Bennachie Mountain Biking and Cycle Trails
Bennachie (pronounced ben-a-hee) is probably the best known Hill range in the North East of Scotland, though most people refer to the most prominent hill on the range, Mither Tap, as Bennachie. The iconic shape of the hill, visible for miles around have led to Bennachie being referred to as "The most loved hill in Britain". The Bennachie range is home to a hillfort, ancient myths and legends, hidden heritage, modern sculptures, fascinating wildlife, and a visitor centre surrounded by an extensive network of paths and trails.
The forestry trails and lower paths around the visitor centre offer excellent routes for mountain bikes and they are definitely worth a visit; especially for families and the less experienced mountain biker.
More experienced cyclists will be interested in the trails that go up the steep sides of the Bennachie range and across the plateau. These could suffer severe erosion from mountain bikes, so mountain biking on these is discouraged by the Forestry Commission. However, the Scottish Outdoor Access Code allows for you to cycle these routes, as long as you do so responsibly with respect for other users and care for the environment. Check our page on the Scottish Outdoor Access Code if you intend to venture further than the lower paths.
Bennachie and the its neighbouring hills offer loads of trails, some way marked and some not. The family friendly cycle routes are all signposted and easy to navigate:
Accessed from the Bennachie visitor centre this 4km circular route passes the ruins of a crofting community that once farmed the local land but were evicted by the local lairds. The Bailies of Bennachie, a registered charity that aims to encourage and stimulate the public's interest in Bennachie, have produced an interesting leaflet on the Colonists which includes a map of the trail. Download it HERE.
Accessed from the Bennachie visitor centre. An easy 1km circular trail that meanders around the base of Mither Tap. Very popular with walkers.
Accessed from either the Bennachie visitor centre or the Rowan Tree car park. Out and back on the same route covering 6½km in total. This low level route follows the line of the old turnpike road through the Pittodrie Estate joining the visitor centre and Rowantree. Relatively easy though it does have some challenging inclines with rough surfaces. Not recommended for the very young or complete beginner. The more experienced mountain biker may be interested in tackling the challenging Bennachie Turnpike Circular Trail.
Wild Wood Trail
Accessed from the Back O'Bennachie car park, this 2km circular trail passes through pine and larch woodland, dotted with sculptures along the way. Some of the inclines are on the steep side.
Working Wood Trail
Also accessed from the Back O'Bennachie car park, this 2½km circular trail has interpretive boards along the way explaining the life cycle of trees and the products they provide.