This is a great mountain bike route for those who live in or near Edinburgh and search for a short and fun ride. Given how close it is from our house it’s probably going to become my #1 route for the short winter days in Scotland.
This 33km long route is situated in beautiful Pentland Hills Park – stunning piece of nature that makes you feel you’re miles away from civilisation. The MTB route starts in a car park near Balerno, just by Threipmuir Reservoir. After a short ride you join Red Road that gently ascends all the way to the bottom of West Kip. This is when you turn towards Cap Law and once you reach it you’ll be rewarded by a 2.5km long descend that finishes at A702. The only annoying bit of this mountain bike route is ahead of you just now – slightly over 4km on the road.
Once you’re off the road get ready for a very challenging climb all the way up to the bridleway crossroad that connects Scald Law (579m) and Carnethy Hill (573m). I don’t want to underestimate you but I’d say you end up pushing your bike up towards the top of the climb.
After a sweet downhill you first get to Loganlea Reservoir and a bit further down to Glencorse Reservoir. After a while, this is where the last proper ascend starts. It’s about 3km long, quite manageable (apart from one bit where I had to put my foot down) and it finishes by Fala Knowe (439m).
For the next 3km you’ll be mostly going down. However, there’s something to watch out for – eventually (at the 24.2th km) the route turns sharply to the left. There’s no gate so you’ll have to “jump” over the fence. And in about 500m you’ll have to repeat that to get to a rather challenging single track that gave me gave me a proper bruise on my leg towards its end.
The last 8km of the mountain bike route are very relaxed and offer some really stunning views of Pentland Hills and Edinburgh! Between you and your car there’s just a few gentle hills and 3 more reservoirs – Torduff Reservoir, Clubbiedean Reservoir and Harlaw Reservoir. Enjoy!
The GPX route can be downloaded by clicking on “Download” below the map. I hope you’ll enjoy it!