Biking facilities at Glentress step up a gear

Cyclists on the 7 Stanes route in Glentress forest.
Cyclists on the 7 Stanes route in Glentress forest.

Forest Enterprise Scotland has revealed further details of the biking trails being proposed for Glentress Forest as part of a new £11.3 million eco-cabins development.

Over £1 million is to be spent on the new biking trails, with the aim of keeping 7stanes Glentress at the top of its game.

Around 16 km of new trail will be built, a larger skills area, taster trails for beginners to experts, new descents linking to existing 7stanes trails and some hand-cut enduro style biking sections.

Pre-planning applications for both the trails and the Forest Holidays eco-cabins have been submitted to Scottish Borders Council. The total investment for trails and the cabins is worth £11.3 million.

A two-day consultation event at Glentress Peel is being planned for September 1-2, where mountain bikers and other visitors can give their feedback on the cabin and biking plans.

Sallie Bailey, forest district manager with Forest Enterprise Scotland, said: “With the proposal to locate 56 of the new eco-cabins in the Buzzard’s nest location, we need to replace the old skills area and existing ‘freeride’ trails. The plan is to bring the new trail features closer to the Peel building on the nearby hillside.

“Our mountain biking rangers, who are all keen riders themselves, have been meeting with many local biking interests and explaining the plans in greater detail.

“There were very positive exchanges and it looks like they are all up for the refreshed Glentress.

“We’re really pleased to see Katy Winton, the no2 enduro rider in the world, from Peebles, appears to be thrilled with the new biking investment.

“The new features will give riders more trail, more skills training and new descents, drop-offs and tabletops, with some enduro type riding too.”

Neil Dalgleish, of Hillside Outside Ltd, the local company which heads up the TweedLove biking festival and Tour O’The Borders, added: “The new trails will be of huge benefit to Glentress, which should have a knock-on effect throughout the valley.

“The design makes a lot of sense, and this development can help reaffirm the Tweed Valley’s reputation as the leading MTB destination in the UK.

“I’m sure TweedLove’s MTB events will make the most of the new trails and features – the future’s looking bright.”

Current biking plans up for consultation include, in the skills area, a larger area with bigger range of features to train on; an area for children’s balance bikes; green, blue, red and black sections for skills development; climbs and descents ; rollers, small rhythm bumps and shallow berms, and an open area for gathering and coaching groups.

Under consideration for the taster trails are six short trails covering all grades of riding; two natural trails for enduro type riding; some trails to contain drop-offs, table tops, jumps similar to the existing Freeride area, and a design allowing sections to be ‘sessioned’ or used for group coaching.

New descents may also join the existing 7stanes trail network back to the Peel centre.