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A9RUNNER
06-Jan-09, 01:02
I went for a cycle around the tracks in Dunnet forest on my mountain bike and fairly enjoyed myself, Looking for suggestions of other places to try. There is a mountain bike trail marked on the map of dunnet forest on the website but I couldnt find it LOL!! I did have fun exploring all the other tracks though. All suggestions will be considered.

Kathy@watten
06-Jan-09, 22:15
You need to throw your bike in the trailer and head to loch More, or Camster forest trails, or even go a spin to Rumster have done all of these with the bike all good tracks with various distances. good parking and not busy or covered in dog poo like Dunnet!

christina
08-Jan-09, 16:58
there is a trail that takes you along thurso east right along to the base at murkle with a few bits to test your skills on its a good wee track you can start at farm or outside CLB it should take you no longer than 45 mins there and back. they say you can go all the way to castletown but not seen other track after the base.also there are a few trails up broubster forest near shebster on way to shewry and if you go to the top you get a very fast run on way back down:eek: hope this helps i have been out to dunnet forest but cant find mb trail either:~( dunnet forest is great fun especialy at night with the lights on

A9RUNNER
09-Jan-09, 00:25
I have tried the broubster tracks and they are good, you can get a good lick of speed going on the way back down!!Never thought about along from Thurso East might go for a look sometime soon

dragonfly
09-Jan-09, 10:07
here's some routes taken off Caithness Cycling Club's mountain bike section
hope this gives you a bit more choice

Mountain Bike routes (http://www.caithnesscc.co.uk/Archives/2008/MTB/mtb_winter_rides.htm)

A9RUNNER
09-Jan-09, 18:20
http://i451.photobucket.com/albums/qq240/a9runner/912009/thursocycle033.jpg
http://i451.photobucket.com/albums/qq240/a9runner/912009/thursocycle035.jpg
http://i451.photobucket.com/albums/qq240/a9runner/912009/thursocycle038.jpg
It was nice to cycle out past Thurso East until I hit the smell of the sewage plant. I nearly boked up my breakfast!!! Not pleasant

Richards Garage
12-Jan-09, 00:45
I couldnt find the MTB trail at Dunnet either!So i just used what ever i could find!
Rumster Forest is ok too, but like Dunnet i find it pretty short. Loch More to Loch Dhu Hotel to Altnabrec back to loch More is a fine run. You can also get off the train from Wick or Thurso at Altnabrec and go to the Glutt and onto Braemore and Dunbeath, I find that area baron but beautiful.
The forest at strathy is ok for a quiet run, ive never met anyone up there! The Wildcat trails at golspie(goes round the duke of sutherland monument that is behind the village) is excellent, we go there as often as possible, brilliant range of diffrent trails for diffrent abiilities. There are also a couple of trails near Carbsdale castle but ive never experianced them.
Learnie Red Rock on the Black Isle(near Rosemarkie) is also very good, not as varied as Golspie though. Loads of diffrent routes around Aviemore which ive used on Several occasions(too many people about at certain times of the year in my opinion) but Wolftrax at Laggan( the other side of Newtonmore) is brilliant, pretty tough, but i like it a lot(there isnt much there if you like the easy stuff). Fort William area is also excellent.The world cup trails are exteme and the witches trails offer everything, like Aviemore area they can sometimes be very busy.
If you go to any of the "proper"mtb trails there are good maps. I usually use a hard tail and on the black rated downhill sections i find a full susser far better(just my observation).

A9RUNNER
13-Jan-09, 11:15
Thanks for all the tips. I am not sure I am good enough to try proper downhill tracks yet but one day I hope to go and have a go at Golspie.

slinky
16-Jan-09, 00:11
thurso to the holborn head end nice view at end few gates to lift bike over but good cycle on a sunny day :D

slinky
16-Jan-09, 00:14
or the salmon pool need suspension bike for at though high school side i myself have a saracen mantra done up which handles it perfect

A9RUNNER
16-Jan-09, 15:15
Just did a loop from Thurso out towards dounreay then when you are almost at the top of scrabster hill turn left up a track. A few gates to cross but takes you out at a farm watch out for the barking collie dogs!! Then back into town again on the road. About 5 miles and quite good views today.

castlehill
24-Jan-09, 23:15
Just did a loop from Thurso out towards dounreay then when you are almost at the top of scrabster hill turn left up a track. A few gates to cross but takes you out at a farm watch out for the barking collie dogs!! Then back into town again on the road. About 5 miles and quite good views today.

I do The thurso east run once a week when I can and once a week I try Thurso to scrabster, cycle up the path past the community center and do the Holborn head loop. Exit at lighthouse and continue back up towards thurso, then turn right to scrabster village and left at Holts, take the track on the right by the houses just after holts and follow this up across scrabster brae. You come out on the dounreay road just below the barriers corner and continue on the track across the road eventually passing the mental collie the OP posted about, from there you can find a track that takes you out by the golf club and head back to thurso. It's a good 10 mile run, not overly taxing and takes about 1 1/2 hours. I tend to alternate the direction each time.

Can thouroughly recommend the Golspie track too, it can be a hard climb if your new to MTB but the run back is heaven.

A9RUNNER
25-Jan-09, 00:19
Do you just follow the coast around holburn head or is there a path/track, I cannot see anything marked on the ordnance survey map

castlehill
25-Jan-09, 13:57
Yep just go up to scrabster community center and follow the road to the dissused quarry then hop over a wire fence and follow the coast, a route then becomes pretty obvious. I have some A4 plasticised maps of 3 routes if you want copies.

A9RUNNER
25-Jan-09, 22:23
Thanks for the offer of maps but I have memory map (www.memorymap.co.uk) and a laminator can print out my own, its a great program (bit expensive). I am pretty sure I will be able to scout a route out from your directions, just wanted to make sure so I didnt end up falling into the sea !!!!!!

the second coming
28-Jan-09, 15:28
excellent thread, i moved up a few years back from the west coast and had been spoilt by many local trails. Have been struggling to find much here without a lot of driving first and after. I think i've been a bitty lazy. Need to get the bike out the shed and get going.

A9RUNNER
29-Jan-09, 23:46
Not manged to get round Holburn head yet but have had some fun bombing around some of the old quarry works around Weydale.

BAND1T
31-Jan-09, 13:16
If you go out towards Loch More, you can actually cycle along the forest tracks and over the railway at Altnabreac and this will eventually take you out on the road from Melvich - Helmsdale, at Forsnain Farm

Or you could get on the train at Thurso with your bike and get off at Atlnabreac and cycle the route.

Here are some markers from multimap

http://www.multimap.com/s/grG1Otpr (http://www.multimap.com/s/grG1Otpr)
http://www.multimap.com/s/hqH1QnjL (http://www.multimap.com/s/hqH1QnjL)
http://www.multimap.com/s/hqH0QnqL
http://www.multimap.com/s/jwD7WplR (http://www.multimap.com/s/jwD7WplR)

There are lots of other tracks out there, like around Lochdhu.

Hope the links work, but otherwise have a look on multimap.

Cheers.....Gav

daviddd
02-Feb-09, 14:07
There's a nice steep climb up Dorrery Hill - about 1 in 3 or 4 in parts, but it's probably too rough and bendy for a fast descent unless you're very brave. Great view from the top of most of Caithness.

If you turn right at the bottom when coming down from Dorrery Hill there's a 6 mile run along bridle path to Loch Caluim, with only one deer gate which opens easily. Beware both the above rides in freezing weather as there's lots of ice - or get well padded up!

I belive you can get all the way through to Dunbeath from Altnabreac / Loch More, but I've not tried this yet.

tomacomen
04-Feb-09, 23:14
The Mtb trail at dunnet is pretty hard to find! Its very short, no rock sections or many roots, no "built" jumps (but if your going fast enough you can pump the track and get a little air) and no real hardcore stuff. Would rate it definately a blue difficulty. Good fun though just to bomb down a few times and try and get flat out through the corners. Watch out for walkers and dogs as they seem to like this trail just as much as the actual walking paths.

When at dunnet I mostly just link together a few of the walking trails with more roots and that and tan it aboot on them! good fun when you cant be bothered driving down to golspie!

Golspie red is most definately recommended! wasnt too keen on the top black sections (only have a hardtail/4x bike) but the red downhill is brilliant, smooth and flowy enough to build up your confidence until your fully foot out and off the brakes! no double jumps either so no chance of beginners coming a cropper on them!

Rumster used to have a "secret" downhill track about 5 or 6 years ago, havent been out since then. Was in the process of being built and had some good potential, havent heard anything on the radar since then though.

There are some places on the Wick side of the county, like the run out past the iron bridge at the riverside (walkers gravel trail out to the bridge then follow the single track once your over it, not much gradient but good for trying to keep a constant speed while not getting overly boring).

Although its a really simple (if not hard!) long climb and all fireroad, the climb up Blingery hill is good for getting the legs working and probs the best climb around wick. Some cracking views from the top in summer too!

goggs1987
08-Feb-09, 20:01
Im pretty sure Borgie forest out past Bettyhill has a marked cycle track, definatly a good few miles of quite forest road if your into peaceful/in-the-middle of nowhere cycling!:)

(I see it has also been mentioned).. Golspie I highly recommend! Very well built .... It caters for beginner cyclist - right through to high speed-white knuckle thrill seekers like me! http://www.scottishmountainbike.com/Pages/wildcat/wildcat.php

If you are into trials like Golspie where there is a mixture of everything, then there are plenty other tracks, closer by to home you have Kyle of Sutherland trails (very good! cross country with the odd bit of faster downhill!) .... Learnie in the Black Isle .... slightly further away, Moray trails (not been to yet!), Laggan - (excellent!), and loads of trails in the Aviemore and Fort William areas!
http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-6MQD2A

g

robglysen
12-Jun-09, 07:17
Dont know if its open yet but Fort William have a red grade downhill track starting from the gondola where the world cup DH track starts.

NapalmDeath74
12-Jun-09, 21:29
I just love going mountain biking in the winter months after tea and going off road in the pitch black darkness with only my cateye stadium HID light to lead the way, you see some amazing things when night time mountain biking like foxes, other creatures plus you can get some weird experiences as well especially when passing the old hotel at lochdhu near Altnabreac and witnessing our local occult worshipers dancing around a fire in late October bringing in the winter, I think they were more shocked than I was with my 80watt hid mountain bike light shinning down the track just nuking everything with light looking like something from close encounter.

NapalmDeath74
12-Jun-09, 21:30
I just love going mountain biking in the winter months after tea and going off road in the pitch black darkness with only my cateye stadium HID light to lead the way, you see some amazing things when night time mountain biking like foxes, other creatures plus you can get some weird experiences as well especially when passing the old hotel at lochdhu near Altnabreac and witnessing our local occult worshipers dancing around a fire in late October bringing in the winter, I think they were more shocked than I was with my 80watt hid mountain bike light shinning down the track just nuking everything with light looking like something from close encounter.

Gavinp
10-Oct-09, 16:58
Two very good routes that has not had a mention are John O Groteís and Bettyhill

John O Groteís 10 miles (ish)
Park at John O Groteís car park. Head for the light house along the shore through the campsite. When you get to the road climb the hill to the trig point then down the path to the stacks and up the big climb by the fence. Turn back when ever you want heading straight for the road and back along the shore to the car.

The trail is about 75% off road (100% of down hill is off road) the down hills have plenty to excite even the flat by the shore has a good run down to a wee burn. The second climb is a really good challenge. I can do it all in the dry but always fail in the wet. The first descent can be done at speed if you wish. Even if you to fall most of the off trail ground is soft and wet thus reducing the chance of hurting yourself. Depending on your chosen rout the second down hill needs loads of control and concentration, mainly due to the fact that you cannot tell what's in the grass.

Bettyhill 5 miles (ish)
Drive through Bettyhill past the Naver Bridge but don't cross it. Park on the grass below the house at the end of the path coming off the hill. Ride back to Bettyhill and out the other side. At the top of the hill you will see the old tip road on the right. Follow this to the end (about 4.5km) at Achamore. The road starts as tarmac and rougher and rougher ending shortly after going through a burn and a great off road climb. At the top of the climb you have run out of path. Itís now a short slog (but do able) to the top of the return path. To find the path look out for a loch and then keep to the left of it. You will soon find a path that gets better the further you go. The path is about 2.5km down hill well rough in places and takes you straight to the car. This run is about the best I have found in Caithness and Sutherland (Not including Golspie). I run a good full suspension bike and it makes the suspension work for its living. There are two sections where you ride through water (if youíre brave enough). The first is a long deep peaty section; just don't stop and youíll be fine. The second much easier is through a shallow moving burn. Please donít shoot me for the mileages of the routes I have just taken a rough guess.

I hope I have given these to runs a good description and youíll try them out if you have not already. I would love to hear what you think of them.

TheGregp81
16-Jul-13, 20:51
Bit of an old thread, but i would highly recommenced golspie! If you want to do the black trails i would suggest a full suspension bike, my hardbacks back tire exploded the run was too much for it!