OverviewGlentress Forest in situated in the picturesque Scottish Boarder region about 2 miles from the lovely market town of Peebles. The riding there is probably one of the best centres in the country. Better, in my view, than the much touted Coed y Brenin of North Wales. It is divided into the usual trail difficulties of Blue, Red and Black routes. It is possible to link the Black and the Red and get the best of both trails. The downhill sections of these trails are well designed and flowing, making the riding fast and fun.
As with all these purpose built centres the trails are well sign posted and trail maps are available.
The Black route starts from the main car park and cafe (The Hub) and follows the fire road for a long 7 mile climb. This takes a couple of detours on trails. The final climb takes you on a series of switchbacks which never seem to end and up onto open moor with views above the forest. The downhill starts with a rough, fast, bermed section down into a dip. You will see the mast ahead at Dunslair Heights and you climb up to the top.
The next section seems to go on for ever because of the great design of this trail. There are swooping bermed sections which allow you to loose height in an economical way. It is fast and furious for 2 miles. This drops down onto a fire road leading to the next section called Deliverance which descends for 3.5 miles. This is stony and very fast. Awesome.
Care has to be taken if linking to the Red route for the maximum downhill. Take the spur off just as the downhill flattens out (check the trail map) and join the main forest track downhill. At the junction turn right and that leads you onto the Red route. Climb up to the top and it loops round to the downhill section of the Red route. The fun starts all over again.
Descend back to the centre. I have copied the old trail map because it is easier to understand than the new one available on their website.
The whole ride is about 27 miles.
Take the M6 North which turns into the M74(M). Leave at Junction 15 which is the Moffat junction. Go through Moffat and head out on the A708 past two lakes for 20 miles. Then turn left on the B709 for 8 miles to Innerleithen. At the T junction turn left onto the A72 for 4 miles. Glentress is on the right.
Peebles is 21 miles south of Edinburgh.
When to Bike
This can be tackled any time of the year. In winter there may be snow.
The centre is good offering bike gear, cafe and bike wash facilities. The people are really friendly too. It seems like you cross the boarder and humanity returns. Great people the Scots.
While in the region it is worth checking out the great trails up the road at Innerleithen - both XC and a downhill. This could make a great weekend trip!