Thursday, 21 September 2023
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.
Work is also underway on new trails and facilities as part of the Glentress Masterplan.
Works for the Glentress Masterplan will be taking place throughout 2023 and will cause some trail and facility disruption. Please follow all signage and instructions from staff while visiting the forest.
The Buzzard’s Nest car park and Freeride Area is permanently closed for Forest Holidays development works. Zoom or Bust and Ho Chi Zoom Link trails are also closed. No public vehicles will be allowed up the forest road beyond GoApe. Walkers, bikers and horse riders can still use the forest road as normal. The Buzzard’s Nest Skills Area and other designated trails nearby remain open (subject to existing diversions/closures).
All car parking is now in the main visitor hub area at the bottom of the hill. Bike access to the Skills Area from the car parks will be available via vehicle based uplift operated by Adrenalin Uplift. Vehicle access for forest businesses and clubs to the Buzzard's Nest Skills Area can be arranged in advance by contacting our local office, but will be limited to drop-offs only.
From Monday 21 August the Gateway building (toilets/showers/wildlife hub), Peel car parks and bike wash will be closed for approximately 8 - 10 weeks while the next phase of the masterplan project is delivered. Alternative toilet facilities are available at the cafe and Go Ape toilet block.
All parking, including disabled parking, will be in the new car parks on the left as you enter the forest. Bike washing facilities are also located here. The bike shop and cafe are open as usual and can be accessed on foot/bike using the pedestrian/bike lane over the Peel bridge. Vehicle access across the Peel bridge will be restricted to authorised vehicles only.
A temporary visitor hub site plan will be located at various points around the new car parks to help with orientation while the closures are in place. Please follow all diversion and safety signage.
While works progress at Glentress, we ask all visitors to take care, follow all safety signage, and follow instructions from staff and contractors around the forest.
The Pond Trail is getting new waymarkers.
It will remain a white waymarked trail but posts during the changeover may either be round (old style) or square (new style).
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.
Allow ¼ hour
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.
Glen Trail is changing from a waymarked green trail to a purple trail.
In the changeover period, please expect either/ or green or purple walking trail posts.
Green posts are in the old round style. Purple posts have a new square style.
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.
Allow 1 hour
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.
The Time Trail is partly closed to allow Forest Holidays development. The closure is signposted on the ground. The Glentress Walking Trail Route Card, shows the current 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.
Allow 1½ hours
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.
Buzzard's Nest Trail is changing from a waymarked red trail to a yellow trail.
In the changeover period, please expect either/ or yellow or red walking trail posts.
Red posts are in the old round style. Yellow posts have a new square style.
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.
Allow 2 hours
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.
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.
Allow 4 hours
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.
Glentress is one of the world class 7stanes mountain bike venues. It features a wide range of trails for beginners and experts alike.
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 £1 (accepts coins only) - please help by cleaning your bike after your ride (and before, if required). Thank you. #keepitclean
Close to Buzzards Nest you'll find the Skills Area. Offering green, blue, red graded trails to help you choose the right trail for you. 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.
An excellent beginner route through Glentress's oldest, tallest and most magnificent trees. This trail starts and finishes at the Glentress Gateway. The route has gentle gradients and mellow bends that are a perfect introduction to mountain biking.
This trail is closed due to storm damage.
A fabulous trail that provides stunning views of Peebles, the Tweed Valley and the surrounding hills. 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!
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. This route is split into a lower loop and upper loop – each 5 miles / 8km long. Start at the trailhead at Glentress Gateway 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.
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. 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 Gateway and is recommended for experienced riders only.
A long, technical ride packed with epic climbs and thrilling descents that’ll make you smile from ear to ear, the Black Route is a physically demanding ride.
For a day to 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, 40 feet above the forest floor! There’s a really long zip wire to finish, whizzing high over the ponds in the valley.
The Wild Watch Centre is currently closed due to development works. There is no public access to the Gateway Building.
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. Follow the Project's Facebook page at:www.facebook.com/tweedvalleyospreyproject
Our bee observation area is now closed for the season due to construction starting in the area. Check back for updates.
Dogs are welcome in the visitor centre and café. There's water and sheltered tie-up points outside the café.
The charges to park at Glentress are:
Pay by coin, card or RingGo
Available in advance by downloading the application form and emailing to the Regional Office. Please read our Annual Pass terms and conditions (PDF) before applying.
Valid at all Forestry and Land Scotland car parks except Tentsmuir.
In order for Blue Badge holders to exit the new automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) barrier system for free (start date in 2023 to be confirmed), please complete and return the following registration form:
The turn-off for Glentress is well signposted on the north side of the A72 between Peebles and Innerleithen.
EH45 8NB is the nearest postcode.
Beautiful views of Tweed Valley and 2000 years of history
Climb through rolling hillside forest for glorious valley views