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Storm Clean-up: Many of our forests, especially in the east and south of Scotland, remain closed. Please plan ahead and check online before visiting.

Balblair

Where we are

Latest forest information

Forests all across Scotland have been seriously affected by recent storms. We are doing everything we can to make our forests safe for visitors, communities, forest businesses and our staff. However, many of our forests remain closed while others have significant diversions and access restrictions for the foreseeable future. Please keep safe and follow all closure notices and safety signage.

Take care on or around open water. Find out more on our Water Safety page.

  • The bike trails at Balblair are currently closed to allow us to safely complete forestry work. We hope to reopen them in Spring 2022.  
  • The walking trail is still open, but please be aware of machinery moving through the car park and forest roads.

About

Wild mountain biking and peaceful forest walks

If you're looking for a mountain bike challenge, or peaceful walks to a pond where beasties lurk, this hidden gem is worth seeking out. You can explore its sunny forest glades and high rocky slabs on bike, foot or horseback. There's a sense of wild country on the tops, with views west and east over the hills, while deep in the forest you'll find sheltered clearings full of wildflowers and berries.

Balblair route card (PDF)

Walking trails

Walking

Pond Trail

A short climb through the pine forest to an enchanting little dipping pond.

Moderate climb to dipping pond. Narrow gravel path through trees to a wide forest road. No obstacles.

Strenuous trail grade icon
1 miles / 1.7 km

Allow
¾ hour

More information

Open forest glades let the sunshine in all the way to a pretty dipping pond. In summer these woodland clearings are home to butterflies and blueberries; in winter there are views to the snowy Struie hills.

Mountain biking trails

Balblair mountain biking route card (PDF)

Mountain Biking

Blue Trail (closed)

A trail notice is in effect

The bike trails at Balblair are currently closed to allow us to safely complete forestry work. We hope to reopen them in Spring 2022. 

Soar through the trees on this twisting trail.

Mostly wide gravel paths with some loose sections and long, gentle to moderate slopes. Can be muddy when wet.

Blue: Moderate
2 miles / 3.2 km

More information

An enjoyable quick blast through the trees for competent riders looking to improve their bike handling skills and an ideal warm up for experts attempting the Balblair Black. Work on your balance on the tight twisting sections, then let the good times roll on the smooth downhill Ceilidh Trail. Start at the second car park.

Mountain Biking

Black Trail (closed)

A trail notice is in effect

The bike trails at Balblair are currently closed to allow us to safely complete forestry work. We hope to reopen them in Spring 2022. 

Top of the world rock slab.

Mostly loose gravel singletrack with sections of bare rock and boardwalk. Can be muddy and very steep in places.

Black: Severe
4 ½ miles / 7.2 km

More information

A fun and memorable black with technical rock features and fast-flowing downhill. The full, lung-busting climb up Cnoc an Tionail (knock an tinnell - hillock of the gathering) gives you spectacular views before a rock slab descent down Candy Mountain that'll test even the most courageous! Start at the second car park. The route follows the Blue Trail at the start and finish.

 

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Mountain biking
Mountain biking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area

The nearest public toilets and café are less than a mile away in Bonar Bridge. You can hire bikes from shops in nearby Ardgay and Tain.

Car parking information

There is no charge to park in this car park. Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates.

More about parking

Getting here

Balblair is 1 mile north of Bonar Bridge on the A836 road to Lairg.

Using SatNav?

IV24 3EE is the nearest postcode, on the edge of Bonar Bridge.

Public transport

The nearest bus stop is in Bonar Bridge, 1 mile walk from the forest. If you have a bike, Ardgay train station is an easy 2 mile cycle away. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Nearby forests

View from viewing platform down onto rapids, waterfall, gorge at Falls of Shin

Ancient woodland, Atlantic salmon and thundering falls

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking icon
Parking
Cafe or refreshments
Cafe or refreshments
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Play area
Play area
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Balblair': 5.53 miles
A man looks over tall trees from a viewpoint while a woman reads a leaflet

Descend down by Allt Mor burn into Raven's Rock Gorge

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Balblair': 6.24 miles
Yellowing oak leaf

Towering pines and a bed of heather ten minutes from the beach

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Play area
Play area
Picnic area
Picnic area
Distance from 'Balblair': 6.76 miles

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6100 (option 2)
More contact information

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