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Abernethy Forest and the Pass of Ryvoan
An off-road bike route through native forests
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Distance: 25 miles from Coylumbridge
Difficulty: Off-road cycling difficult, though there are easy sections. A few sections on roads.
Average Time: Five hours
How to get there: Train or drive to Aviemore then the ski road.
Riding conditions: Dirt trails in the forests, paths on the open hill are likely to be more rocky.
Directions: (O.S. Landranger Map 36).

From Coylumbridge, you have the choice of turning left, to do the outward journey to Nethybridge on the B970, or continuing on towards Loch Morlich and using trails via An Slugan (start at grid ref 958 097).

The B970 is fairly quiet with good views. Whether you take the public road or the An Slugan route you should also go via Abernethy Forest and Loch Garten.

Abernethy Forest, like Rothiemurchus further south, is part of the natural Scots pine forest that once covered all the highlands; habitat of red squirrel, wildcat, pine marten and red deer. Ospreys were re-established near Loch Garten in the 1950s, a helping factor was the free lunch available to them from nearby Rothiemurchus fish farm.

In Nethybridge take a minor road between the post office and the River Nethy, travelling west. This climbs gently, then turns south to the forest becoming a track.

Keep straight on, ignoring any left turns, to a T junction. Turn left here to travel east, then take the second turning to the right (south). If you meet the forest lodge, which is private, you have missed the turning.

There is a fork in the track near here, you can take either, the left-hand trail (coloured red on the map) takes a rather lower line on the approach to the pass.

Both paths climb steadily, sometimes steeply, and are now winding and more difficult, rather than just being forest trails.

When you leave the trees most of the climbing is done. Cairngorm will be visible ahead, you may see skiers on it if it?s winter and your eyesight is good enough.

The path becomes rocky and more Scots pine appear, then after reaching open country again you pass Ryvoan Bothy. Usually there will be someone camping there.

Soon after this there is a rocky steep descent, more like a river bed than a path, and after this a left turn leading towards Bynack Stable. This is not a stable, but another bothy (rough shelter).

The path to Bynack Stable is mostly bikeable, but cycling any further than this, for example up Strath Nethy is completely impossible.

Continuing south the path enters Glenmore Forest Park. Despite being sandy in places it is quite fast (be considerate to walkers) and mainly downhill.

Soon you pass Lochan Uaine, crags above, then drop to a small bridge. After this at Glenmore Lodge, the track finally becomes a road. Turn right at the ski road to return to Aviemore.

There are more bike trails to the south of Loch Morlich and in Rothiemurchus.
Where to stay: Aviemore youth Hostel (01479-810345)

Loch Morlich Youth Hostel (01479-861238)

Tourist Information (01479-810363)

There is a Forestry Commission camp site by Loch Morlich (01479-861271) or you could stay in Ryvoan Bothy (rough shelter) free of charge (sleeping bag, stove and food required).
Where to eat & drink: Nethybridge has a tea room, the Nethybridge Hotel can do bar lunches. The Post office and shop in Glenmore Village by Loch Morlich also has a tea room. There are lots of pubs in Aviemore and a Stakis hotel in Coylumbridge.
Bike Shops: Inverdruie Mountain Bikes (01479-810787).
Further Information: No Further Information Available
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