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The Gaick Pass
Description:
A remote mountain bike route in the Central Highlands
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Distance: 21 miles
Difficulty: 40% novice (estate road), 50% moderate, 10% difficult (non experts walk); there is a river crossing with no bridge, DANGEROUS if there has been recent heavy rain.
Average Time: Allow all day, fast cyclists could do it in one day as a circular, returning on the National Cycle Network route.
How to get there: Train to Pitlochry or Kingussie. By car, park at a lay-by 500 metres south of the Trinafour turn-off on the east side of the A9 (grid ref 724 704), this is ten miles north of Blair Atholl. At the north end leave a car in Kingussie.
Riding conditions: Good Land Rover Track (10%) - poor track (40%) - rough footpath (10%) - good estate road (40%).
Directions: Directions Northbound

(O.S. Landranger Maps 42 and 35).

Opposite the Trinafour turn-off, a gate leads to a dirt road up the hill, sign Public Footpath by Gaick to Speyside. The dirt road climbs through trees. Ignore a right turning. Leave the wood by a radio mast to a track.

Don't take a left turn which drops down to the burn, pass through a gate by a ruined cottage, a cairn on the left. After this the track drops to the burn, passing another cottage, then crosses the burn to the west side on a wooden bridge.

Pass Stronphadruig Lodge (unoccupied) standing in trees on the right. The long dam-like feature ahead is a glacial moraine and the first loch is beyond this.

The track curves left then crosses the burn. Splash across this ford, then a little way after, leave the track carrying your bike up the side of the glacial moraine.

Care is necessary by the side of the loch owing to the steep sides. At the end of the loch, if it?s safe, cross the river that flows out of it. If the water is low you might be able to jump from boulder to boulder, otherwise wade across.

You meet a Land Rover track, it?s a descent to Loch Bhrodainn. Gaick Lodge can be seen, ignore a little bridge over the river.

Assuming the water level is reasonable it?s possible to bike across the Allt Garbh burn. Go downstream after crossing.

After Loch an t Seilich its eight miles on the estate road to Tromie Bridge, then another three miles on the B970 to Kingussie. A locked gate on the estate road stops cars coming up, you can bike round.



Directions Southbound

In a southerly direction start at the bridge over the River Tromie, two miles east of Kingussie (grid ref 790 996). A dirt road leads through trees by the bridge. The initial part is unsurfaced to persuade people it doesn?t go anywhere much.

The road follows the bank of the River Tromie, initially through woods, it then passes on to open hillside. Shortly after this you meet Bhran Cottage on your right by the river. A mile after this bear right to cross the river on a small bridge.

A mile after Gaick Lodge bear right, splashing across the river to keep on the Land Rover track. After passing the second loch there is a steady climb to Loch an Duin. The Land Rover track runs out 200 metres before the loch. If it?s safe, ford the river where it leaves the loch to gain access to the track on the west side.
Where to stay: Pitlochry Youth Hostel, Knockard Road, Pitlochry PH16 5HJ. 01796-472308

Tourist Information, 22 Atholl Road, Pitlochry 01796-472215

Beechwood B&B, The Terrace, Blair Atholl PH18 5SZ. 01796-481379

Dalgreine, St. Andrews Crescent (Guest House) Blair Atholl PH18 5SZ. 01796-481276

The Laird?s Bothy (hostel), High Street, Kingussie PH21 1HZ. 01540-661334.

Homewood Lodge B&B, Newtonmore Road, Kingussie PH21 1HD. 01540-661507

The Osprey Hotel, Ruthven Road, Kingussie PH21 1EN. 01540-661510
Where to eat & drink: Pubs in Kingussie, plus a selection of tea rooms, carry outs etc.
Bike Shops: Service Sports, High Street, Kingussie 01540 661228
Further Information: No Further Information Available
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