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Glentress

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Latest forest information

  • An Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) car parking system is now in place at Glentress, with entry and exit barriers. Please find more information below.
  • Some sections on the Blue, Red and Black mountain bike routes are closed (with diversions) due to storm damaged trees. Details below.
  • The Janet's Brae road (linking Buzzard's Nest to Peebles) is closed, 7 days a week, from Saturday 6 April - Friday 19 April for Forest Holidays construction works. We hope to re-open this road at weekends from Saturday 20 April. 
  • Skills Area near Buzzard's Nest is closed permanently for Forest Holidays development works. New Skills Area at Visitor Centre opening in 2024.
  • Works for the Glentress Masterplan will be taking place throughout 2024 and will cause some trail and facility disruption (details below). Please follow all signage and instructions from staff while visiting the forest.  

Further details about works at Glentress

About

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.

Work is also underway on new trails and facilities as part of the Glentress Masterplan

Visit Scotland four star award     Green Tourism gold award

  Current work operations and status

Works for the Glentress Masterplan will be taking place throughout 2024 and will cause some trail and facility disruption. Please follow all signage and instructions from staff while visiting the forest.

Storm damage - ongoing
We are still working to repair trails damaged by storms. However, most mountain bike trails are now open with diversions. See the Bike section below for further details.
Buzzard’s Nest Closure

The Buzzard’s Nest car park, Freeride Area and Skills Area are 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.  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. At the Visitor Centre - new trails including Taster trails are open and a new Skills Area will be opening in 2024.

The Janet's Brae road (linking Buzzard's Nest to Peebles) is closed Monday to Friday for tree felling operations until the end of April 2024 (open at weekends).

 

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.

Frequently asked questions

Walking trails

All trails are accessed by following the shared, Multi-user Trail first. 

The Multi-user Trail is marked with a brown line on the map and trail distances below include this Multi-user Trail section.

All trails cross or include forest roads, look out for vehicles and other users.

Glentress walking trail route card (PDF)

Walking

Multi-user Trail

Discover great views over the Tweed Valley on this accessible path around Glentress. The Multi-user Trail connects the Glentress Gateway to the café, bike shop, skills area, taster trails and the start of all walking and mountain biking routes.

Wide, firm gravel path with gentle slopes and various resting points. One section of minor road crossing with a fairly steep side slope. Moderate slope for access between Gateway and café/bike shop.

Easy trail grade icon
1 ¼ miles / 2.2 km

Allow
 ¾ hour

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.

Easy trail grade icon
1 ½ miles / 2.6 km

Allow
1 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. 

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 and some narrow openings.

Moderate trail grade icon
2 ½ miles / 4.1 km

Allow
1 ½ hours

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 (closed)

A trail notice is in effect

  • Monday to Friday: Time Trail is fully closed. Janet's Brae between Peebles Hydro and Buzzard's Nest, including the link road from Buzzard's Nest to Peebles are completely closed due to tree felling operations until the end of April 2024.
  • Partially open at weekends: Janet's Brae and forest road link between Peebles and Buzzard's Nest is open at weekends. A section of the Time Trail, that loops behind the forest road to the west, remains closed throughout. 

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.

Please note, when accessed from Glentress Gateway, you should allow for an extra 3 hours to complete this trail.

Strenuous trail grade icon
2 ¼ miles / 3.8 km

Allow
1½ hours from Buzzard’s Nest

More information

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 some narrow openings and steps.

Strenuous trail grade icon
4 ¾ miles / 7.6 km

Allow
3 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 (diverted)

A trail notice is in effect

  • Timber lorries loading at timber stacks around post 14 (Monday - Friday) - please make sure operators have seen you and signalled for you to pass. Please follow safety signage on site.

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.

Please note, when accessed from Glentress Gateway, you should allow for an extra 3 hours to complete this trail.

Strenuous trail grade icon
9 miles / 14.3 km

Allow
6 hours from Buzzard's Nest

More information

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

The 7Stanes logo. including the text "Mountain bike trails"

 

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 route card (PDF)

 

You can get an idea of some of the trails on offer by watching the amazing video from Street Pigeon MTB below.

Get involved

If you’d like to get involved in the mountain biking community, check out the Glentress Trailfairies.

All MTB network trails

All network trails are accessed by following the shared Multi-user Trail first, which is marked with a brown line on the map. 

Mountain Biking

Glentress Skills Area (closed)

A trail notice is in effect

  • Our old Skills Area near Buzzard's Nest is now closed but a new Skills Area is currently being developed – opening 2024.
Mountain Biking

Taster Trails

Develop your skills on our Taster Trails before heading out on the main mountain bike routes. There are Blue (Moderate) Red (Difficult) and Black (Severe) graded Taster Trails. You can find them at the far end of the Multi-user Trail loop, to the east of the Gateway building.

A trail notice is in effect

The Taster Trail descents from the tunnels down are closed for repair. The Blue, Red and Black Taster climbs and Taster descents above the tunnels are open. At the closure barriers please exit carefully onto the Multi-user Trail, looking out for other users. 

Mountain Biking

Lower Green Route

Grade – Green: Easy 2 ¼ miles / 3.5 km
Green: Easy
Is this trail for you? Find the right grade for your abilities

Grade - Green: Easy  fls web icon cycling green easy
Expect relatively flat, wide, and smooth trails. Gentle climbs, descents, rollers and berms, with easy to avoid features such as rocks and potholes. Surface might be loose, uneven or muddy at times.

An excellent introduction to mountain biking. The route heads out on the Multi-user Trail into the forest before passing through some of Glentress’s oldest, tallest and most magnificent trees. After The Admiral, return to the Glentress Gateway on the Multi-user Trail then Apple Peel to finish.

Mountain Biking

Upper Green Route (closed)

Grade – Green: Easy 2 ¾ miles / 4.5 km
Green: Easy
Is this trail for you? Find the right grade for your abilities

Grade - Green: Easy  fls web icon cycling green easy
Expect relatively flat, wide, and smooth trails. Gentle climbs, descents, rollers and berms, with easy to avoid features such as rocks and potholes. Surface might be loose, uneven or muddy at times.

A fabulous trail that provides stunning views of Peebles, the Tweed Valley and the surrounding hills. This purpose-built singletrack route starts from Buzzard's Nest, which is sign-posted from the forest entrance. It’s a fair old pedal up from the bottom of the forest (only 2km but lots of climbing) but the views are totally worth it!

A trail notice is in effect

  • This trail is closed due to storm damage. 
  • The Janet's Brae road (linking Buzzard's Nest to Peebles) is closed, 7 days a week, from Saturday 6 April - Friday 19 April for Forest Holidays construction works. We hope to re-open this road at weekends from Saturday 20 April.  
Mountain Biking

Glentress Blue Route (diverted)

Grade – Blue: Moderate 10 miles / 16.0 km
Blue: Moderate
Is this trail for you? Find the right grade for your abilities

Grade – Blue: Moderate  fls web icon cycling blue moderate
Expect a mixture of climbs and descents with moderate gradients, technical features like tree roots and rock steps; jumps and berms. Rollable features at controlled speed. Variable surfaces.

The Blue Route is big fun for all – from novices taking the next step up from green routes to experienced riders. This route can be split into various loops.

Start at the trailhead at Glentress Gateway and climb as far as the Buzzard’s Nest. Then either descend the bottom loop or continue to include the upper loop too. So many highlights, including Berm Baby Berm, Blue Velvet and Good Game. Add on the new descents – Harry’s Blue and Turn and Burn – for a thrilling flow trail finish. If you’ve got a mixed ability party, this is a great choice for the whole team.

A trail notice is in effect

  • Short diversion at the exit of Cardie Hill Climb (post 10 to post 11) to bypass around the Forest Holidays construction site at Buzzard's Nest.
  • First part of Falla Brae closed due to storm damaged trees over trail, diversion at start of Falla Brae (post 31) to bypass, rejoins trail before Good Game.
Mountain Biking

Glentress Red Route (diverted)

Grade – Red: Difficult 11 ¼ miles / 18.0 km
Red: Difficult
Is this trail for you? Find the right grade for your abilities

Grade – Red: Difficult  fls web icon cycling red difficultExpect a mixture of steep climbs, descents and / or avoidable features. Larger jumps, berms and rollable features at controlled speed. Technical features such as tree roots, drop-offs and large rocks. Very variable surfaces.

This world famous route is for experienced riders and it's sure to put a huge grin on your face. It has everything - big climbs, fabulous views, fast flowing descents and a fantastic blend of trail styles.  

There are various options to finish: choose The Pie Run (shortcut) or Matrix and Lombard Street for the classic, more natural feeling Red Route return via Magic Mushroom and Falla Brae. Or choose Twitcher and Smells Like Tweed Spirit for an incredible bike park style flow trail finale.

A trail notice is in effect

  • On Saturday 20 April, Smells Like Tweed Spirit (Red flow trail finish) will be closed for the Cranked CC Mini DH event.
  • Route is diverted at the exit of Cardie Hill Climb (post 10), rejoining at the exit of Cool Runnings (post 12). The track up the side of Berm Baby Berm is closed for Forest Holidays development works. 
  • Forest road after exit of Spookywood Climb is muddy in places following recent tree felling operations.
  • Mushroom Pie is closed due to storm damage with short diversion to start of Magic Mushroom.
  • On Magic Mushroom, the first boardwalk is closed for a rebuild with a short diversion to bypass.
  • First part of Falla Brae is closed due to storm damaged trees over the trail, diversion at the start of Falla Brae (post 31) to bypass, rejoins trail before Good Game. Falla Brae is also closed at post 32 due to multiple storm damaged trees over the next part of the trail. Please follow the diversion via Good Game and the Blue Route back to the Visitor Centre.

 

Mountain Biking

Glentress Black Route (diverted)

Grade – Black: Severe 18 miles / 29.0 km
Black: Severe
Is this trail for you? Find the right grade for your abilities

Grade – Black: Severe  fls web icon cycling black severe
Expect a long and steep climbs, descents, and jumps. Numerous hazards including drop-offs and severe features. Rapid rate of surface change. Commitment required.

A long, technical ride for expert riders that takes you into the wilds of Glentress with epic climbs and thrilling descents. Return via the more natural Double X, Head Over Heels and Wormhole trails to link up with the end of the classic Red Route or via Twitcher and Castle Black for a thrilling, full on bike park style flow trail finish.

A trail notice is in effect

  • Route diverted at exit of Cardie Hill Climb (post 10) past exit of Cool Runnings, then up the old Pennels Vennel trail (reopened as a climb) to post 27 then via Blue Velvet and new forest road to Soor Plooms. Look out for walkers using the Pennels Vennel trail in both directions - it's also being used as a diversion on the Tower Trail Walk.
  • Look out for timber lorries loading at timber stacks at the 5 road junction between Blue Velvet exit and Soor Plooms entry (Monday - Friday). If you meet a lorry loading or manoeuvering, please wait until operator has clearly signalled for you to pass.
  • Mast road is muddy in places following recent tree felling operations.
  • Route closed at post 73 on Carl's Lane with diversion (via Spooky Wood, Mud and Roots, forest road and Mild Peril) rejoining halfway down Deliverance. Sections closed long term due to storm damage are Boundary Trail and the first half of Deliverance. 
  • Upper part of Redemption Climb (post 87 - 90) closed due to multiple storm damaged trees over trail. Diversion via Escape Route to post 45 then forest road climb, ending at the start of Double X (post 92).
  • First part of Falla Brae is closed due to storm damaged trees over the trail, diversion at the start of Falla Brae (post 31) to bypass, rejoins trail before Good Game. Falla Brae is also closed at post 32 due to multiple storm damaged trees over the next part of the trail. Please follow the diversion via Good Game and the Blue Route back to the Visitor Centre.

Activities

Go Ape tree-top adventure

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.

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. Follow the Project's Facebook page at:www.facebook.com/tweedvalleyospreyproject

Keep it clean

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

Glentress bees

Our bee observation area is now closed for the season. Check back for updates. 

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Mountain biking
Mountain biking
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Easy-access facilities
Easy-access facilities
Treetop adventure
Treetop adventure
Cafe or refreshments
Cafe or refreshments
Wildlife hide
Wildlife hide
Visitor centre
Visitor centre
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Bike hire
Bike hire
Shower
Shower
Picnic area
Picnic area

Opening hours

  • The Gateway building is open daily from 9am to 4pm. 
  • The Glentress Forest Cafe is open weekdays 9am to 4pm (last kitchen orders 3pm, lite bites served until closing) and weekends 9am to 5pm (last kitchen orders 4pm, lite bites served until closing). 
  • The Alpine Bikes shop is open daily 9am to 4.30pm. 

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

  Car parking information

An Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) car parking system is now in place at Glentress.

When you enter our car park, the camera will read your vehicle registration number and the entry barrier will raise to let you through.

The charges to park at Glentress are:

  • Free for up to 30 minutes (the exit barrier will raise automatically)
  • £3 for up to 1 hour
  • £4 for up to 3 hours
  • £6 for all day
  • £24 for minibus or coach all day

The first 30 minutes of parking are free – and the exit barrier will raise automatically for you if you have stayed for less than 30 minutes.

If you are an annual parking pass holder, the exit barriers will raise automatically for you.

If you have stayed longer than 30 minutes, and are not an annual parking pass holder,  please pay by card before you leave at any of the pay machines located in the car parks and outside the Gateway building. Please leave within 20 minutes of paying.

If the exit barrier does not raise, please press the ‘help’ button and someone will assist you.

Blue Badge holders

Blue Badge holders park for free. You can either:

  • Have your vehicle registration added to our system (using the form below) so that it will recognise your car and allow you to come and go for free whenever you visit
  • Or enter the last 7 digits of your Blue Badge number at the pay stations before you exit the car park

Glentress Blue Badge registration form

Annual parking pass available:

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.

Tweed Valley Car Park Pass - £90 per car and £135 per mini bus or coach
FLS National Car Park Pass - £100 per car and £150 per mini bus or coach

Valid at all Forestry and Land Scotland car parks except Tentsmuir.

FLS National Pass application form

More parking info

Accessibility

The logo for Euan's Guide, indicating that we're listed there, with disabled access reviews

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.

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6900 (option 1)
More contact information

Nearby forests

Woman in red jacket leans on wooden bridge, surrounded by trees, Cardrona Forest, near Peebles

Beautiful views of Tweed Valley and 2000 years of history

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Horse riding
Horse riding
Picnic area
Picnic area
Ancient monument
Ancient monument
Distance from 'Glentress': 0.82 miles
Woman in white gilet walks through woodland with dogs, Cademuir Forest, near Peebles

Climb through rolling hillside forest for glorious valley views

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Horse riding
Horse riding
Distance from 'Glentress': 1.52 miles
Man stands at sculptures on Pirn Hill Fort Trail, overlooking Innerleithen, Caberston

A forested climb to the site of an Iron Age hill fort

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Ancient monument
Ancient monument
Distance from 'Glentress': 2.72 miles