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Venue: Ballater

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Venue Type:
No. of Trails: 13
Facilities:
Car Park
Toilets
Bike Shop
Bike Hire
Bike Wash
Cafe
Location:-
Ballater is 40 miles west of Aberdeen, along the A93. Alternatively it is reached by driving north from perth, through breamar and continuing on 17 miles.

Click here to see a detailed map and information about any additional locations.
Description:-
Well into the Cairngorms National Park on the A93, Ballater is a great starting point for lots of mountain biking trails.

The local bike shop "Cycle Highlands" (see link opposite) is the hub of MTBing in the area. There are also a selection of t-rooms that cater for outdoor enthusiasts. In perticular "The Bothy" is open 364 days a year from 9-5 and has a wood burning stove going all winter!


Trails at Ballater

Summary


Trail TitleLength (Miles)Ascent (Mtrs)Time (Hrs)Tech GradeFitness Grade
North Ballater15.79744 Moderate Moderate
Round the Coyles of Muick20.14562.5 Easy Easy
Cairn Leuchan115952.5 Moderate Hard
The Green Mile7.33201 Moderate Moderate
Green Mile - NeepRoute165393 Moderate Moderate
Ballater and Loch Kinord163392.45 Easy Moderate
Ballater16.15124 Moderate Moderate
Loch Muick & Glen Girnock38.26326 Easy Moderate
Morven and Peter Hill11.84953 Moderate Hard
Round Knockie Branar17.47644 Moderate Hard
Sgor Bhuide6.63651.5 Moderate Hard
Ballater to lock Muick20.84603 Moderate Moderate
Glen Muick18.74003 Easy Moderate

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Comments and ratings for North Ballater
cat89 gave this trail 3 stars about 2 years ago

North Ballater


Viewed 532 times
Length: 15.7 Miles
Ascent: 974 m
Time: 4 hrs
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Moderate
Av. Trail Rating:
(1 votes so far)
Description:-
An old Neep ride we don't do to often any more.

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Comments and ratings for Round the Coyles of Muick
Nice and easy ride, with some decent views n stuff. More a pleasant leisurely day out than a mountain bike route as such.
portydave gave this trail 3 stars about 1 year ago
A great route for less confident riders or families who wish to get some sense of "true mountain biking" without having to face challenging terrain.
cat89 gave this trail 4 stars about 2 years ago

Round the Coyles of Muick


Viewed 686 times
Length: 20.1 Miles
Ascent: 456 m
Time: 2.5 hrs
Tech Grade: Easy
Fitness Grade: Easy
Av. Trail Rating:
(2 votes so far)
Description:-
This route is virtually all on fire road and minor roads, but is still an enjoyable ride thanks to the classic Cairngorm scenery it takes in. Especially nice in late summer to early autumn when the heather is at its best and the rowan trees are bearing fruit.

The route:

From Ballater, head out of the town in the direction of Aberdeen, crossing the bridge onto the South Deeside Road. Either turn right along the road or head on into the woods and turn right to take the trail that runs parallel to the road for a short stretch.

About 1km from the bridge, turn left onto the road signposted to Loch Muick (tag 1). Then, when you come to a junction a few km along the road (tag 2), turn right over a bridge then immediately right again onto a forestry road. This road climbs for several km alongside the River Muick, passing a fish ladder at one point.

After the climb begins to level out upon reaching Glen Muick, you will see a cottage to your right, with a track leading up the hill (tag 3). Turn off onto this fire road and follow it as it climbs through a short wooded section then opens out onto the open hillside, with good views of Lochnagar to one side and the Coyles of Muick to the other.

Simply follow this trail across the hill until you come across the first turn-off to the right (tag 4). The take this turning and enjoy the long descent down through Glen Girnock. Unfortunately, there is a locked deer gate towards the end of this descent, but it is possible to fit a bike through the walkers' gate if the seatpost is removed.

When you rejoin the road (tag 5), turn right to head back towards Ballater. If you wish to shorten the distance, simply follow the road back to Ballater. Otherwise, take the first turning to the left (tag 6) onto a track which will take you round The Knock and briefly alongside the River Dee before returning to the road.

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Comments and ratings for Cairn Leuchan
I really enjoyed this route. I think 2.5hrs is about what it took me although i rode most of the road section at the end hands free at an easy pace on what was a very lovely evening.Most of the ascent... read whole comment...
ballaterzaskar gave this trail 4 stars about 1 year ago

Cairn Leuchan


Viewed 462 times
Length: 11 Miles
Ascent: 595 m
Time: 2.5 hrs
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Hard
Av. Trail Rating:
(1 votes so far)
Description:-
Up to top of Cairn Leuchan (all forest road) with fantastic views.

The Ascent:

Not easy, quite long, but mainly non-technical. The top 100m are a marked contrast, being considerably steeper, with very loose rocky ground.

The Top:

Spectacular views of Mount Keen, Lochnagar, The Southern Cairngorms and Deeside. One of the best views to be had near Ballater of the village in it's setting. Lochnagar is magnificent to the west and stands out as THE hill to climb for visitors to Deeside. Mount Keen, the most easterly Munro, is only a stones throw away. Ben Avon and Beinn A Bhuird, two of the most easterly Cairngorms, round off a spectacular panorama.

The Decent:

Then down a steep, fast and rough singletrack (used to be a forest road). This is a bumpy singletrack largely without large rock hazards. It's fast and steep, a great workout for your brakes and your nerves.

Beware two high locked gates at bottom of descent. Bring a friend to help you get your bike over.

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Comments and ratings for The Green Mile
agnik1 gave this trail 4 stars about 2 years ago
Gee whizz I will have to get fitter it took me one hour 53 mins to complete.
scottie448 gave this trail 5 stars about 2 years ago
A classic route which can be started and finished in Ballater. Good views from the summit of the route across to Lochnagar. The singletrack descent stars off boggy but rideable but soon gives me for a... read whole comment...
gav501 gave this trail 5 stars about 2 years ago

The Green Mile


Viewed 594 times
Length: 7.3 Miles
Ascent: 320 m
Time: 1 hr
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Moderate
Av. Trail Rating:
(3 votes so far)
Description:-
This trail starts off on forest road in Alltcailleach Forest where you climb to the edge of the forest. Just after you burst out of the woodland the singletrack starts which is superb. Finishes by going through some forest with swoopy overgrown forest road where you can build up a lot of speed. Watch out for boggy section at start of singletrack.

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Green Mile - NeepRoute


Viewed 704 times
Length: 16 Miles
Ascent: 539 m
Time: 3 hrs
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Moderate
Av. Trail Rating:
(0 votes so far)
Description:-
This is an alternative route for "The green mile" track which includes a wee extra bit at the beginning round "The Knock", and a wee extra bit round "Charlie's back passage" at the end ;-)

This route starts and ends in the carpark just next to the Cycle Highlands bike shop in the middle of Ballater. It is tarmac until tag1 where you head off down a fire track on the flat, then you turn up to climb the small hill called 'The Knock' (fire-road all the way up). At tag2 you start the first singletrack of the day which is a rocky rooty quite technical flat section through some open trees to begin with, and then turns into a very fast overgrown double-track down to the road at tag3.

From here you have the main climb of the day which is a slow climb of about 250meters (vertical) up to the top at tag4. There are a couple of ups and downs on the way, but unfortunately the whole thing is just on fire-track. At tag4 there is a very posh looking hut thingy (normally locked). This is where we stopped for some lunch.

It is then out of the trees on open heathland on a track that can be hard to find to start with, but which is actually quite well worn once you find it. Flat, pedally, and quite boggy at the start, but once you get to tag5 or so, things should be fimrming up under tyre, and starting to get fast :-) This descent then just gets better and better. Very natural mixture of rocky, rooty, grass and heather with lots of speed and some interesting off-camber bits to keep you awake just when you start to get over confident.

The 'Green Mile' itself is actually a section of overgrown double-track through the trees between tag6 and tag7 at the road. This is a very fast descent. It's all about how much bottle you've got on such a grassy surface. This mile of interesting fast twisty double-track can be taken at warp-9 in the dry if you're brave enough. Watch out for a nice big drainage ditch about two thirds of the way down (its easily big enough to grab your wheel from you).

Then you come back on yourself again, and this time turn left at tag8 for a really nice piece of quite pedally singletrack with loads of ups and downs, yumps and bumps, twists and turns through the trees. This section (known to some as "Charlie's back passage" ;-) because it pops out at tag9 behind prince charlie's house at tag10) is not the kind of trail you want to be doing if you're running low on gas. There's not much descent to it and there's loads of rough bumpy stuff that is totally inefficient to get over unless you keep the speed up. But if you've got a bit of energy left over, its a fantastic wee run.




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Ballater and Loch Kinord


Viewed 405 times
Length: 16 Miles
Ascent: 339 m
Time: 2.45 hrs
Tech Grade: Easy
Fitness Grade: Moderate
Av. Trail Rating:
(0 votes so far)
Description:-
Starting from Cycle Highlands in Ballater- follow the old railway line out of town heading towards Aboyne. Cross the road to the Cambus O' May walks car park and head along towards Burn O' Vat which has a good singletrack descent.

Head round Loch Kinord anti-clockwise and cross the road and pick up the forest track at loch head and head south west back towards ballater.

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Ballater


Viewed 266 times
Length: 16.1 Miles
Ascent: 512 m
Time: 4 hrs
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Moderate
Av. Trail Rating:
(0 votes so far)
Description:-
This is a slight addition to Cambus o May 1

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Loch Muick & Glen Girnock


Viewed 453 times
Length: 38.2 Miles
Ascent: 632 m
Time: 6 hrs
Tech Grade: Easy
Fitness Grade: Moderate
Av. Trail Rating:
(0 votes so far)
Description:-
...

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Comments and ratings for Morven and Peter Hill
This is a nice route through remote land - good for a sunny day!
stoneymtb commented about 1 year ago
This is a nice route through remote land - good for a sunny day!
stoneymtb gave this trail 3 stars about 1 year ago

Morven and Peter Hill


Viewed 312 times
Length: 11.8 Miles
Ascent: 495 m
Time: 3 hrs
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Hard
Av. Trail Rating:
(1 votes so far)
Description:-
This route takes you deep into the heart of the Morven Hills which has a desolate feel to it.
Start at the bottom of the forest track coming down from the mast on the pass of Ballater road. Cycle along west along the road until the A93 is reached. Cycle along the A93 for around 200 meters and take the junction on the left up the unclassified road. Follow this until its end at Lary where there is a car park.
Follow the right hand track out of the track following the Lary burn. Ignore the first junction on the right and take the second, crossing the ford at point 2. This track climbs steadily up to the pass between Morven and Peter's Hill. Take the track on the right which climbs gently, then very steeply up Peter's Hill. As you begin to descend take the downhill track rather than the one climbing over the other tops. This track descends quickly to a col before climbing steeply up to the point marked 547m.
At point 5 turn left down a track following a fence line which it follows. Stay on this track down to point 6 where there is a short boggy section.
Turn left down another track which is very bumpy. Follow this down round a big corner. Descend to point 7 where a track leaves on the left. This is NOT marked on 1:50000 OS Maps. This soon turns into a nice singletrack that swoops through trees and descends to the road. When the trail comes within easy reach of the road, cycle over to it. Then go along the road back to the track bottom.

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Comments and ratings for Round Knockie Branar
Rode this today. Boggy in lots of places. If you'd asked me to rate it after the first descent I'm not sure it would have come out well. But there's actually lots of good bits sprinkled through it,... read whole comment...
wayne gave this trail 3 stars about 1 year ago

Round Knockie Branar


Viewed 379 times
Length: 17.4 Miles
Ascent: 764 m
Time: 4 hrs
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Hard
Av. Trail Rating:
(1 votes so far)
Description:-
As described in April 2012 What Mountain Bike.

Starting in the centre of Ballater, ride out over the river and along the road to Tag1 where you turn left up a rough track. This is the first big climb from there up fireroads all the way to Tag2. Turn right off the track onto a narrow grassy trail which is not very distinct on the ground. This but can be very boggy and has lots of burn crossings at which you'll need to get off the bike. After a bit of a wrestle with all the grass, mud, and boggy conditions, you'll arrive at Tag3. From here you have a descent down to the main fireroad at Tag4 which is generally much more well drained than the previous parts of the route, and is quite good fun.

You then have a gentle spin down the gradually descending fireroad, and then a climb on solid tracks all the way back up to Tag5. At this point you have a nice descent down a rough stony track. At Tag6 you go through a gate and turn left, to begin with the terrain is level (and quite boggy again), but at Tag7 it starts to get steeper, and turns into probably the best descent of the day. Rough, fast, dry, stony, great!

You cross a small burn at Tag8 and then it is just fireroads and roads to get to Tag9. At this point you could turn left to use a more direct route back, or the map shows an extra descent (and assent) through Torphantrick Wood. From Tag10 you are on a very smooth but fun little cycle path which starts off in the woods and ends up winding and swooping its way along side the river. Then from Tag11, you just have to use the road to go the last mile or so back into Ballater.

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Sgor Bhuide


Viewed 197 times
Length: 6.6 Miles
Ascent: 365 m
Time: 1.5 hrs
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Hard
Av. Trail Rating:
(0 votes so far)
Description:-
A short and physically challenging climb with a fast, rough and rocky decent. Uphill is tough on the rider downhill is tough on your bike!

1. From station square in Ballater head momentarily up the main road towards Breamar, once you have travelled 50m you will have crossed a bridge with a small shop on the right hand side, the bridge crosses what would have been the railway line to Upper Deeside. You turn right, immediately once you have crossed the bridge and carry on down a minor village road until you get to the playing fields where the Ballater Games are held. Just as you enter the games field you should see a track that borders the side of the field where you just entered, it is slightly raised above the field. Stick on this track and follow it out of the playing field and out of ballater keep going until you reach tarmac once more.

2.You are now on the pass of ballater. Turn right and follow the pass until you see a land rover track on your left hand side.

3. This is your route. You will need an easy gear from the start! Carry on up this track and either turn off right just before you reach the communications mast or carry on to the top, enjoy the views and then head back for that turning. You will know you are on the right track as it is particularly heavily crossed by roots and it's trickier to cycle up that what you have done so far although not perhaps as steep. There isn't much ascent left to do. You will soon me on open moorland with good views over deeside. Take the track on your left hand side, heading down into the valley. Compared to other tracks coming off for example Pannanich hill or Cairn Leuchan this track is both gentler and a lot rougher. There are lots of sharp rocks, some big dips in the track as well as the usuall larger rocks to be avoided. Full suspension and big tyres and advantage for this part of the route. The lower part of the decent is gentler, with less breaking for newbies.

3.Once back on the pass of ballater you turn right and head towards the main road.

4. turn left at the next junction, enjoy a smooth tarmac hill decent into ballater and back to station square. There are lots of places to get a coffee and something to eat, if you feel like you have earned it.

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Ballater to lock Muick


Viewed 101 times
Length: 20.8 Miles
Ascent: 460 m
Time: 3 hrs
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Moderate
Av. Trail Rating:
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Description:-


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Glen Muick


Viewed 89 times
Length: 18.7 Miles
Ascent: 400 m
Time: 3 hrs
Tech Grade: Easy
Fitness Grade: Moderate
Av. Trail Rating:
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Description:-
Off road but not technical ride up Glen Muick and back along Glen Girnock

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Average rating for the trails at Ballater


4 Stars

9 votes for this rating
This venue has been viewed 8336 times

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