Mountain biking for families
Reindeer Centre to Jack Drake’s (Inshriach Nursery)
NB: 2018 update: The Potting Shed cafe at Jack Drake’s (Inshriach Nursery) has closed it’s doors for good.
This route can be done in either direction or turned into a circuit for older riders.
If you have younger or less fit riders with you who only want to do the route in one direction, this route would be a good one to do with Scot Mountain Holidays who can offer the support/pick up for each end of the route.
We cycled this route on the Sunday of the Harley Davidson rally in Aviemore so we were treated to the splendid sight of the Harleys on their ride out to Cairngorm Mountain as we set out from the reindeer centre in Glenmore.
We parked along the side of the road opposite the reindeer centre then followed the path (with the treasure hunt signs) towards Loch Morlich. We kept to the mountain side of Loch Morlich heading away from the road but in the direction of Loch an Eilean. (If this is part of a mountain biking weekend with Scot Mountain Holidays we will provide the relevant map.)
The path from the reindeer centre to the main path around Loch Morlich is relatively flat and pretty good under the bike. Very little mud. It’s a well-maintained path with very few ruts or tree roots to negotiate. There is one wee uphill section just before you join the wide path which runs along the side of the Loch. This section may mean that one or two members of the party will get off their bikes for 10m or 20m, unless they can master their gears in time. Once on the main wide bridlepath going is extremely easy and virtually flat, or slightly downhill most of the way until the next junction. The views are great over Loch Morlich and back towards the beach.
You’ll pass the path junction locally known as Picadilly and also the path heading into the Lairig Ghru on the way to Loch an Eilean.
Once you reach Loch an Eilean, you’ll turn left through the gate and follow the path skirting the edge of the Loch. (If anyone needs the loo at this point you can make a detour to the right and head up to the loos by the information centre on Loch an Eilean where you can also pick up a coffee if you’re gasping.)
When you reach the end of the Loch, you’ll find a wee path heading to the left past Loch Gamna. You’ll need to take this path to go in the direction of Jack Drake’s but at this point the path deteriorates for a while and there are a lot of roots to cross. When the path gets too muddy, you’ll have to walk the bikes for a short section at the bottom of Loch G until you start to head up over the hill. It’s only for a wee while though and pushing the bikes here is not too much of a chore. You’ll soon pick up a forestry track which is easy to follow before a long downhill section leading almost directly to the cake shop where you’ll have a great stop. Jack Drake’s potting shed do an amazing array of cream cakes, teas and coffee. If you can bag a seat at the counter by the big glass window looking out over the bird/squirrel feeders time will fly past.
Phone for your pick up or nominate a designated cyclist to pick up your vehicle at the reindeer centre.
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