MOUNTAIN BIKING in East Scotland
All photographs on this site copyright Chris Stamp, except where otherwise indicated
River North Esk
Green Route: 26 kms approx
This route is off-road heading up the lower glen, through a patchwork of pastures and alder woodland on the river banks, with a scenic return down the glen road on the way back. It is relatively level - just a few short inclines/descents. Itís a nice early spring warm up for more demanding upland routes later.
There is a space for a couple of cars without causing anyone any inconvenience at the forestry access point marked on the map. An alternative would be roadside parking at Rocks of Solitude (east of the river, on the main road up the glen), or the park and picnic area at the north end of Edzell.
Moderate. Some modest inclines, bumpy tracks and puddles but nothing to phase a regular mountain biker.
Near the start, the route passes a farm at Dalbog and livestock will be encountered. The cattle seem very docile, but the usual precautions against disturbing them apply. The ewes will be pregnant or have lambs in spring, and care must be taken to avoid spooking them.
The route meanders its way along a rough track up the glen, close to the river in places, eventually crossing the river via a bridge and meeting the glen road back. The return journey is more down than up, but you do need to reserve some energy for a few inclines. There will be a little traffic on this road, particularly at weekends but it is an enjoyable, scenic ride.
You might like to stop off the visit the Rocks of Solitude with its attractive river gorge, set in deciduous woodland.
At the head of this glen (Glen Esk), is Glen Mark, where the terrain becomes heather moorland, and a particularly good place for adders and lizards. Glen Mark is a popular place for mountain bikers, some of whom are heading for the summit of Mount Keen, the most easterly Munro. As you can probably guess, that is a trek for the seriously fit cyclist.
Photo © George Harris