Innerleithen XC

Innerleithen XC Stats

Grade: Red - Difficult
Distance: 19Km
Singletrack: 75%
Estimated Time To Ride The Route: 2 - 4 hrs

As befits one of Scotland’s foremost downhill centres, the Innerleithen XC cross-country trail is not for the faint hearted. It includes a leg-burning, lung-busting climb to the summit of Minch Moor and then some thrilling singletrack descending, with jumps, drop-offs and optional features that are well-deserving of their black grading.

 

From the car park, you are immediately on to singletrack, with a switchback climb through the forest bringing you out on to a bridle path.

Stell Burn Climb

The first half of the ride is predominantly climbing, all the way to the exposed summit of Minch Moor at 570 metres. After the initial climb through the forest, the trail turns tricky at Stell Burn Climb. Over the road, the climb continues with more rock features as well as rooty bits to keep you on your toes. The climb then ramps up for the final section to the start of Taniel Hill.

Taniel Hill Contour Trail

This trail takes you along the side of Taniel Hill and is a cracker! Here you’ll find the first evidence of the downhill influence, with fast, flowing trails bringing you out at the top of an old gravel quarry. Here the trail dives down through the sweeping turns before coming to a split in the trail: straight on takes you down a steep face that sets you up nicely for a step jump, or keep left for a more mellow route. The trail then splits one more time with two short ways to finish the section off - both fun!

Lead Mine Climb

A shortish forest road climb then leads into another singletrack climb, near old mine workings, this time into woodland and over one or two tricky obstacles, including rock steps. The trail joins a shared right of way at Archman’s Bog, so watch out for walkers here, before heading towards the Minch Moor Climb.

To climb or not to climb?

Just before the Minch Moor Climb, the trail forks. Head right to carry on with the climb, or if you don’t fancy tackling it, head left onto the shortcut link. This cuts out all of the climb to the summit of the Moor, but it means you’ll miss the cracking view at the top, and the bermy singletrack descent off the top, complete with easy jumps. The link brings you out at the foot of the Minch Moor Descent, onto the fast, descending Enduro trail singletrack.

Minch Moor Climb and Descent

This is a grinding and seemingly never-ending ascent to the highest point of the route, the summit of Minch Moor, by way of narrow, winding singletrack. It can appear relentless, but the climb is steady rather than steep, and you are rewarded at the top with stunning views over the Tweed Valley, and the prospect of a swooping singletrack descent.

 

From the summit cairn the trail descends across open moorland and can feel rocketship fast depending on which way the wind's blowing. Look out for cheeky rock step options before the trail dives into the trees through series of fast interlinked berms.

 

You're soon at the Southern Upland Way where a newer section of trail starts. Littered with tabletop jumps, doubles, rock drops and bermed corners, this fast, well-surfaced section of trail will definitely get the adrenaline flowing. This then links into the older Enduro Trail - classic foot wide singletrack, that drops elevation just enough to keep you flying along!

Plora Craig

A steady descent then climb on forest road brings you to start of Plora Craig. It's a technical masterpiece that starts off weaving through open pine trees before doubling back across open hillside with tricky rock features, slippy roots and tight turns to negotiate.

 

There's also the option of an even trickier black-graded section of trail - Razor Rock - to attempt. Tough rock gardens, steps, drop offs and chokes, as well as a healthy degree of exposure in places, await to undo your good riding! If you don't fancy the black option, the main trail continues into Oh Deer, a beautifully flowing piece of singletrack that's a little mellower but still serves up plenty more rock features.

 

The two options then rejoin for the final part of Plora Craig - a fast descent, followed by a steady, though quite strength-sapping climb through a lovely young mixed woodland. From here, the route follows the forest road, climbing steadily to the final descent (and many people's highlight) of the route Cadon Bank.

Cadon Bank

Cadon Bank is utterly exhilarating - a 2km rollercoaster of a descent. After a couple of rocky steps you're onto the first of three (black-graded) rock drops in a row, each requiring mandatory air (i.e they can't be rolled over). The final one is over 4ft! These can be avoided, however, with an easier line to the left of each. Round a 180 turn, over a cheeky rock step and it’s into a series of 10 big rollers – like being on a rollercoaster, but on your bike! Check contents of stomach are intact, then it’s across a bridleway and into the lower section.

 

Down a rock chute and over a couple of smaller jumps you soon pick up speed. Two small rock drops fly quickly by then it’s into a big 180 turn, through some massive bombholes, then three doubles back to back. From here, things can get ridiculously quick over several wide step-downs, the last of which fires you into a big tabletop.

 

Through two turns, then a couple more rock steps follow, then a huge bombhole, which spits you out over two more tabletops. Two final turns, a couple of jumps and you’ve made it to the finish!

 

Note: apart from the rock drops at the top, everything else can also be rolled over at a more mellow speed.

The Trails view grading charts

Visitor Comments

Lauire
11/07/14
Rode both red XC innerliethen and Glentress route today. Both ace - Innerleithen probably wins it for me - just. Tough ascent but well worth it. Fast flowing downhills follow with plenty to obstacles to think about whilst flying down ...
Michael
02/07/14
Climb up is hard but worth it for the descent off Minch moor and the final descent Cadon bank gets the adrenalin flowing and each of the four drop offs I managed to ride the second one but the others need serious commitment.The alternate routes are less intimidating.
Ed
30/06/14
I'm newish to MTB. Rode the reds at Glentress the day before, but this one at Innerleithen was too hard for me. I had to bail out after 30 minutes and ride the fire trail back to the car park.
adrian adams
24/11/13
done the xc trail yesterday, (sat 23rd). brutal climb up the hill, liked the final section of taniel hill just before you hook up to the forest road again. the snow at the top added an extra element. nice descent back down, loved the razor rock section (dont look to the right though) also liked the caddon bank section
Geebs
23/09/13
First time back after tree clearing on Lead mine climb; weird with no trees but the view makes the climb easier. Shame when the machinery was there they didn't build some features on this section.Getting a bit rough these days, but still the best descent anywhere.
Phil
11/07/13
Cadon bank is great but there are four NOT three drop offs at the top!
Justin
07/05/13
The best trail in the UK
Chris
19/03/13
Rode the Innerleithen XC black this Sunday, was slightly disappointed to see the scale of the clearances, it really changes the atmosphere of the routes some nice wooded descents are now quite bleak.
The snow was fun from the top although a challenge getting there and it was great to get onto the lower sections.
MadSi
18/02/13
Rode this yesterday and really enjoyed it. A great varied trail and the added snow made for a heavier technical challenge. The more you ride it, the better it will become as you will know what is beyond each drop off. Shame that there aren't more berms to carry your speed as you have to scrub quite a bit for the switch-backs as with Glentress.
napalmjeff
24/11/12
cant stop going here to it goes like this minch moor climb and then glentress black trail yeha .
steven robertson
17/09/12
Not been to Innerleithen for over 4 years as I have to drive past Glentress to get there.but will defo be back soon. Loved it. First time I have actually burst out laughing on a decent for a long time. The climb up is well worth it for the decent.
Kerry Price
17/08/12
Love it, cracking climb leads to some of the best XC riding I've ever done and I've got Afan on my doorstep. The lightning fast singletrack descents kept me grinnin. Nice rock sections and fast flows through the forest. See you next year.
Col
18/07/12
Amazing fun!! Technical uphill, followed by a long fast long decent.
Mark
11/07/12
Rode this a couple of days ago, excellent trail. It was raining and extremely wet and slippy. Far more challenge than the red at Glentress. Look forward to going back up when its drier.
Andy
10/05/12
Interesting single track climb, followed by blisteringly fast single track descent. Perfect riding!!!
B
16/03/12
Outstanding trail
Douglas Beattie
03/03/12
I did this MTB run today and it is some of best mountain biking i have ever done! Totally awesome!! Its quiet challenging and a lot of steep-ish climbing to start with to the top of Moor Minch but worth it! lots of rocks, boulders a few tree roots sticking out.
sowdie
27/02/12
There on Sunday. Really good and worth a return visit.
peelywally
04/12/11
Rode it for the first time today. Minch Moor and the surrounding hill tops all covered in snow. What a great experience. Easily one of favourites now!
Geebs
07/11/11
First time on a full susser and jeezo it's so much faster than the h'tail. Any recommendations for tyres? Nobby nics on my trance x4 were a bit slippy on the rocks.
Rosco
02/09/11
This is the best stane by far. If you don't mind the climb to start the rest is the best time you can have on two wheels. Cadon bank to the car park is epic.
Steve L
01/09/11
been 4 times and love it, best stane out there by far.
mark merry
28/08/11
Really nice ride, best stane. Final 2k not for beginners!
martin
01/08/11
Really enjoyable, basically straight up and down. You can roll the black drops.
Brian (DK)
31/07/11
Like!!!
Tom & Arnie (road trip 2011)
20/06/11
absolutley brilliant,great long climb brilliant descent,cracking views on minch moor,last section back to finish is amazing.
Mat Wood
17/06/11
Finally got a full-suss bike an ventured up this trail. Wow - what a ride! Some very scary stuff but the roller-coaster sections of Cadon Bank are amazing. More of this please!!
Tommo fae Craignewton
26/05/11
Done all the 7stanes, Inners is the best without a doubt!
Kyle Brown
25/05/11
About as good a trail centre ride as you'll find
Geebs fae Markinch
18/05/11
Always knew this trail was ace, but looks even better watching my descent on helmet cam'.Is there a better whizz than minsch moor?
Terry K
25/10/10
The climb up is horrible, but coming back down - pure adrenalin once you know where to put your wheels on Cadon! Feels about twice as fast as long-time old favourite Spooky Wood.
Chris Humphreys
25/10/10
Awesome. I'm a beginner but with some guidance managed this ok. A real test of metal at times, particularly the ascent, but feels like a real adventure.
rmcc
18/10/10
Awesome climbing with some tricky rock challenges along the way. Do the full climb to get the best of the descents, the speed you can pick up on the enduro singletrack is ridiculous! Absolutely love it, far better than GT Red :)

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Facilities

Catering

Glentress Café 

Monday - Thursday 10am-5pm
Friday 10am-5.30pm
Saturday 9.30am-6pm
Sunday 9.30am-5.30pm
 

For more information see:

Parking

Glentress has several parking options. The trail head is at Glentress Peel visitor centre. 
 

Car Parking Charges:

 £2 for 1 hour perfect if you’re stopping off for some food and refreshments in the café.
 £5 per day (or £3.50 for 3 hours). This applies to all car parks at this location Glentress Peel (over 100 spaces), Falla Brae, Buzzards Nest and our two overflow car parks.
You can pay car park charges by credit or debit card (with chip and pin) in the two Glentress Peel car parks and the Buzzard's Nest car park.  If you prefer to pay by cash the machines accept all denomination coins but do not accept notes.

 

Toilets

Forest Park Gateway building (toilets, showers & changing) at Glentress Peel: Open 9am - 6pm Daily. Showers cost £1 for 5 minutes

Bike Hire

Alpine Bikes
Monday - Friday open 9.30am to 6pm;
Saturday & Sunday open 9am - 6pm

Advanced booking is recommended. Phone 01721 724522 for bookings and further information.

Bike hire is also available in Peebles and in Innerleithen.

Trail Conditions

Glentress - Current at 29th August 2014


Trails: All open except: on Sat 6th Sep to enable the Peebles CC Youth MTB Stage Race to take place the Skills Area and also Blue Velvet (post 27- 28) on the Blue Route will be closed for a part of the day.  A short diversion for Blue Route riders will be in place walking along forest road verge (post 27 - 28) and Red Route riders also asked to walk along verge between post 28 and 37, whilst racing is on (marshals will be on hand to advise).  Exact timings tbc.

Conditions: Good.

Diversions: See above.

More info: Contact 07834 435380
 

Innerleithen - Current at 29th August 2014

DH Trails: All open.

XC Trail: All open.

Conditions: Good.

Diversions:  Short temporary diversion on XC Trail at the very end of the Lead Mine Climb and for first 100m of Clattering Path (post 18) due to storm damaged trees.

More Info: Contact 07834 435380

Today's Weather

Partly Cloudy
57°F / 14°C

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