Backwater & Glenisla

Route Description

An all-day gravel adventure through the heart of the Cateran Ecomuseum with great views.

The route begins in Freuchies near Kirkton of Glenisla and follows a wide gravel path through the extensive Glenisla Forest to Glenmarkie Lodge. A path north of the lodge leads you into the open landscape. Pushing the bike may be necessary here as this gets very boggy.

Shortly afterwards the route continues on another wide gravel track that leads south past an abandoned house in Barny to Backwater Reservoir. A quiet tarmac road with picnic places along the way leads to the dam. From the end of the reservoir the route follows quiet and picturesque roads to Balintore Castle, which can be seen from a good distance, located on the moorland above a small village.

Shortly before Knowhead the route follows a gravel path on the right-hand side through beautiful, open hilly landscapes, past an abandoned homestead. If you are in a hurry, you can take the gravel road to Braes of Coul as a shortcut. Continue along the periphery of Kinclune Hill before continuing on quiet roads to Woodside Cottage, from where a smooth gravel path leads through the woods to West Campsie.

Shortly afterwards the route reaches the wildlife reserve Loch of Lintrathen. Peel Farm on the southern end of the loch is a great coffee stop, and the route continues on quiet roads to Bridge of Craigisla. The stunning Reekie Linn waterfall is just a short walk away.

From here, a small road leads past Broom Hill to Brewlands, with a wonderful view of the mountains of the Southern Cairngorms National Park. From Brewlands, the route follows a small road towards Folda and takes a dirt road to the right towards Auchintaple Loch. The route follows the Cateran Trail to Loch Shandra and on to the hotel in Kirkton of Glenisla, a great final stop before the route ends in the parking area in Freuchies.

Starting Point
Freuchies car park

Length
64km

Height
860m

Grade
Difficult (Red)

Route Map

This route has been designed by the Cateran Ecomuseum. Find out more about the heritage sites it connects you to.