7stanes

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Getting air at Glentress

The 7stanes are seven mountain biking centres spanning the south of Scotland, from the heart of the Scottish Borders to Dumfries and Galloway. They are on Forestry Commission land and along with schemes in Wales are regarded as the benchmark by which further trails in the UK should be developed. They are known as the 7stanes because each venue features a 'stane' (Scots for stone), created by artist Gordon Young,[1] somewhere along the forest trails.

The 7stanes:

Trail Grades[edit]

The trails use the Cyclists' Touring Club off-road trail grades with two additional categories, one called Bike Park and the other Forest Road and similar.

  • Green - Easy (relatively flat; suitable for beginners)
  • Blue - Moderate (may be singletrack and include minor obstacles; suitable for cyclists with basic off-road skills)
  • Red - Difficult (mostly singletrack, many obstacles; suitable for proficient mountain bikers)
  • Black - Severe (similar to red routes, with more obstacles and large challenging area; suitable for expert riders only)
  • Bike Park (Orange)- Extreme (highly challenging, includes downhill sections and unavoidable jumps; suitable for expert riders only)
  • Forest road and similar - these routes can be waymarked or not. The difficulty of forest roads can vary widely and this grade indicates these trails not part of a progression on to green and blue level singletrack trails.

The 7stanes Sites[edit]

Glentrool[edit]

Located in Galloway. Glentrool includes one 58 km road-based route (the only wholly road-based route in the 7stanes) one 9 km blue-graded route, and two green-graded routes (6 km and 14 km).Nearest bike shops are Brakehut open seasonally who hire bikes to Glentrool and Kirkcowan Cycles open year round and out of hours by appointment.

Kirroughtree[edit]

Located near Newton Stewart. Kirroughtree features green, blue, red and black trails as well as a skills area for practising mountain biking techniques. Winner of MBR Trail of the Year in 2010,[2][3][4][5] the trails are located within an officially designated Dark Sky Park area. Nearest bike shops are Brakepad (at trail start) open seasonally with bike hire and Kirkcowan Cycles open year round for sales and repairs. Courtyard Cycle Hire also at Kirkcowan offer cycle hire all year round. The Kirroughtree trail centre is currently under development with a new restaurant and bike shop/hire centre being planned which will offer customers year round service rather than the current seasonal opening if any company will take it on. Showers and other facilities will also be included. This facility is due to be completed by Autumn 2013 or 2014.

Dalbeattie[edit]

Located near Dalbeattie. This rocky site features a green-grade and blue-graded trail, along with a red-graded trail with optional black-graded sections. These include The Slab, a challenging steep granite rock. Nearest bike shops are Next Level Bikes, Castle Douglas Cycle Centre and MPG Cycles in Dalbeattie

Mabie[edit]

Around 6.5 km south of Dumfries, Mabie sports a number of trails - green, blue, red and black, as well as an ungraded 'purple' route, a mini-cross track and skills area. Numerous Cycle shops in Dumfries as well as at the trail centre

Ae[edit]

Located around 14 km north of Dumfries. Ae features a red-grade route with optional black-graded areas and two bike park- extreme downhill routes. For less experienced riders, green and blue trails are available.

Glentress and Innerleithen[edit]

Comprises two nearby sites close to Peebles in the Scottish Borders. Glentress is one of the best-equipped mountain biking sites in the UK,[6] with a cafe, bike hire shop and showering/changing facilities. Trails include a green, blue, red and black route. There is also the skills loop- a green-graded area designed for those new to the sport and the Freeride Park which is graded bike park- extreme. This park is full of challenging technical features for experienced riders.

A few miles to the south-east, Innerleithen features a red-graded cross-country trail (with black-graded options), and a bike park-extreme graded downhill area. This is a particularly challenging area and riders are recommended to wear body armour and a full-face helmet. A full trail centre has recently been completed with cafe and bike shop(Alpine Bikes)

Newcastleton[edit]

Located close to the Scotland-England border, this area includes a green skills loop, 2 blue-graded routes, a red-graded route and a bike park-extreme trail.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]