Innerleithen and Glentress

The award winning Innerleithen and Glentress trails span across the beautiful South border of Scotland. Each trail has its own unique properties, with different fitness requirements, making this a fantastic day out for everyone, no matter how experienced you are. The track’s are perfect for groups, families, beginners and serious mountain bikers, many of the trails also have superb skills area’s for you to practice your technique. 

Envisage the exhilarating freedom that awaits you as you fly down the blend of natural and machine made tracks, before soaring over the many jumps and obstacles the park has to offer. The trails have all been made as organically as possible, with many of the trees planted by hand and maintained by an expert team. They recycle all the timber gathered from old and unsafe tree’s, using every part of the tree down to the roots, to make an array of items, like paper, medicines and furniture. 

If you would like any further information on any of the tracks we would be happy to discuss them with you in greater detail, just give us a call. Below is a brief description of each trail to assist you in deciding which ride would most comfortably fit your expectation of a fantastic day out.

The Routes

Glentress Green Route (3.5km) – Skill Level: Easy

The Glentress Green Route is perfect for beginners, with outstanding views of Peeble’s and the tweed Valley, this gentle, trail along a single, purpose built track, will ease you into the rhythm needed to begin to build your confidence for future mountain biking adventures. 

You will start your cycle at the Glentress Peel Visitors centre before gliding along the lush green forest, with just a few easy chicanes to flow round along with slight inclines and shallow drop’s, to exhilarate and excite even the most timid of beginners. There are a few benches along the way for those who care to take a moment to stop and enjoy the surroundings before descending back down towards the Visitors Centre. The track is easy to follow, with wide paths that are clear of debris and bumps. 

Route Highlights

  • Great for novice cyclists with basic bike skills
  • Comfortable, easy track set in beautiful surroundings
  • Fun chicanes to boost confidence and excite

Glentress Blue Route (16km) – Skill Level: Moderate

The Glentress Blue Route is a fantastic introduction for keen mountain bikers to brush up on their skills. This fun trail is made up from two 5 mile long loops which meet in the middle so you can choose to ride just one loop or take them both on for a longer journey. The route begins at the Trailhead at Glentress Peel Visitors Centre, where you can follow winding dirt tracks and accelerate through twisting chicanes hidden beneath the towering tree canopy. 

Challenge yourself over the fallen rock debris and uphill climbs along the narrow pathways, before experiencing the slightly gentler section of wide, flat road, leading to the narrowest part of the track, with steep drops to the left and immense greenery to the right, this is a section not for the faint hearted. The swooping path leads onto the peaceful ‘Blue Velvet’ section of the track, which – like the name suggests – is a smooth and even, flat surface, enabling riders to catch a breath and enjoy a gentle pedal through a more open landscape, with plenty of grassy sections to take a longer break if required. 

The route then leads to a ‘play area’ with three wooden built bridges to practice your jumping technique – which will come in handy for the next few sections. The final few paths are twisted, with plenty of jump opportunities on the rough pathway, wooden bridge and stone step section, there is an alternate path next to the stone steps for any less experienced bikers to take. The route finishes at the Glentress Peel Visitor Centre where you can enjoy refreshments at your leisure. 

Route Highlights

  • Suitable for Intermediate cyclists or mountain bikers with basic off-road skills
  • Three wooden bridges to practice your skills
  • Epic stone step jumping opportunities
  • Fast descents down twisting narrow dirt paths
  • Beautiful scenery throughout the entire journey

XC Trail (19km) – Skill Level: Difficult

Challenge yourself to this leg-burning, chest-pumping, adrenaline-inducing red graded trail and climb 567 meters to the summit of Minch Moor. With technical rocky paths along a fantastic singletrack, this is a perfect option for a proficient mountain biker with good off-roading skills. 

Starting at the world class Red Bull Project Downhill Venue, you will get into your rhythm across exposed moorland, with enticing views over the River Tweed and Kite Wood. The trail is deceptive to begin with, showcasing unchallenging jumps and effortless bends, before descending into the trees, where the path becomes scattered with rocks and debris. This leads out to awe inspiring scenery across the Scottish borders, along a tricky trail, littered with heart-racing obstacles and uneven surfacing.

You will then begin your true ascent to the summit of Minch Moor, through the forest awning, gently lit by the sun’s rays trickling through the dense thicket. There are steep drops alongside the pathway and exhilarating jumps, making this a thrilling journey from start to finish. Once you reach the top and take in the site of this wide open space, the excitement of the thrilling ride back down to the Red Bull Visitors Centre will make it worth the climb.

Route Highlights

  • Ideal for proficient mountain bikers with good off-roading skills
  • A wide range of climbs and descents of a challenging nature
  • Exhilarating jumps along tricky rock littered pathways
  • Exposed landscape for immense scenic views

Glentress Red Route (17km) – Skill Level: Difficult

The Glentress Red Route is world famous for delivering some of the best riding experiences in the country. Boasting technical climbs, fabulous views, jumps, berms and fast flowing descents.

The trail begins at Buzzards Nest Car Park and sets you off with a fun single track descent down sweeping chicanes and into the ‘Spooky wood’, bountiful with rock gardens, jumps and skinnies. The rough, rocky surface with sharp turns, is shrouded by the impenetrable forest, tackling the narrow bumpy path takes skill and precision to master at an exhilarating pace. The closely positioned trees provide an obstacle in themselves, with protruding roots and fallen branches, alongside the wooden bridges that cover the small babbling streams that add to the atmosphere of this mysterious woodland. The route’s decent joins with the Black route and follows a technical downwards path through a short forest road before leading back down to the Buzzards Nest Car Park. 

Route Highlights

  • Ideal for proficient mountain bikers with good off-roading skills
  • A wide range of climbs and descents of a challenging nature
  • An array of Jumps and skinnies
  • Uneven pathways littered with rocks, tree roots and streams

Glentress Black Route (28km) – Skill Level: Severe

Hidden beneath the dense forest canopy, the physically demanding Black Route is for skilled riders only with a high level of mountain bike experience. The thick, forest awning means it’s almost dark by mid-day, making the adventure even more thrilling. The steep paths and rocky terrine can be narrow but the danger points are clearly marked. The trail begins at Buzzards Nest Car Park, gently easing you into your ride through calm woodland, but the gentle jaunt doesn’t last long!

You will soon find yourself atop a demanding steep, rocky decline that even the most experienced bikers may find challenging, leading to a painfully thin winding lane with intense corners and brittle path surface. This leads down to a steady road where you can breath for a moment, before you begin your ascent up to the top of the valley. There is a resting spot close to the top of the valley, where you can gaze over the stunning landscape from the comfort of a sheltered wooden hut, before continuing to the top.

The next section is a thrilling downhill path, with heart-racing jumps and uncomplicated corners, helping to accelerate you through to Carrowslane, where you will navigate round closely positioned trees along a fun, clean trail. The track once again takes a rocky turn as it leads you out into  a short section of exposed moorland, where you can momentarily enjoy seeing the sky again before heading back into the cover of the forest. The path at this point becomes almost invisible as you ride over large roots, before reaching XX. This incredibly steep section has a bounty of steps, jumps and skinnies and follows on to an equally difficult pathway before reaching a series of amusing wooden tracks allowing you to gain some speed, before winding your way back down to the trailhead. 

Route Highlights

  • Perfect for expert mountain bike users, used to physically demanding routes
  • A wide range of climbs and descents of a challenging nature
  • Large, committing and unavoidable technical trail features
  • Fantastic views of the valley from a comfortable rest point
  • Challenging, rocky paths and root covered patches

Innerleithen Downhill (7km) – Skill Level: Severe

Immerse yourself into a serious adventure, with a series of machine made and natural extreme drops from the summit of Plora Rig. This popular route is not for the faint hearted! 

There are three extreme trails to enjoy, all are demanding and it is recommended to wear a full face helmet and body armour before tackling these drops.Before you can fly down these immense trails, you first need to climb the push-up paths adjacent to the Buzzards Nest Car Park, a high level of fitness is needed for the 300m vertical climb!

The Matador track is a testing natural dirt track and demands focus, with large rock drops, rocky chutes, gap jumps, protruding tree roots and big table-tops, it takes skill and confidence to take it on.The Cresta Run is hand built classic trail, with steep twisting sections, protruding tree roots and tight bends. There are multiple line choices to take on the way down, all as exciting as each other. The track is wider than The Matador however still required immense concentration.The Gold Run is hand built, similarly to the Cresta run, with a sharp, quick beginning, before calming into the covered woodland and over tricky roots and branches that cover the twisting trail.

Route Highlights

  • Perfect for expert mountain bike users, used to physically demanding routes
  • Exhilarating speed and skill is needed to navigate down the twisting run’s
  • Provides a thrilling experience that cannot be had anywhere else

Glentress Freeride Park (1.4km) – Skill Level: Severe

Test your skill level through the Freeride Park, riding the numerous obstacles, table tops and wall rides. Simply ride the trail from top to bottom or showcase your inner daredevil and take on the huge fan box. Located conveniently next to the Buzzards Nest Car Park, on entering the Freeride Park you are instantly tasked with a series of jumps to the left or the cycle path to the right that is filled with stimulating table tops. The essential skills trail offers short, snappy inclines and sweeping wooden bridges, finishing with an exciting speedy decline with numerous jumps. 

There is an array of things to do within the Freeride Park, to practice and enhance your skills, making this an exhilarating day out, or a fantastic start point before tackling one of the many routes listed above.  

Route Highlights

  • Perfect for expert mountain bike users, used to physically demanding routes
  • A fantastic practice area to brush up on your techniques 
  • The perfect place to start or finish your expedition 

What We Can Offer

  • Bike transfer from Tynemouth or Newcastle Central Station to Innerleithen or Glentress to start your trip (other pick up locations available on request)
  • All baggage transfers between accommodation
  • Route Maps and GPX file
  • List of bike shops and places to visit en-route
  • Phone support available from 7am to 10pm daily
  • Emergency support – to help you in your moment of need
  • Transfer from Tynemouth to Newcastle at the end of the experience
  • Transfer for riders and bikes to your home or accommodation

Why Choose This Route?

  • There is something for everyone, with extreme trails and some more manageable rides, making it accessible to a greater range of fitness levels
  • Each trail offers excitement, whether you are looking for jumps, fast paced downhill riding, adventurous climbs or a steady scenic ride
  • Many of the trails have the same start and finish point, meaning that groups can easily split up and enjoy a route that matches their expectations

Accommodation Recommendations

The Innerleithen and Glentress routes take 1 day to complete per route. It is important that your evening accommodation is reached in a safe, enjoyable manner, therefore we can provide you with a few recommendations for you to consider depending on your planned daily mileage. 

ecocabs and ecocabs cycles work both in the public and private sectors, working with some of the largest employers in the North East. We can offer accommodation booking and full package services but unfortunately  only with corporate clients due to the hands on approach we take in all aspects of our business.   If you would like to know more about  ecocabs cycles corporate support please see here.