narrow path splits. Keep to the left and you can follow a path to complete the circuit of Cot-town Wood and return back to this point. The circuit can be quite fast in dry conditions, but can be wheel-suckingly muddy after heavy rain. To continue though you need to take the narrow path that heads downhill to the left.

This narrow, twisty path heads downhill through a narrow belt of trees. The path includes a couple of 'features' that have been built by someone which are small and easy enough to ride over. Also look out for the natural features i.e a couple of large rocks at different points that hide in the grass at the side of the trail and catch your pedals if you're not careful. The path ends in short section of boneshatteringly bumpy track before you reach one of the estate tracks again.

Turn left on the track and follow it past the old stable block before it swings right to take you across the bridge you crossed early in the ride. After crossing the bridge take a right turn then the next left (divert to the right for a quick look at the ruins of the Bishops Palace if you like). Follow this track until you see a wet hollow on your right with a rope swing in a tree. Head off to the right, past the swing towards the wall. Here you can turn right and follow a short loop of path, which can be worth doing if you still have the energy to take it at speed. Either way, the finish is off to your left, following the path just inside the wall until you hit the estate road again. Turn right and you are at the finish.

There's lots of options on this route of missing some of the loops out, or repeating them as time or inclination dictates. It's not the most technically demanding of routes but does have its nice bits.

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Photos for Bennachie and Pitfichie
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Comments and ratings for Bennachie and Pitfichie
Did this route in reverse direction yesterday, a mistake on my part, but still a great run plenty of hard climbing and fantastic views. One crash, one puncture, one broken rear brake pad split pin (th... read whole comment...
trekmamba gave this trail 5 stars about 6 years ago
Nice idea linking them up, really really enjoyed the descent from tag 12, fast and loose but never too steep. Shame about the long road section in the middle, the main road is real busy and as much a... read whole comment...
dee gave this trail 3 stars about 7 years ago

Bennachie and Pitfichie

Viewed 656 times
Length: 32.7 Miles
Ascent: 1047 m
Time: 5 hrs
Tech Grade: Hard
Fitness Grade: Hard
Av. Trail Rating:
(2 votes so far)
A Big ride ranging from quiet roads natural paths and the trail centre of Pitfichie

This is a big circular route I have done from Kemnay.

Starting from the centre of Kemnay-take the Blairdaff road crossing the River Don-Tag 1. Follow road out to Blairdaff passing some houses and a church on the right. Ignore the first right which takes you to Burnhervie and Inverurie, but take the 2nd right (tag2).
Follow this road for 500meters, then take a left(tag3) then shortly left again. Follow road for 1km and take right turn signposted Donview(tag4). Ride along the road till you come to Donview carpark on right(tag5). At carpark follow the left path which emerges onto forest road which climbs up through the forest and emerges out into the open as the angle eases. Folow this track and be carefull of the rooty parts along the way-especially in the wet! You eventually come out onto a large forestry road- Take a left and follow it as it goes downhill- after a couple of hundred meters, keep a look out for a smaller track going right. follow this track. It eventually goes through a recently felled area of woodland before joing a larger forest road. Left here. then very shortly take a right onto another track(tag6). At first it climbs gently, then moderately. Ignore a branch off to the left and keep right, then it starts to steepen! follow as it emerges onto the hillside and joins onto another track known as the Gordon Way. Take a left here(tag7). The track starts to get rougher then narrows and gets peatier and rockier. Fun and Challenging! Eventually you join a Landrover track- follow this down the hill whilst looking out for another track branching left(tag9). It climbs steeply and roughly for a very short distance before flattening out then heading downhill again you will emerge onto a newly created forest track(tag11). Take a left here and climb up and as it flatens out at the highest point-Keep a very sharp look out on the bulldozed rubble of earth on the right for a small cairn. Lift your bike over this and you will emerge into a singletrack in the trees. ride this through the trees which starts to open up then you will come to a drystane dyke with a path going through the gap and another path goin to the right(tag12) take the path through the dyke going along the open hillside towards a small patch of trees. Follow it through the trees then you will zigzag down the open hillside and the path emerges near an old sand quarry. Follow the track out of the there and you will come to a road.(tag13). Take a right and follow road till eventually it comes to a junction. take a right and shortly left again tehn crossing the Don and head for Whitehouse. At Whitehouse Im afraid it take a left onto the main road towards Tillyfourie. Follow main road ignoring(tag14) and head to Tillyfourie and turn left onto the road there. Follow road for approx 1and a half km and look out for road on left Signposted Pitfichie cycle trails. follow this small road for over 1km and keep a look out for the forest trails car park.(tag15). Follow forest road passing stone circle and 1km after that keep and eye out for the cycle trails sign(tag16) - the trail leaves the forest road and climbs up a steep bank into the woodland. Follow this path then you come to a very challenge climb to the top of the first hill which I have to climb without putting a foot down as it is steep and loose. Once at the top its time for the first decent which has some nice technical rocky parts but soon things can get muddy. Follow path as it flattens out but with some rocky obstacles to keep you entertained before emergering onto forest road(tag17). Take a left here and follow briefly before taking a left onto the manmade section of the trail (tag18). climb this over some all rideable but testing features to the summit of Cairn William.

Now that all the climbing has been down you can look forward to a fantastic descent down the hillside. Smile! Once the descent flatens out going over a couple of jumps and round some berms- Keep a look out at one of the corners for a path branching off right (tag19). This can be very muddy in sections but it is a good single track descent which keeps you off the forest track for that bit longer! You emerge onto forest track and take a left(tag20). follow forest road and downhill to a steep part and you emerge at the unofical downhill carpark- You will see the end of the downhill track to your left with the big jump. Keep an eye out at that point for a path going right(tag21) Narrow and watch those gorse bushes. Emerging onto a track follow down to road- take a right then you will come to juction(tag22). Take a right here and follow road which crosses river don then take next right(tag23) and follow road all the way back to Kemnay!

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Photos for Aquhythie & Fetternear
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Comments and ratings for Aquhythie & Fetternear
Got a chance to try out the new bits on Xmas Eve. I rode down through Fetternear rather than take the minor road from Kemnay and then did all the singletrack in Aquhythie/Slack woods as per this route... read whole comment...
ravelin gave this trail 4 stars about 8 years ago
Some new bits for me to explore there when I get the time. I love the photos too, you said you'd been out in the morning but I didn't realise you'd been out that early.
ravelin commented about 8 years ago

Aquhythie & Fetternear

Viewed 502 times
Length: 10.1 Miles
Ascent: 252 m
Time: 1.2 hrs
Tech Grade: Easy
Fitness Grade: Easy
Av. Trail Rating:
(1 votes so far)
A slight variant on the other Kemnay trail that is listed here.
There are quite a various number of singletrack paths branching off from the main Forestry road in Aquhythie woods- the ones that are the better ones I have included in this trail- nothing to technical, but there are some nice twisty rooty singletrack sections.
Worth exploring!

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Average rating for the trails at Kemnay

4 Stars

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