|Loch Rannoch and Glen Lyon
|Two off-road bike routes, fast descents - stunning scenery!
||Choice of (A) 22 miles or (B) 34 miles (8 off-road). Both routes are circular.
||The off-road cycling is moderate except for the descent to Bridge of Balgie (option B) which is difficult. Road sections are mostly single track with passing places.
||Option (A) five hours. Option (B) three hours.
|How to get there:
||Train to Pitlochry then ride the south Loch Tummel road to Carie via Kinloch Rannoch. By car the A9 then the A827 to Aberfeldy, then the B846 (see location map).
||Sections in Rannoch Forest are on dirt forest roads, on the open hill the route is on rough tracks or footpaths.
||(O.S. Landranger Map 51).
Option A (22 miles circular)
Start near the car park at Carie west of Kinloch Rannoch on the south side of Loch Rannoch (grid ref: 617 572). There is a sign Public Path to Glen Lyon. Mountain bikers should use the forest road just west of it. This runs parallel to the footpath and begins just west of the car park. Go south for two miles until you come to a cross-roads (see map insert).
At the crossroads turn right to go north. (The other route is a left turn going south.) After a little way you pass a lochan on the left, then bear left on to a wide forest road. Continue downhill, ignoring a track that joins from the right but at the next T junction turn sharp left. Some way after this, at the next junction, bear right to cross the Dall Burn. After crossing the burn climb to a T junction and turn left.
The track goes upstream on the north bank of the burn and slowly curves round to the west. The forest becomes less dense giving better views. At a left bend the track turns north, becoming a newer forest road, bear right here to continue west along the older path. After two miles you drop to another burn to leave the forest. Cross the bridge then turn left (south).
The path winds south-west between two hills with Scots pine trees, tracks lead south towards the hill of Garbh Mheall - you could explore these. Otherwise continue west crossing three bridges. At the last bridge turn right and descend steeply to Bridge of Gaur. Return to the start by the public road.
Option B (34 miles, 8 off-road)
This is the same as Option A as far as the forest junction, but here you turn left to go south. At the edge of the forest lift your bike over a deer fence using the ladder for walkers.
Soon you see Ben Lawers ahead. Pass an old iron fence at the summit, then drop to a wooden bridge. Following this there is a gentler section, the Allt Ghallabhaich burn plunging steeply to your right. You enter forest again crossing above a waterfall.
The summit of Ben Lawers can be seen ahead before the path drops into trees. There is another gate, also not locked, and then an easier gradient. Finally descend more gently to meet the public road.
To do the route in a northerly direction start east of Bridge of Balgie, by the church and war memorial. There is a sign: public footpath to Loch Rannoch.
|Where to stay:
||B&Bs and two hotels at Kinloch Rannoch. The Dunalastair Hotel is recommended (01882-632323). It also does bar lunches. Wild camping along the route would be fine providing you get up the hill a bit.
The Fortingall Hotel
(01887-830367) at the east exit of Glen Lyon is a fine old hotel, they do cream teas on the lawn in summer, plus of course pub lunches. There is a youth hostel in Pitlochry (01796-472308).
|Where to eat & drink:
||Hotels at Kinloch Rannoch, Coshieville and Fortingall, see accommodation. Food shop at Kinloch Rannoch, the Post Office at Bridge of Balgie is also a tea room.
||The nearest bike shops are in Pitlochry and Killin both do bike hire.
||No Further Information Available
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