Cairgorm mountain biking circuit
May 08 and the weather was settled I decided to have a go at a Caingorm mountain biking
This circuit is three days and involves days of 6 hours, 5 hours and 5 hours at an easy
Day1 Braemar to Aviemore - 62km GPX1
Its a nice 10km warm up along the road from Braemar to Linn of dee. I turned left after
the bridge onto the track along the north side of the river crossing at White Bridge and
keeping left to cross the wilderness along the north side of the Geldie Burn. The track
deteriorates beyond Geldie Lodge area. Its possible to cycle most of it but with a bit of
pushing and bog jumping now and again. Shortly after the Eidart Gorge bridge the
marvelous singletrack down Glen Feshie starts. I made the most of it by staying off the
landrover track as long as possible.
From Ruighaiteachan Bothy I kept to the east side of the Glen along a lovely track through
the woodland on Coille an Torr, swinging off left onto singletrack to Auchlean when the
main track swung uphill.. I think it may be better to keep high away from Achleum as I
found it a bit boggy on the lower track.
The final leg into Aviemore was a dream, after 6km along the tarmac I turned off (straight
on at a sharp left bend) at Lagganlia onto singletrack and made my way to Lochan Eilein on
forest tracks and some lovely single track from the bothy (MR885056) then kept right on a
forest track to Blackpark out to Inverdruie and Aviemore. The second part of the day was
fabulour, the first part a bit dull.
Day2 Aviemore to Tomintoul- 43km GPX
I avoided the tarmac road to Loch Morlich by retracing my route to Lochan Eilein then by
way of the Carngorm Footbridge along the track on the south side of Loch Morlich to
Glenmore Lodge and onward to Ryvoan bothy. I used the ford rather than going around
by Forest Lodge. Wading in knee deep water in bare feet while shouldering a mountain
bike isn't to be recommended. Around the south side of Carn a' Chruic to Eag Mhor was
easy but another large burn needs to be crossed to get to the faint track to the gap. Eag
Mhor gap itself was a bit disappointing (would be much better going the other way) only a
short bit of singletrack before boggy ground and a stream crossing out to Ballintuim and
The track over to Glen Brown gives a thrilling descent but first there is a long climb up
past Fae and Letteraitten before this reward.
The route follows the faint track (not the big obvious landriver track uphill) along Burn of
Brown on the north west side of the plantation crossing the burn many times, then climbs
up past Stronachavie to a fast descent down to Bridge of Avon and Tomintoul. I stayed in
the Glen Avon Hotel and filled up on steak pie and beer.
Day 3 Tomintoul to Braemar- 37km GPX
I left Tomintoul south side and turned right downhill toward the river Avon. There is a
parking area and track away from tarmac for a bit, then its tarmac and landrover track
along the east side of the glen all the way to Inchrory 9km up the glen. The route goes
up to the east side of Loch Builg straight south from Inchrory. The lochside has some
nice singletrack and a little beach on its north side, lovely for a picnic. 300m beyond loch
Builg is an easy to miss right turn after two little lochs followed by a nice descent to the
bridge over the river Gairn.
A long long climb goes up the shoulder of Culardoch but there is great reward, from here
its almost all downhill to Invercauld bridge. However my map didn't show the track
junction 2km north of Invercauld house, I went right but I think left would be better
down to the main road and Braemar.
Summary- Lots of remote landrover tracks, some great scenery, lots of ups and
downs and about 150 km of cycling.