Monday, 16 May 2022
Sitka spruce. It’s the most common productive tree in Britain. But why has this native of the pacific coast of North America become so widespread in NW Europe? In this article we l...
These purpose built mountain bike trails are fantastic fun for all levels, but especially good for novice and intermediate riders.
You can mix the green, blue, and black graded trails with forest roads and an orange-graded bike park and dirt jump area to make a full day in the saddle. If you've time to look beyond your front wheel, you'll enjoy some great views too.
Get a taste for mountain biking on this short sweet singletrack.
Take it slowly to get a feel for singletrack riding, or fast to enjoy the double jumps and tabletops. If you're looking to get a flavour of what mountain biking is about, this is a great place to start. Follow the forest road from the car park to the start of the trails. Turn right at the fork in the road.
Climb through the forest on blue singletrack.
A steady climb through big spruce trees and baby pines which pops you out at the top of the hill. You can take the forest road to Callachy Downhill and the Bike Park, or cross the public road and follow a flowing blue-graded descent to the start of Firth View and Learnie Hill. Take care when crossing the minor public road.
Follow the forest road out of the car park and keep left at the fork in the road. Muirhead Climb starts on the left hand side of this forest road.
Probably the best view from a bike trail - ever!
This is one of two trails on the far side of the public road and has a steep climb to a fabulous viewpoint - rest your body and feast your eyes on the dazzling views up and down the firth. Keep your eyes on the wheel coming though the boulder boulevard - this rocky downhill section deserves full attention. Follow the forest road from the car park, keeping left at the junction, and cross the public road. Turn left beside the road on a blue-graded descent and you'll see Firth View start just beyond the right hand fork.
Two blue gems that take you easily uphill and dizzyingly down again.
You can tackle these trails as two separate routes, or together. The Callachy Hill Climb (1 mile / 1.6 km) winds uphill through tall larch trees that are emerald green in spring and gorgeous orange in autumn, getting you to the top of the hill without too much muscle strain. From there you can try the Bike Park or continue on to the Callachy Downhill (3/4 mile / 1.2 km) - a sheer, spiralling, downhill delight!
For the Callachy Hill Climb go past the start of the Home Trail. The Callachy Downhill continues on from the Hill Climb, or you can reach it from the other side along a stretch of forest road and a fun green-graded link.
One of Scotland's trickiest blacks and technical enough to get your heart beating very fast.
It all begins with a challenging climb to Tracy's Trees, an intimidating downhill rock feature which can be bypassed if you feel faint at the sight. More rock gardens follow in scary succession including Seisometer, Gyroscope, and Dextrality, a unique stone horseshoe. Then it's time for fun, swoopy singletrack before tackling Mephisto - the devilish finale with a ten foot drop to the road...
From the public road, follow the forest road past the start of the Firth View trail to reach the start of Learnie Hill.
Build skills and put air under your tyres on this zesty downhill run.
Superb fun and a great way to finish your day at the trails. Go as hard or as soft as you like, depending on your experience. The big bermed corners and jump after jump after jump will help you build confidence and speed. You can get to the start of the Bike Park by taking the Callachy Hill trail and turning left before the downhill, or from a longer forest road route from the end of Muirhead Climb.
The nearest toilets and places to eat are in Cromarty and Rosemarkie. You'll find bike shops in Inverness, Strathpeffer and Dingwall.
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.
From Rosemarkie on the Black Isle follow the A832 towards Cromarty. About 3 miles (4.8 km) after Rosemarkie you'll see the car park on your right, at grid reference NH 749 612.
Nearest postcode: IV10 8SL
Buses run between Rosemarkie and Cromarty. You'll find timetables at Traveline Scotland.
Wildlife and archaeology on your doorstep
Visit the well and make a wish in this gentle woodland