Traquair XC

Trails - Innerleithen - Traquir-XC

As befits one of Scotland’s foremost downhill centres, the Traquair XC cross-country trail is not for the faint hearted. It includes a leg-burning, lung-busting climb to the summit of Minch Moor and then some thrilling singletrack descending, with jumps and drop-offs that are well-deserving of their black grading.

From the car park, you are immediately on to singletrack, with a switchback climb through the forest bringing you out on to a bridle path.

Stell Burn Climb and The Mousetrap

The first half of the ride is predominantly climbing, all the way to the exposed summit of Minch Moor, at 570 metres. After the initial climb through the forest, the trail turns quite gnarly at Stell Burn Climb, with roots and rocks to negotiate in places. But there is also lots of great singletrack, leading you into the more technical Mousetrap section.

Taniel Hill Contour Trail

From the Mousetrap, the trail takes you along the side of Taniel Hill. Here you’ll find the first evidence of the downhill influence, with the flowing trails bringing you out at the top of an old gravel quarry. It provides the perfect setting for some ‘freeride’ elements, with deep bombholes and sharp climbs and descents taking you out on to forest road. Carry on along the forest road towards Lead Mine Climb.

Lead Mine Climb

Another singletrack climb, near old mine workings, this time into woodland and over one or two tricky obstacles, including rock steps. The trail joins a shared right of way at Archman’s Bog, so watch out for walkers here, before heading towards the Minch Moor Climb.

To climb or not to climb?

Just before the Minch Moor Climb, the trail forks. Head right to carry on with the climb, or if you don’t fancy tackling it, head left onto the shortcut link. This cuts out all of the climb to the summit of the Moor, but it means you’ll miss the cracking view at the top, and the bermy singletrack descent off the top, complete with easy jumps. The link brings you out at the foot of the Minch Moor Descent, onto the fast, descending Enduro trail singletrack.

Minch Moor Climb and Descent

This is a grinding and seemingly never-ending ascent to the highest point of the route, the summit of Minch Moor, by way of narrow, winding singletrack. It can appear relentless, but the climb is steady rather than steep, and you are rewarded at the top with stunning views over the Tweed Valley, and the prospect of a swooping singletrack descent.

The descent is on bermy singletrack, with easy jumps. There’s another climb back up to the summit, before it’s downhill on singletrack again and onto the Enduro trail, heading towards Plora Craig.

Plora Craig

As the Enduro Trail leads into the Plora Rig Contour Trail, you’ll start to climb again on a technical stretch of rocky singletrack. You then drop down over Plora Craig back towards the forest and the first section of black-graded downhill. This features some rocky and, in places, steep drop-offs. Parts of the trail are off-camber, with the hill dropping away steeply to the right – which only adds to the thrill and the challenge of this section. Coming out of Plora Craig, it’s back onto forest road for a short while and onwards to the finale at Cadon Bank.

Cadon Bank

More flowing downhill follows at Cadon Bank, a final 2km section of singletrack descent that is utterly exhilarating. This is a roller coaster section, with huge jumps, rock steps and drop-offs, with vast bermed corners. It’s a high speed, adrenaline charged finish to a ride that has a bit of everything, bringing you out finally at the trail head in the car park.

Distance: 19km
75% singletrack
Estimated time to ride the route: 2 – 4 hours

Our thanks to 7Stanes for providing trail information.