MOUNTAIN BIKING in East Scotland
All photographs on this site copyright Chris Stamp, except where otherwise indicated
Wolfhill and Muirward Wood
Orange Route: 18 kms approx
This route explores a little-known rural area, taking in a mixture of farmland and plantation woodland, passing through some quiet villages with scenic views to the hills. It isn't a route that you would travel from a long way away to tackle, but if you live in the area it offers some nice offroad exploration and a close look at Scone airport. If you are a fan of trees it is an excellent choice, with two spectacular pine trees (in Muirward Wood) and some ancient beech avenues.
There are many possible starting places (Wolfhill, Scone, Scone airport, St Martins), but I've marked one in the village of Kinrossie. This is the car park for the football pitch and play park, accessed via a narrow road down the side of the Van Vliet flower depot.
Fairly easy. Some of the tracks are rough and bone-jarring however, so the route is only recomended if you have decent suspension and everything is well secured to your bike!
The route feels like a series of little-travelled shortcuts and secret ways across farmland and through woods. The route starts at Kinrossie, takes you through Dunsinnan Wood to Wolfhill then St Martins, and onwards to a short circuit around Muirward Wood. It returns the way you came but instead of going back to Wolfhill, takes you into the western part of Dunsinnan Wood then back to Kinrossie. Note that the short section between Kingswell and Dunsinnan house may be fairly overgrown (but passable) in summer - long trousers will help avoid nettle problems.
There is little useful signage so you'll need to be good at following your map, but you are never too far from civilisation. The route is almost all off road, with a few short tarmac stretches including 1km on the main A94 near the end. An alternative return would be via Balbeggie after St Martins, and the B953 to Kinrossie, which avoids the ascent out of St Martins, and crosses the A94 rather cycling on it, instead requiring a few miles on pleasant country road.
A spectacular Scots Pine named King of the Forest, with the largest girth ever recorded for this species, can be visited with a short diversion in Muirward Wood. It is located at approx NO144286 - look for a rough track heading downhill northwards along the edge of a cleared area, with a fallen tree just visible blocking the path where it enters the wood again. You'll need to go around or over the fallen tree, and the King of the Forest, with its three trunks, is just a couple of minutes further into the trees.
There's also a spectacular pale blue pine tree of a different species at NO138277, on the corner of the junction of the tracks.