I’ve grown to know the mountain bike trails around Aviemore in the CairnGorms in Scotland over the last few years pretty well.
by Chris Hutchens, video by Thomas Hogden
While many friends would spend summers around the Cairngorm National Park, camping along the edges of Loch Morlich, hiking hills and many experiencing the night life which this small town has to offer, it was never a holiday location for me. It was only into my twenties that I started exploring this vast area of the UK. I wish I’d started earlier!
The town offers – most seasons – a superb variety of skiing, climbing and hill walking to name a few activities. Skiing is popular on the CairnGorm Mountain Ski Area and is boosted by the miles of backcountry that can be found. It’s a Scottish adventure town at it’s best. It’s also fast becoming an even more popular location for mountain biking.
It’s always attracted mountain bikers and Glenmore Lodge offers many courses for the aspiring guide or new mountain biker along with other providers in the area including Cycle Wild Scotland who I recently completed my Level 3 Mountain Bike Leader assessment with. The growth of the trail/enduro bike is only helping the access into the hills and trails here. It a place for adventure!
We took the opportunity to head to the area and meet up with local Ronan Duggan. I’ve been mates with Ronan for a number of years so it was great to hit up his local spot with Aussie James Hall. James, who I met at the recent EWS in Madeira, made the trip up for the weekend and left with a real appreciation of the riding on offer in Scotland. Aviemore gives a flavor of the variety that can be found across the country.
Ronan, while not able to ride the whole weekend due to work commitments, ensured we got to ride something unique and special. We were expecting a mellow singletrack but Ronan had other ideas. We heading into the hills and quickly found ourselves descending down some rock pitching and hopping water bars that even 29’ers struggled to get over! After an intense start things settled down with a ride to the Green Lochain and some trails behind Glenmore Lodge. This was a welcomed change before a few beers and, of course, Haggis for James. The verdict on that was a resounding thumbs up!
The remaining time was spent hitting up the more ‘natural trails’ around the area from big mountain walking paths to some steep and technical trails closer to the town. A lot of this I’d ridden while others were new trails. What’s great is that I always want to come back to Aviemore and there’s always something else to go and ride.
I’ll be back again soon and would encourage anyone to make the trip there. A weekend is enough but a week can easily be filled.
Keep an eye out for some Hutch Adventure videos from around the area throughout the summer showcasing more of this area.
Where is Aviemore?
Aviemore is in the Cairngorms National Part in the Scottish Highlands.
Your best bet is to just hit the road and visit in the car, staying in one of the local B&Bs. Aviemore is just 90minutes by car from Fort William so it makes for a good stop on your Fort William World Cup road trip.
Flights stop at Inverness, Aberdeen and Dundee. You can also fly to Edinburgh or Glasgow.