Orange Route: 21 ms approx Yellow Route: 8 kms approx
These routes are for dedicated mountain-bikers only, requiring a good level of fitness. The yellow route passes through the beautiful Hermitage area of riverside woodland, owned by the National Trust for Scotland, featuring some of the the tallest trees in Scotland. The orange route switches from forest to a hillside of open heathland and lochans.
Just off the A9 (B898 turnoff).
Hard. The forest trail has some serious climbs, with hairpins. The route to Loch Skiach requires a short hike with your bike across heather moorland, with a fence to climb.
The forest route (the start of the orange route and then the yellow route) travels through dense mature plantation, but there are some nice views to be had from the higher tracks, The tracks are of good quality, but the gradients are steep in places. There are lots of tracks with several options, so feel free to make up your own route if you like.
The orange route taking in Loch Skiach involves a bit of adventure, leaving the main tracks to venture off the beaten-track and requiring you to carry your bike through heather for a short time, and over small streams and a fence. Ideally it needs two or more fit people with a bit of determination to make it a fun experience. Once you have reached the landrover tracks near the loch, everything is very straightforward again, and mostly downhill.
Navigation around The Hermitage, to find your way north again, can be tricky, as there are lots of small paths and tracks. So long as you go in the right general direction it doesn't matter if you follow exactly the planned path, but allow a bit of time for the possibility of ending up taking a slightly longer diversion if you don't know the area well.
There is a 'downhilling' track in the forest, which looks to me like it involves throwing your bike off a cliff and then jumping after it!