|Scolty Hill Mountain Biking|
Scolty Hill is on the outskirts of Banchory, just over the River Dee from the town centre, and forms the eastern end of the Forest of Blackhall. Scolty Wood is managed with the help of the local community through Scolty Woodland Park Association.|
Scolty provides good mountain biking, but is very popular with walkers so be prepared for lots of interruptions especially at weekends.
A ride on Scolty can be extended through the Blackhall Loop to Shooting Greens on forest roads all the way. Though the more adventurous will want to explore the numerous small paths and tracks that lead off this loop.
Scolty provides loads of challenges for the experienced mountain biker, and yet still manages to be suitable for a family cycle if you choose your paths carefully.
Scolty is at one side of the Blackhall Forest, Shooting Greens is at the other. In between lies some superb mountain biking all of which is easily accessible.|
The challenge of cycling to the 20m tall tower at the top of Scolty is too great for most to resist. There are a few different ways to get there, all of which are regarded as walking trails so be prepared to ride responsibly and show consideration to others. The monumnet, which you can climb to the top of following a refurbishment in the early 1990s, gives spectacular views across the local countryside, and more importantly of your coice of descents back into the trees. They are all rocky in parts and demand your attention all the way, you will be dropping 200m in a farly short time - great¡
The Forestry Commission provide a handy map of the trails up Scolty Hill - print one off here
Scolty to Shooting Greens Trail
This waymarked cycle trail (green circle) is on forest roads all the way. From Scolty the cycle route goes through the Blackhall Forest to Shooting Greens at its western end. From there you can retrace or you can do a slightly longer circular loop that brings you back to Scolty. This longer route is a wee bit more hilly than the basic trail. Also worth noting that at the Shooting Greens end some of the trail is shared with a waymarked walk.
The Forestry Commission provide a handy map of the Scolty to Shooting Greens trail - print one off here
There are hidden gems of single track, swooping downhills and challenging climbs scattered through out the Blackahll forest. They are not marked, but they are there. Just get out and explore. Ask outher cyclists you meet on the trails - they might give up some of their favourite spots. You can spend a whole day here and still be able to uncover something new the next time you return.
|Getting to Scolty Trail Centre|
Both Scolty Hill and Shooting Greens' car parks are shown on OS map 45
Stonehaven and Banchory
Scolty is a mile from the traffic lights in the centre of Banchory. At the lights follow the B976 south to cross the River Dee, take the first public road to the right, then the next public road to the left. From there just follow the Scolty signs.
OS Grid reference NO691950
For Sat Nav use postcode AB31 6PT.
Shooting Greens car park is at the west side of Blackhall Forest. From the south use the B976 Banchory to Aboyne road, and turn north at the Feughside Inn on to an unclassified road (the Old Miliatary Road). The carpark is on the right a mile or so further on.
From the north, leave the A93 Banchory to Ballater road at Potarch just south east of Kincardine O'Neill. Cross the bridge and take an immediate left on to an unclassified road (the Old Miliatary Road). The carpark is on the left a couple of miles or so further on.
OS Grid reference - NO633943
Parking - Small charge. See above for choice.|
Toilets - Seasonal at Shooting Greens
Showers - None
Bike Wash - No
Cafe - No. Banchory has a good selection of cafes, shops, pubs & hotels. You have to pass either the Potarch Hotel or Feughside Inn if you drive to Shooting Greens.
Bike Hire - Not at Scolty, but available in nearby Banchory from Banchory Cycles
Repairs - The nearest cycle repair shop is in Banchory.