Interesting mountain biking in native pine forests.
Key route details
- Main Region: The Highlands of Scotland
- Distance: 5 miles
- Difficulty: Moderate route
- Type of Ride: Mountain Biking
- Surface: Dirt Footpath
- Environment: Rural
End Point: Loch Morlich
Rushing rivers, native pine forests, a variety of mountain biking - you can see why this area is popular.
For the adventurous the trip to Loch Einich will provide a challenge, and a view of the remote loch long remembered. For families the trails around Loch an Eilein and south of Loch Morlich will provide good days in beautiful scenery, the backdrop of the Cairngorms never far away.
There are tea rooms at Inverdruie and Glenmore Village (Glenmore Shop). Phone numbers: Loch Morlich Youth Hostel: 01479-861238. Aviemore Youth hostel: 01479-810345. Inverdruie Mountain Bikes: 01479-810787. Aviemore Tourist Information: 01479-810363. Glenmore Camp Site: 01479-861271.
The description assumes starting from Loch an Eilein but access is also possible from Coylumbridge or Loch Morlich. There is a visitor centre at Loch an Eilein giving information about the Cairngorms (toilets & car park). Loch an Eilein means loch of the island in Gaelic. The castle on the island dates from the 12th century.
Leave the visitor centre, cross the river, then bear right following the loch shore. After a mile take a left turn to leave the loch. The other path goes right round, however Rothiemurchus Estate ask that you do not bike round. It is possible to gain access to Glen Feshie via forest paths to the south of Loch an Eilein (see other route).
Continue east along a sandy trail to the first junction: Lochan Deo. Turn right here (south) to go to Glen Einich, or keep straight on to for Loch Morlich.
The journey to Loch Morlich is not entirely smooth as the track gets rough in places. You have to carry your bike over the Cairngorm Club Footbridge. Shortly after the bridge there is another junction in the path anachronistically named Picadilly. The right turn here leads up to the Lairig Ghru, the most famous mountain pass in Scotland. This pass takes you from Speyside to Braemar, a distance of over twenty miles. It rises to 835m. Walter Poucher writing in 1947 said that a bicycle was a disadvantage, and this is still true despite improvements in bike technology.
Turn left at a forest road leading to Rothiemurchus Lodge. A mile after this you reach Loch Morlich. Turn right just before the public road to gain access to the Loch Morlich trails (see map). There is a shop and tea room by the camp site at Glenmore village.