When you think of mountain biking in Scotland, you’d probably think of the Tweed Valley in the Borders or maybe Fort William in the West. But we took a trip that may make you rethink your next mountain bike trip in Scotland.
Nestled amongst the rolling hills and farm fields of Central Scotland lies the town of Aberfeldy. With a population of just over 2000 people (and a lot more sheep), Aberfeldy’s economy thrives on tourism and agriculture. Whether you’re looking for a nice place to spend a few days unwinding or chasing your next dopamine hit, Aberfeldy has something for everyone.
When it comes to the outdoors, Aberfeldy has plenty to offer – Between river rafting, hiking, and mountain biking, there’s no shortage of activities to keep you stoked. If you’re looking to slow things down and enjoy a different side of the town, there’s Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery, the Aberfeldy Watermill, or the Castle Menzies just 15 minutes west.
One of the most iconic nearby landmarks is Ben Lawers. The highest mountain in Southern Scotland and the 10th highest mountain in the country, Ben Lawers can be seen from hundreds of kilometres away. When we paid it a visit, the summit was clouded in, but the views below the clouds were second to none.
While the list of places to see around Aberfeldy is nearly endless, we chose to spend most of our time in town at the Glassie Bike Park. Situated on the property of a nearby farmhouse, the Glassie Bike Park is unique in the sense that it is community-built and maintained. This gives the park a more welcoming feeling and ensures the trails are kept in good condition throughout the year. Glassie trails start near the farmhouse at the highest point in town and wind their way down the hill into the valley. Fortunately for us, we had a local rider show us around the trails and give us a crash course in Scottish shredology.
Ryan Middleton lives about an hour down the road, but he makes the trip regularly to ride Glassie and experience all Aberfeldy has to offer. Aberfeldy has an eclectic mix of trail styles that range from aggressive tech to smooth flow with a blend of the west’s rocky terrain and the well-trodden trails of the south. This mix of muck and rock makes it so crucial to have frame protection while riding in this area.
To finish the day of riding, we stopped at “The Fountain” a local pub on the main street of town. We were immediately greeted by a group of local lads who tried to convince us to stick around and crush a few pints with them. Despite their best efforts, I had a car to sleep in and a mountain to climb the next morning, so I opted out this time.