The Blue Route
The Glentress Blue Route Stats
Grade: Blue - Moderate
Distance: 8Km Lower Loop (recommended). Upper Loop adds 8Km. 16Km total.
Singletrack: 80% for Lower Loop; 60% for Upper Loop
Estimated Time To Ride The Route: 1 - 2 hrs for each loop
Are you looking to step up from green-graded routes to the next level? Or maybe you're a more experienced rider looking for a really fun trail to ride but want something less difficult than a red route?
The route has had extra sections of singletrack added over time, carefully crafted with Blue Route riders firmly in mind. The result makes climbing from the trailhead to the Buzzards Nest car park a much easier, more enjoyable experience, and the descent back down a whole lot of fun!
We’d recommend starting the Blue Route at the Trailhead and climbing as far as the Buzzards Nest, then either return to Trailhead or, if feeling very fit, do the upper loop of the Blue as well.
Climbing from the Trailhead
The route starts with a mellow climb up the forest road which soon brings you to the first section of singletrack, a short linking climb that is easy on the legs. Next up is Dougie Bank Climb, which contours gently up through a magnificent stand of mature Douglas Fir trees, with only a couple of short, steeper sections to negotiate. Half way up the climb the return section of the Blue Route crosses (a handy option if you’re looking for a short ride from the trailhead).
Soon you’ll be on to the next part of the climb, Cardie Hill. This trail weaves its way gently up the hill on smooth, fast rolling surfaces to the Buzzards Nest Car Park. At over 2km long, it’s worth pacing yourself! Along the way are several blue graded log beams to practise your balancing skills on as well as optional harder features, shortcuts to try and places to stop and catch great views of the Tweed Valley.
At the Buzzards Nest Car Park there are plenty of benches to take a well-deserved rest. From here, take the trail named Electric Blue back down towards the Trailhead or continue on to the Upper Loop.
Upper Loop (additional 8km)
From the Buzzards Nest the route follows a forest road gently downhill then joins a singletrack climb shared with the Red Route, with some tight hairpin turns. A further switchback climb follows, with even tighter turns and some steep pitches which will test your strength. From here the route follows a forest road climb further up into the forest.
Here you have the option to cut out the highest part of the route by taking the Blue Return Trail back towards the Buzzards Nest. Carry on though, and after a while you’ll reach the end of the forest road - and the Meteorite stane.
A short, sharp climb on rough surfaces then takes you up to the highest point on the route and the start of Betty Blue. The trail descends through dense forest on fun, flowing singletrack. It can take a little while for your eyes to adjust and the trail is quite narrow in places so take care! Several banked corners (berms) along the way add to the fun.
The route then follows a forest road downhill for a while, before flattening off, then climbing for a short time to the next section of singletrack.
Heading for Home
The Blue Return Trail follows the route of an old forest path down fairly narrow singletrack, dips through the Motorway then continues down with a sweeping left hand bend. The speed gained here helps get up a short steep climb that follows. The climb continues with another short steep pitch before a couple of switchbacks and a gentle descent to the road.
So named for its’ silky smoothness, Blue Velvet is many people’s favourite section on the whole route. It’s easy going singletrack with a gentle climb, followed by a mellow descent that curves its way beautifully down through well-spaced trees. Great for practising your cornering technique!
Berm Baby Berm
Our most recent addition to the Blue Route, Berm Baby Berm is super flowy like Blue Velvet but has lots of bermed (banked) corners, a slightly steeper overall gradient and some mellow table top jumps and rollers. It's a trail with plenty of 'zing' that pops you out back at the Buzzards Nest car park.
Note: Berm Baby Berm is so new that it's not detailed on the current Glentress trail map (we'll be updating the map soon).
Hidden away in the corner of the car park, the entrance to this trail (which takes you back down the Trailhead) can sometimes be missed.
Electric Blue snakes its way down through dense forest, with frequent turns, dips and rises that test your nerve and traction! Never too steep though, this trail can be enjoyed by all levels of rider. Near the end of the section, the trail breaks out of the dense forest and crosses over the Cardie Hill Climb via a timber flyover bridge into a big sweeping berm before more turns and rolling dips spit you out at the exit.
Falla Brae and Good Game
Cross over the forest road to joins a short singletrack section shared with the Red and Black routes. A steep entry provides momentum for a fun, slightly downhill section, before swinging off left onto Good Game, a 1.2km rollercoaster of a trail.
This wide, well-surfaced trail is packed full of tabletop jumps, rock steps and other features. The neat part is that each feature is split, so the features on the main line are graded blue, whilst optional bigger, harder features on the uphill side of the trail are red-graded. This enables blue riders to try red-graded features before hitting the Red Route for proper.
A short pedal along a flattish forest road and it's the start of The Admiral.
The trail has a similar feel to Blue Velvet, with mellow, flowing turns and gentle downhill gradients, but with the added bonus of optional rock features and mini tabletop jumps as well as a 40m section of curvy boardwalk to cross the main Glentress Burn.
A short, easy climb follows, then more gently descending trail before finishing above the ponds - rumoured to be home to a legendary-sized Pike, from which the trail gets its name! From here it's less than 5 minutes back to the trailhead and the end of the route on steadily descending forest roads.