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Glentress

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Glentress Forest Notices

All Mountain Biking and Walking Trails are open, with temporary closures. (Last updated 13 November)

  • The timber trails section on the Essentials Freeride Trail is currently closed for maintenance with a short diversion in place. See below for details.
  • On Saturday 16 November the Black Mountain Biking Route will be 50% closed for the Glentress Winter Trail Half Marathon. Details below.
  • All other MountaIn Biking Trails and Walking Trails remain open, but look out for lots of runners in the forest on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 November. Brief delays possible on the forest drive by the Peel Café, to allow races to start.
  • Trailfairies volunteer session doing maintenance work on Spookywood Descent on the mountain biking Red Route between 9.30am and 1pm on Sat 16 November. Section will stay open to ride but please look out for signage and the trail crew, a brief stop and walk by our work areas may be needed. Thank you!

Award-winning mountain biking and so much more

Glentress is rightly celebrated for some of the best mountain bike trails in the country, but that's just the beginning of the story. 

Visit for walking, tree-top adventure and magnificent views of the Tweed Valley. Explore our Wildlife Room where you can watch our observation beehive, view our live osprey cams and learn more about other wildlife you may encounter in Glentress Forest. There's great coffee, food and cake in our buzzing café too.

Guide map to Tweed Valley Forest Park (PDF 3.8MB)

Visit Scotland four star award     Green Tourism gold award



Walking trails

Walking

Ponds Trail

Stroll around the enchanted Glentress ponds, an oasis of ash, birch and pine that is home to herons, bats and red squirrels.

Firm gravel path with regular seats. Short moderate ramps with some loose stones. Includes a wide kissing gate and bridge, and a narrow 0.85m opening.

Easy
½ miles / 0.9 km

Allow
¼ hour

More information

The ponds lie in a hollow where a grove of Douglas fir once stood. Some of the trees came down in a storm some 40 years ago, and the ponds are now a peaceful, sheltered corner of the forest. There are ten brass rubbings of forest animals and birds along the way, ideal for a family activity.

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Walking

Glen Trail

Discover the charms of Glentress Burn, passing its serene ponds before winding through the magnificent Douglas firs above.

Numerous short steep slopes with some loose gravel. Some narrow and uneven earth sections with exposed tree roots. A short flight of steps, and several kissing gates and narrow openings.

Moderate
2 miles / 3.3 km

Allow
1 hour

More information

The Douglas fir trees on ‘Dougie Bank’, just above the ponds, are nearly 100 years old. Some of the trees from this part of the forest now sail the high seas as masts on tall ships. Douglas fir from Glentress has also been used to build the café and toilet block at Glentress Peel.

Walking

Time Trail

Get a glimpse of our Iron Age past on this delightful high level promenade above the Tweed Valley, with spectacular views over Peebles to the Caddon Hills.

Mostly firm gravel surface. Some sections of uneven earth and grass with exposed tree roots. Long moderate slopes with some steeper sections.

Moderate
2 ¼ miles / 3.8 km

Allow
1½ hours

More information

Starting from the Buzzard’s Nest car park, visit the fortified settlements at Janet's Brae and imagine how our ancestors would have lived in this area over 2000 years ago on this fascinating route through a beautiful and varied area of the forest.

Walking

Buzzard’s Nest Trail

Explore the varied plantations of Glentress Forest, including characterful areas of Scots pine, Douglas fir and Norway spruce, and good views across the valley from the slopes of Cardie Hill.

Firm gravel and earth surface with loose and uneven sections. Long steep slopes for 400m. Includes kissing gates, narrow openings and some steps. Look out for vehicles and other users.

Strenuous
3 miles / 4.9 km

Allow
2 hours

More information

Along the way you’ll find stories about the foresters who’ve built Glentress, including the ‘Lumberjills’ – women who worked here during World War II.

Walking

Tower Trail

Climb to the top of Glentress Forest and pass the Iron Age settlement at Shieldgreen Tower. Magnificent views over Peebles and Soonhope Burn.

Rough earth and grass paths, often narrow. Several long and continuous steep slopes for over 500m. Some short muddy sections.

Strenuous
5 ¾ miles / 9.3 km

Allow
4 hours

More information

On Saturday 26 August expect mountain bikers crossing the Tower Trail due to the Peebles CC Youth Stage Race. Please look out for signs and follow Marshal’s advice.Starting from the Buzzard’s Nest car park, this trail takes you through remoter, mature woodland to some fine viewpoints to the north. You’ll often see buzzards and roe deer along the way.

Mountain biking trails

7stanes2

Glentress is one of the world class 7stanes mountain bike venues. It features a wide range of trails for beginners and experts alike.

Glentress 7stanes Mountain Biking Trail Map (PDF 826KB)

Phytophthora Ramorum, a disease that kills larch trees, has reached nearby Innerleithen’s Traquair Forest. Please help slow the spread of the disease by making sure your bikes, shoes, kit, dogs, horses, buggies etc., are all clean before visiting the Glentress and other forests.  Our bikewash in the Peel car park is FREE - please could you help by cleaning your bike after your ride (and before if required) Thank you. #keepitclean

Uplift to the Buzzards Nest car park and shuttles around the Tweed Valley available on weekends with Adrenalin Uplift.  More info and to book here.

Get involved

If you’d like to get involved in the mountain biking community, check out the Glentress Trailfairies and the Tweed Valley Bike Patrol.

Mountain Biking

Glentress Skills Area

Close to Buzzards Nest car park you'll find the skills area. Offering green, blue, red graded trails to help you choose the right trail for you.

More information

A place to practise and perfect your technique, suitable for kids, beginners or those looking for a refresher. Choose from the Blue or Green Loops, or the Red Trail to get warmed up.

Note: The skills area has undergone a makeover, with new features to help make it more attractive to families, kids and beginners. There are now some differences between the grading of the loops in the Skills Area 'on the ground' and what's detailed on the current 7stanes trail map. This will be updated soon.

Mountain Biking

The Lower Green Route

An excellent beginner route through Glentress's oldest, tallest and most magnificant trees.

Green: Easy
2 ¼ miles / 3.5 km

More information

This trail starts and finishes at the Glentress Peel Visitor Centre. The route has gentle gradients and mellow bends that are a perfect introduction to mountain biking.

Mountain Biking

The Upper Green Route

A fabulous trail that provides stunning views of Peebles, the Tweed Valley and the surrounding hills.

Green: Easy
2 ¾ miles / 4.5 km

More information

This purpose-built singletrack route starts from the Buzzards Nest Car Park, which is sign-posted from the forest entrance. It’s a fair old pedal up to the car park from the bottom of the forest (only 2km, but lots of climbing) so driving up is advised unless you’re feeling really fit!

Mountain Biking

The Glentress Blue Route

A hidden gem that's big fun for all - from novices taking the next step up from green routes, to experienced riders. There are options along the way for earlier finishes or you can go for the full whack.

Blue: Moderate
10 miles / 16.0 km

More information

This route is split into a lower loop and upper loop – each 5 miles / 8km long. Start at the trailhead at Glentress Peel and climb as far as the Buzzards Nest. Then either descend on the bottom loop or continue on, to include the upper loop too. So many highlights, including Berm Baby Berm, Blue Velvet, Good Game. It’s all good. If you’ve got a mixed ability party, this is a great choice for the whole team.

Mountain Biking

The Glentress Red Route

A trail notice is in effect

  • Trailfairies volunteer session doing maintenance work on Spookywood Descent on the mountain biking Red Route between 9.30am and 1pm on Sat 16 November. Section will stay open to ride but please look out for signage and the trail crew, a brief stop and walk by our work areas may be needed. Thank you!
  • The Boardwalk near the end of Magic Mushroom on the Red/Black Mountain Bike Route is now permanently closed. The line used for the tiny diversion is now the official route at this point.
  • Matrix and Lombard Street are now back open following forest road upgrade work - look out for small changes to the entries and exits of these sections.

This world famous route is sure to put a huge grin on your face with its technical climbs, fabulous views, fast flowing descents, jumps and berms.

Red: Difficult
11 ¼ miles / 18.0 km

More information

The Red Route delivers some of the best riding in the country, including the legendary 'Spooky Wood' - a stunning 1.5km singletrack descent with sweeping bermed bends. The route's best ridden from the trailhead at Glentress Peel and is recommended for experienced riders only.

Mountain Biking

The Glentress Black Route

A trail notice is in effect

  • On Sat 16 November the Black Route will be closed at post 72 (the Mast) for the Glentress Winter Trail Half Marathon with a diversion following the Red Route ending at Double X entry (post 92). Sections closed will be Carl's Lane (post 72-73), Boundary Trail, Deliverance, Redemption Climb, Ewok plus Bside (Trailfairy Plan), Zorro, Hush Hush (Five Year Plan), Ho Chi Min, Firetower and Mild Peril unwaymarked trails. Sorry for any inconvenience.
  • The last part of Redemption Climb, Ewok, Double X through to the Wormhole is now back open following forest road upgrade work – look out for small changes to entries and exits of these sections.
  • The Boardwalk near the end of Magic Mushroom on the Red/Black Mountain Bike Route is now permanently closed. The line used for the tiny diversion is now the official route at this point.

A long, technical ride that includes epic climbing and thrilling descents.

Black: Severe
18 miles / 29.0 km

More information

Packed with epic climbs and nail-biting descents that’ll make you smile from ear to ear, the Black Route is a physically demanding ride.

Mountain Biking

Glentress Freeride Park

A trail notice is in effect

The timber trails section on the Essential Freeride Trail is currently closed for maintenance with a short diversion in place. The rest of Essentials Trail and the other freeride trails are open as normal.

Packed full of advanced level features, the Freeride Park is an ideal spot for riders looking to push their skill levels, style it up, learn new tricks or just hang out and ride with friends. It's located right next to the Buzzards Nest Car Park.

Orange: Extreme
¾ miles / 1.4 km

More information

Check out the range of features big and small, which are perfect for practising your bike skills on. Whether you’re a novice freerider or a seasoned pro, there are areas built to suit all levels of experience. Read the onsite info panels before you jump on your bike.

Activities

Go Ape tree-top adventure

For a day you’ll remember, try the tree-top course at Go Ape. Climb rope ladders up into the branches and experience the thrills of trekking from tree to tree, some 40 feet above the forest floor! There’s a really long zip wire to finish, whizzing high over the ponds in the valley.

Tweed Valley Osprey Project

Since the 1990s, ospreys have been coming to the Tweed Valley to breed. The Tweed Valley Osprey Project works to make sure they’re protected and can find good places to nest. In the Tweed Valley Wild Watch centre view a summary of the 2019 nest footage through a short presentation video created by one of the volunteers. Up to date information from the various migration journeys can be found at tweedvalleyospreys.com.

Glentress bees

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It’s nearing the end of season now for Pinky and her bees. Why not come down and see them one last time before they head away on their winter hols.

Facilities & access

Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Easy-access facilities
Easy-access facilities
Cafe or refreshments
Cafe or refreshments
Visitor centre
Visitor centre
Shower
Shower
Picnic area
Picnic area

Opening hours

  • The Gateway Building is open daily from 9am - 4.30pm.
  • The café is open Monday to Friday: 9am - 4pm (last food orders 3:30pm) and Saturdays and Sundays: 9am - 5pm (last food orders 4:30pm).
  • The Alpine Bikes shop is open daily: 9am - 5pm.

Car parking charges

  • £2 for up to 1 hour
  • £3.50 for up to 3 hours
  • £5 for full day
  • £20 for minibus and coach all day

We strongly recommend bringng coins for parking machines. Payment by card available at Peel and Buzzard’s Nest car parks only.

Annual Parking Permits valid in Glentress, Cardrona and Innerleithen for 2020 are on sale from 1 December. They cost £90 for a car or £120 for a minibus and are valid till the end of the calendar year. A perfect Christmas gift for the forest lover in your life! 

For further information please contact the Ae Office, phone 0131 370 5500 or email enquiries.south@forestryandland.gov.scot.

Facilities for cyclists

  • Bikes can be hired from the Alpine Bikes shop onsite. Book your bike online before you visit.
  • Bike wash facilities can be found in the lower car park.
  • Changing rooms, lockers and showers can be found in the Gateway Building. Lockers cost £1. Showers accept £1 or 20p coins.

Dogs

Dogs are welcome in the visitor centre and café. There's water and sheltered tie-up points outside the café.

Getting here

The turn-off for Glentress is well signposted on the north side of the A72 between Peebles and Innerleithen.

Using SatNav?

EH45 8NB is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

Local bus services, including some from Edinburgh, pass the forest entrance. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6900 (option 1)
More contact information

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