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Blue Route

Trails - Glentress

Are you looking to step up from green-graded routes to the next level? Or maybe you’re a more experienced rider looking for a really fun trail to ride but want something less difficult than a red route? Either way, the Glentress Blue Route is the one.

The route has had extra sections of singletrack added over time, carefully crafted with Blue Route riders firmly in mind. The result makes climbing from the trailhead to the Buzzards Nest car park a much easier, more enjoyable experience, and the descent back down a whole lot of fun!

We’d recommend starting the Blue Route at the Trailhead and climbing as far as the Buzzards Nest, then either return to Trailhead or, if feeling very fit, do the upper loop of the Blue as well.

Climbing from the Trailhead

The route starts with a mellow climb up the forest road which soon brings you to the first section of singletrack, a short linking climb that is easy on the legs. Next up is Dougie Bank Climb, which contours gently up through a magnificent stand of mature Douglas Fir trees, with only a couple of short, steeper sections to negotiate. Half way up the climb the return section of the Blue Route crosses (a handy option if you’re looking for a short ride from the trailhead).

Soon you’ll be on to the next part of the climb, Cardie Hill. This trail weaves its way gently up the hill on smooth, fast rolling surfaces to the Buzzards Nest car park. At over 2km long, it’s worth pacing yourself! Along the way are lots of optional harder features and shortcuts to try as well as places to stop and catch great views of the Tweed Valley.

At the Buzzards Nest car park there are plenty of benches to take a well-deserved rest. From here, take the trail named Electric Blue back down towards the Trailhead or continue on to the Upper Loop.

Upper Loop (additional 8km)

From the Buzzards Nest the route follows a forest road gently downhill then joins a singletrack climb shared with the Red Route, with some tight hairpin turns. A further switchback climb follows, with even tighter turns and some steep pitches which will test your strength. From here the route follows a forest road climb further up into the forest.

Here you have the option to cut out the highest part of the route by taking the Blue Return Trail back towards the Buzzards Nest. Carry on though, and after a while you’ll reach the end of the forest road – and the Meteorite stane.

Betty Blue

A short, sharp climb on rough surfaces then takes you up to the highest point on the route and the start of Betty Blue. The trail descends through dense forest on fun, flowing singletrack. It can take a little while for your eyes to adjust and the trail is quite narrow in places so take care! Several banked corners (berms) along the way add to the fun.

The route then follows a forest road downhill for a while, before flattening off, then climbing for a short time to the next section of singletrack.

Heading for Home

The Blue Return Trail follows the route of an old forest path down fairly narrow singletrack, dips through the Motorway then continues down with a sweeping left hand bend. The speed gained here helps get up a short steep climb that follows. The climb continues with another short steep pitch before a couple of switchbacks and a gentle descent to the road.

Blue Velvet

So named for its’ silky smoothness, Blue Velvet is many people’s favourite section on the whole route. It’s easy going singletrack with a gentle climb, followed by a mellow descent that curves its way beautifully down through well-spaced trees. Great for practising your cornering technique!

A short blast down a fairly rough forest road then takes you back to the Buzzards Nest car park.

Electric Blue

Hidden away in the corner of the car park, the entrance to this trail (which takes you back down the Trailhead) can be easily missed.

Electric Blue snakes its way down through dense forest, with frequent turns, dips and rises that test your nerve and traction! Never too steep though, this trail can be enjoyed by all levels of rider. Near the end of the section, the trail breaks out of the dense forest and crosses over the Cardie Hill Climb via a timber flyover bridge (opening October 2008) before more turns and rolling dips spit you out at the exit.

Falla Brae and Good Game

Cross over the forest road to joins a short singletrack section shared with the Red and Black routes. A steep entry provides momentum for a fun, slightly downhill section, before swinging off left onto Good Game, a 1.2km rollercoaster of a trail.

This wide, well-surfaced trail is packed full of tabletop jumps, rock steps and other features. The neat part is that each feature is split, so the features on the main line are graded blue, whilst optional bigger, harder features on the uphill side of the trail are red-graded. This enables blue riders to try red-graded features before hitting the Red Route for proper.

The Admiral

After getting your breath back, The Admiral awaits. It follows the course of the Glentress Burn gently downhill and includes mellow jumps, twists and turns, before finishing above the ponds. From here the route follows a forest road steadily downhill back to the Trailhead.

Distance: 8km Lower Loop from Trailhead to Buzzards Nest and back (recommended).

Upper Loop from Buzzards Nest adds a further 8km on to the Route (16km in total).
80% singletrack for Lower Loop; 60% singletrack for Upper Loop.
Best to park at: Osprey/7stanes car park. The Lower Loop has the best trails and most fun!
Estimated time to ride the route: 1-2 hours for each loop

Our thanks to 7Stanes for providing trail information.