Abriachan Forest is a stunning 530-hectare area of forest and open hill ground situated high above the banks of Loch Ness, midway between Inverness and Drumnadrochit.
Thanks to the Abriachan Forest Trust, the area now boasts 14km of managed mountain biking trails, known as the Kelpies’ Trails, named after a local mythical water horse. This rural community, comprising around 130 people, came together in 1998 to purchase the land to create local employment opportunities, improve the environment and encourage public enjoyment. Renowned trail builder Rik Allsop oversaw the design and construction of the trails, making them suitable for both newcomers and more advanced riders, with two red options available for an adrenaline-charged experience.
The centre is mainly family-friendly, aimed at converting those using the forest into mountain biking enthusiasts. Access to the trails is easy – take Abriachan Road up to the village hall, then take the left fork signposted Abriachan Forest Walks, passing Loch Laide on the left.
The car park is located 300 meters further along, giving access to the 3km green trail and the Kelpies Dare skills loop, featuring ramps and skinnies constructed from local timber. Beyond that, the 7km blue trail offers a moderately technical ride with Rivoulich bends leading into a jump park. Finally, the 4 km Red Trail contains steeper slopes, and narrow single tracks and links back into the jump park, showcasing eight table tops, bermed corners, and gap jumps, all offering amazing panoramic views over Monadh Liath hills, Affric hills, Ben Wyvis, Ben Bhraggie, and southwards towards Loch Ness. In 2008, plans for extension of the red routes and a new black route were introduced.
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