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Bennachie Mountain Biking
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 forestry tracks and lower paths around the Bennachie range 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.
 

 
Routes
There are a good number of cycle routes to choose from, all of which are way marked:
 
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. Can be steep in places.
 
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. Can be steep in places.
 
Discovery Trail Accessed from the Bennachie visitor centre. An easy 1km circular trail that meanders around the base of Mither Tap. Very popular with walkers.
 
Colony Trail Accessed from the Bennachie visitor centre. Another easy trail. This 4km circular route passes the ruins of a crofting community that once farmed the local land.
 
Turnpike Trail 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 a tricky hill ro two. The more experienced mountain biker may be interested in the Bennachie Turnpike Circular trail.

 
Getting to Bennachie
The two car parks referred to in this guide can be found on OS map 38 (Aberdeen, Inverurie and Pitmedden).
 
Bennachie Visitor Centre (Grid Ref. NJ660245). Travel north from Inverurie on the A96. Approximately two miles beyond Inverurie take a road on the left sign posted to Chapel of Garioch. At Chapel of Garioch turn left (sign posted to the Bennachie Centre). Follow this road for two miles, and the Visitor Centre is sign posted to the right. AB51 5HX is the nearest postcode if you are using Sat Nav.
 
Back O'Bennachie (Grid Ref. NJ661245) - Travel north from Inverurie on the A96 for approximately ten miles. At the "Oyne Fork", turn left onto the B9002, sign posted Insch. Pass through Oyne village, and turn left up to the Back O'Bennachie car park (sign posted) at the far end of the village. AB52 6RH is the nearest postcode if you are using Sat Nav.
 

 
Facilities
Parking - £3 for all day parking at Bennachie Visitor centre, and 2 all day at Back of Bennachie. See above for where to park.
Toilets - Available at the visitor centre when open and at Back O'Bennachie car park. The visitor centre is usually open 10.30am - 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday, closed on a Monday during summer.
Showers - None
Bike Wash - No
Cafe - No. A limited selection of drinks are available at the visitor centre. Cafe at Chapel of Garioch. BBQ facilities available at both the visitor centre and Back O'Bennachie.
Bike Hire - No
Repairs - The nearest cycle repair shops are in Inverurie
Camping - wild camping available at Back O'Bennachie.

 
Nearby Trails
Other family trails to explore in the area include:
The Deeside Way
Formartine & Buchan Way
both of the above are based on old railway lines making them ideal for families or inexperienced cyclists.

 

 
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