Monday, 06 March 2023
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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. Keep up to date on the project with the Masterplan blog.
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 will be closed from 3 April 2023 for Forest Holidays development works. Zoom or Bust and Ho Chi Zoom Link trails will also be closed. No public vehicles will be allowed further 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 from this date will be 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.
The start of the Forest Holidays development has been delayed from 1 March to 3 April due to additional wildlife monitoring work needed. This means we’re able to keep the Buzzards Nest car park, Freeride Park, Zoom or Bust and Ho Chi Zoom Link trails open a little longer.
Tree felling work for a new forest road in the area just north of the Freeride Park/Anderson Quarry is now completed. Construction of the new forest road will start in early March and should be completed by the end of April. Trail closures/diversions currently in place due to the works are:
There will be some tree felling work in the Zoom or Bust/Time Trail/Skills Area/Freeride Park areas until Friday 10 March (weekdays only). Trails are due to remain open with short delays possible - please follow all onsite signage and instructions from staff.
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.
Glentress walking trail route card (PDF)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Glentress 7stanes route card (PDF)
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
If you’d like to get involved in the mountain biking community, check out the Glentress Trailfairies and the Tweed Valley Bike Patrol.
Weekdays until Friday 10 March: Forestry work taking place in the Zoom or Bust/Time Trail/Skills Area/Freeride Park areas. Trails will remain open, but with short delays possible - please follow all onsite signage and instructions from staff.
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.
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 Peel Visitor Centre. 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 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.
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 is best ridden from the trailhead at Glentress Peel and is recommended for experienced riders only.
The Black Route, and other black graded trails at Glentress, are open. However, there are several diversions due to ongoing works and storm damage. Click 'more information' below to see all diversions.
A long, technical ride that includes epic climbing and thrilling descents that’ll make you smile from ear to ear. The Black Route is a physically demanding and super fun ride.
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.
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.
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.
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
The bees did not manage to return to Glentress this year so we have taken the hive away in order to spruce it up for next season.
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. Or take your completed form to the Glentress Peel Cafe. Please read our Annual Pass terms and conditions (PDF) before applying.
Valid at Glentress (all sites), Cardrona and Innerleithen.
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.
Have a question or suggestion for improvement?
Beautiful views of Tweed Valley and 2000 years of history
Climb through rolling hillside forest for glorious valley views
A forested climb to the site of an Iron Age hill fort