The Red Route

The Glentress Red Route Stats

Grade: Red - Difficult
Distance: 18Km
Singletrack: 65%
Estimated Time To Ride The Route: 1.5 - 3 hrs

The Glentress Red Route is our most popular route. Built between 1998 - 2000 and tweaked and updated ever since, the Red is a classic trail that has everything: big climbs, fast flowing descents, jumps and berms in abundance, elevated timber trail, roots and rocks – it’ll leave you grinning from ear to ear!


From the Trailhead

The Red Route is best ridden from the Trailhead. A singletrack climb link soon after the start means the trail now bypasses the old, killer forest road climb. Exiting here the trail snakes gently up Dougie Bank Climb singletrack, making for a very civilised start.


Look out for some log balance beam options on the extension to this climb, as well as some cheeky rock step short cuts.


Over the road, the climb to the Buzzards Nest continues on the Cardie Hill section which removes the forest road slog! Instead, silky smooth singletrack climbs gently up through dense forest at first, before breaking out into the open, where stunning views of the Tweed Valley await. For more experienced riders there are several rock shortcuts to try and in late summer 2009 we'll have several log skinnies open to add to the challenge. It'll be tricky to clean them all without dabbing!

Pennels Vennel

From the Buzzards Nest Car Park the route climbs up the forest road alongside then above the Freeride Park, from where a short pedal brings you to the first singletrack descent. Pennels Vennel is steep in places, with a loose rocky surface, flat turns and water splashes – it’s a technical introduction to the descents on the route.


The next two climbing sections are shared with the Upper Loop of the Blue Route and include several switchback turns, the ones on the second section being tighter and definitely more challenging. There’s no respite as the following forest road section continues the climb. Cracking views open up as the road flattens off, with picnic benches on hand for a quick breather at the entry to the next singletrack climb.


A great stretch of uphill singletrack follows, with sharp corners, steep, loose stones and a series of switchbacks to negotiate on the way to another forest road, high above the Tweed Valley.


Follow the road and then turn right onto the short section of singletrack that leads to the entrance to the Spooky Wood descent.

Spooky Wood

This is a stunning 1.5km-long singletrack descent. It starts with three steep, rocky drop-offs and then flows and flows, thanks to its twelve 180-degree bermed bends, 18 jumps and 17 tabletops. At the end of the trail, there’s just time to gather breath crossing the forest road before you enter the Super G, where more singletrack leads to Hit Squad Hill.

Hit Squad Hill, The Matrix and The Pie Run

Classic Glentress downhill follows: the trail is steep, rocky and twisting through the big dipper style Hit Squad Hill. At the bottom, follow the forest road, climbing past the viewpoint on your right and up towards The Matrix, with its mogul-style features. After Lombard Street, a steady forest road descent will bring you to the top of the Magic Mushroom.

To climb or not to climb?

If you want to cut out The Matrix and in particular the climb up to it, you can opt for the Pie Run. Handbuilt by the Glentress Trailfairies and Borders College volunteers, the trail weaves tightly through the trees, with exposed roots providing an additional challenge, especially when it’s wet. At the end of the trail, another short Trailfairies-built stretch - Mushroom Pie - brings you out just across the forest road from Magic Mushroom.

Magic Mushroom

Here there are more tree roots to negotiate, as well as hump back bridges and some North Shore timber trail. Continue through the Tourist Trap and on to Sair Fecht: two brief, steep uphill sections that take you back on to the forest road.


Once onto the road, you can follow it back up towards the Buzzard’s Nest car park, or turn left down Falla Brae for the final, fast and thrilling singletrack descent back to the Hub car park.

The Trails view grading charts

Visitor Comments

Jayson K
wow! This trail is the yard stick to which all other trails I ride will be measured. It's rides like this which is exactly why I got into MBTing
First time up spooky wood yesterday, visited various other stanes and this is by far the best route
first time at glentress, what an awesome place, so much to do, great tracks, great people, facilities planning next trip already
Spooky woods = awesome. Enough said.
Isaac Kirk
Only 14 years of age and really enjoyed my weekend at glentress and the spooky wood decent and parts of the blue like burn baby burn and blue velvet I'm sure to visit again
First 7Stane visited will definately use again all round excellent service red & black routes well worth it!
Martyn Mair
First time riding offroad and first time at Glentress, amazing,exhilirating experience...will definitely be back...great facilities, friendly staff and the trails were superb.
First time at Glentress fantastic place, great trails and all the people in the facilities were fantastic and really helpful.
I think that spooky wood is quite possibly my favourite.Awesome hub perfect for after the ride out.
ian smurthwaite
Best Downhills in the UK by far......nowhere else comes close.(and that includes Hamsterley, Dalby, Winlatter North & South, Grizedale & Guisborough!!)The trails flow soooo well and are all so different.Facilities fantastic too. Innerleithen in the morning followed by Glentress red in the afternoon is the dogs Bananas!!!! A must for all Mountain bikers.
Shaun Boardman
2 Trees down on Pennel Vennel, as of 19th March 2014
Tom Will
Blue is a great warm up for the morning. Then after some lunch and a bit of fun at the skills area, do the red. Bliss....
Although, personally - I still think Kirroughtree has the better single track
jeff adam
i like the comment graham swarbrick left about the black trail so funny . i got the stamina not the technicallity am lovin the black trail right after i have done innerleithen xc trail am just sayin ye know.
Dave M
Probably my fave Stane so far (Ae, Mabie, Dalbeattie, Inner done) - 1st time today at Glentress - great facilities (so nice to have a hot shower with a 3 hr drive after!). Lots of options on the Trails too
One of the best in the UK,good climbs, fast flowy descents
Graham Swarbrick
Did the black on Saturday and felt in no way rewarded for my effort. however, did the red and blue and Freeride park on Sunday and it was amazing. best advise would be to avoid the black at all costs. No jumps, technical sections, just painful up hill slog followed by a boring and featureless descent.
Wil ldefinititely be travelling the 400 miles to go back but won't be doing the 19 miles of torture when we are there.
It is only graded black because of the stamina required., not it's technicallity.
Be warned...
Pete C
Just been south of the border hitting a few xc trails out with the 7 stanes. Now appreciating what we have in particular Glentress, Never tire hitting those red routes having done them many times :-) brilliant facilities and a cafe to match.
Pete C
Just been south of the border hitting a few xc trails out with the 7 stanes. Now appreciating what we have in particular Glentress, Never tire hitting those red routes having done them many times :-) brilliant facilities and a cafe to match.
Michael H
Great, one of the best trail centres in the uk,something for everyone!
Stephen McNeill
spooky wood is wellworth the climb, its free flowing with lots jumps and drops. Will come back, facilities are brilliant
Scott Torrance
Red route is fantastic fun. Downhill sections are well worth the climb to the top.
Paul B
First time at Glentress (I usually ride in the Pentlands). Tried the Red Route and loved it! Lots of climbs and some great technical downhills! Great fun, I can't wait to ride the red again.
4 hour drive to ride this today, amazing red route a couple of time,best I have ever ridden, then a five hour drive home and I'm still buzzing. Hard to put into words how good this place is! Just go!
Andy Morris
First time to Glentress, great day, the rain stopped just as I left the car park... Did betty blue then cut onto hit squad hill then the pie run.... Mega !
A trail of thirds...two up, one down. Cracking ride on Monday 8 July but hard work and it takes a long time to get up, and not so long to get down.
First time at glentress and did the blue route had a great time can't wait to go back red route here I come
Went last week for the first time, so good went back the next day! Climbs were a killer but got easier the second day! Only downside is the petrol costs! Now looking into moving to Peebles!!

Only tried the blue trails the first day; electric, good game etc. And the red return the second day, only due to my complete lack of fitness! Be back next week to take on the spooky woods et all!!
Did both Inner & Glentress recently. Inner is a massive slog to the top (about 2 hours non stop)but the downhill is rapid!!.Glentress red route was great as was the skills park. Highly recommended
Red Route is awesome. The climbs are fairly straight forward but tiring BUT the downhill rewards are superb! From Spooky Woods onwards is a downhill, berm, drops and table top fest. ADn the weather was perfect even after raining the track was fast. Back again in July!!!!!
Paul Smith
What a day. First time at Glentress and definitely won't be the last. Left from the bottom carpark and headed up to the spooky woods. Unfortunately there was quite a bit of snow still on the course but halfway down it cleared up, still an awesome run. Finished the red route then headed back up to "play" on the free ride park and had a ball.
Great time, great facilities.
first time here wanted to do black route but told too much snow so tackled red route wow absolutely top dollar worth the big climb for the big descent defo be back again
G smith
First time at glentress. Great downhill but was getting very annoyed by the up hills which seemed never ending and after any downhill there's twice as much uphill. Tracks 18k, seems 13k was of un necessary and boring up hills. Won't use again.
Did pennels vennel to get a taste of the red route. it was top drawer!! think il need more travel on my forks to tackle the whole route next time round! superb!!
Max James
My first time this weekend and it was simply the best! The trails are unbelievable they have everything, mountain biking heaven! Some lung busting climbs but the rewarding downhill just blows you away! Defenitley coming again! My favourite has to be spooky wood packed with speedy drops, tables and berms.
Malcolm Willison
Love this route and have been lucky enough to make it up from Lincolnshire several times now. The red rides so well whatever the conditions (just different challenges)The more you get to know it, the more you want to come back - and the more you can get from it! Fantastic, mountain biking at its best!
Ben tweddle
Had a good first time on the red route shame about the snow and me jacking in half way round tryed to blame me bike but its just my lack of will power really
G Mac
First time out on a mountain bike, took on the Red Route. There is a fair bit of climbing and in an inch of snow it was quite tricky at times. The downhills were just awesome. I'm used to a road bike but this was a whole new experience for me. Thoroughly enjoyed it. There is no way you can go off route as the sign posts are everywhere. Fantastic hour and half.
Danny Clarke
My first visit and I have to say it was fantastic, only thing lacking was my fitness.. I'll be back next weekend!!!!
Gregor Gilchrist
Absolutely brill, even the uphill because it gives a technical climb what is actually great fun, and the DH well... amazing. Im 12 and i got did the up hill so dont be scared kids!!
immense track. it delivers everything you could hope for from a track
The Gollum
Thirty of us there on Sunday mixing up the Rad, Blue and Deliverance. Absolutely fantastio day with the usual handful of injuries and mechanicals but nothing serious. Bring on the snow!
Phil and Ben
first visit!! fantastic facilities and routes. Spooky woods sooo good. we'll be back soon!
The red is probably one of my favourite trail I've ridden best ridden on a sunny day but still good fun in the rain. If you don't like long climbs then you should probably start with something easier. Though the the climb rewards you with a good view and an amazing downhill through spooky woods the red has it all.
James Hunt
First time to Innerleither and Glentress and what a wonderful experience. Cracking trail centre with routes for all types and levels. Tried both the Red and Blue routes and both had much to offer, Red more technical with bigger stuff, blue more leisurely but still with bits to get your teeth into. Would highly recommend to all, will be back again next year!
Stevie Barrie
First time there, first time doing any bike tracks and what a laugh and fun I broke a bike there but well worth it. Great jumps nice tracks. We done mot of the black route then cut to the red as the black is not any good but the red is well worth doing.
The red route 1/10/12: Not been to Glentress for at least 7 years, What a run, loved it, made me feel I should not have left it so long. Fantastic, adrenalin fuelled fun, definately be back.....soon.
Jon Blanchard
Awesome.. the climbs are enjoyable the decents leave you grinning from ear to ear. Theres something for everyone. Why does this route only have 3 stars??
Amazing route, much better than the blue as its more challenging and has all the jumps, roots, rocks and climbs you would want!
liam harrison
Me and my mate did the red route and it was amazing, we are not experts as only done the red at Mabie and Ae. We recommend doing the climb to the matrix as it's realy good. After finishing we went back up to post 45 and did the pie run and mushroom pie, I'm glad we did as these little bits are realy good also. It brings you out at magic mushroom which we also did again as it's our 2nd fav bit after spooky woods, love the jumps and tabletops there! Cant wait to get my own bike instead of hiring, next time we will do the black route.
Dave Legh Hayton
Further to my previous comment on 05/08/12, I would just like to add that both my son & I thoroughly enjoyed the ample meals provided at Glentress Peel, including a few hearty breakfasts, we took a lot away with us from our stay, including some new skills, perfected on your excellent trails, we couldnt leave without having a blast on your fab skills area. We can't wait to return, the wigwam stay was first class as well. Definitely the best I've visited!
The more I do this trail the more I like it. Excellent trail. Went round it twice today - legs were burning by the end of it.
Dave Legh-Hayton
My ten year old son & I combined red & blue routes and the smiles on our faces was immense, totally brilliant trail centre, much much better than we have here in the lakes, we will be back very soon. The Skills Area rocks, keep up the good work!
Tried this route after doing the full length of the blue route and was maybe a bit over confident. Really good route, a lot more rougher than the blue one. I was going faster than my abilities and came off a few times but nothing major. I would say it is a bigger step up from the blue than I was expecting but more challenging. Great day.
Lyndsay steele
Hi I would like to thank the fellow riders, rangers, paramedics and air ambulance who came to our aid when I had my accident on the spooky woods decent yesterday. Not only did you take great care of me but also my partner chris and daughter Nicole. I cannot thank you enough and would like you to know I am recovering well and got home today. If anyone involved sees this or you are someone who knows of any of my heros please let me know so I can say thank you. I can't wait to get back when I'm fit. It's a comfort to know that there is such great fellowship among us. Thanks again Lindsay.
Moderator: Thanks for keeping us updated Lyndsay, pleased to hear you are recovering well!
James Matthewson
Went here on the 28/07/12 and its absolutely amazing. From the freeride park to spooky woods. I feel I learned alot from a day at glentress that will help my riding. The climb to the top of spooky woods is a killer but well worth it!! Cant wait to go back!!
Done the red route on Saturday for the first time in 2 years... brilliant as ever and was impressed by how well the trail is standing up to the constant rain!
I thought the red course was brilliant fell at the top but nothing bad and it was amazing. Will defintely be making another visit.
Alex Hastings
AMAZING some of the best fun i've had in a while!!!!!!!
Geebs fae Markinch
Great job done by the guys relaying the top of Spooky Wood. Have to say the rest of the descent is a lot faster as well now I've got a full susser. Have to echo the other sentiments regarding the Peel compared to The Hub. Has lost the "working class" feel. Shame
James Wilson
Was having a good day on Monday until I came off my bike going down spooky woods and broke wrist. I was helped by some fellow mountain bikers, unfortunately I can't remember their names. Their help in getting me down a safe spot to wait for ambulance was appreciated. Many thanks again to you all and to the Glentress bloke who recovered my bike. Looking forward to getting back on my bike later in the year, may stick the green routes a for while.
Another great fun loop round the red.. just a shame the new cafe just doesn't match the Hub.
the new peel is great, you don't feel crammed in - money well spent. shame I cant say the same about the wall ride section. Come on guys get it sorted and get it open again. What a waste im sure all would agree.
Was at Glentress yesterday and did the whole red route. Was brilliant as usual with spooky wood being the highlight. Can't help but feel that the experience is lessened by the hub being replaced by the monstrosity that is the Peel centre.
At Glentress this weekend. Another great ride. Getting better on my new Mondraker. Weather great, shame spooky not open yet but well worth the drive from Glasgow and a mean minestrone soup to re-fuel. Love the red and black, even at 48. :-). Glentress is where your skills get better.
Even though I broke my shoulder in Spooky Wood last year, I still rate the Glentress Red as the trail I most like to ride. Nothing like the feeling after the climb, refreshment break, adjust saddle and getting ready for the descent with the berms etc in full view.
did red trail last weekend for the first time , was awsome however wish ma brakes had been working a bit better, heading back this weekend may try the black this time .
awesome probably the best of all the routes
Allan Hann
Good varied route,some great singletrack and a tough climb up to Spookywoods, great reward afterwards though!
sam mumford
Best track so far love it evry time i do it
I've been MTBing all over the world and although I've been going up to Glentress for more than 20 years, the red route never fails to please. Fantastic varied terrain, imaginative trail design, great views, and excellent facilities at the start and end of the ride. Can't praise Glentress highly enough!
Red route is the absolute greatest xc track i ever tryed.
its good
pie run, me and my son love it
Ben Mordue
My Son and I have just completed the Red Route in 1.40 it was hard work climbing up but well worth the descent. very well sign posted and easy to follow.We will visit again next year for longer than a day
Big Matt
Superb. As difficult or easy as you want to make it. Grateful to the lovely couple who gave me an inner tube after a I got a flat on Spooky Wood descent!
Been Glentress 3 times. PS Take some spare rear hangers, first time attempted smashed it off, carried bike all way bac from Spooky Wood, Ouch. But Red Route always great fun, even for those who like me dont do X all the time. Shame not a place like this nearer Glasgow.
I love every single part of it. Just pure fun
gordon stewart
came up 25/9/2011 had a gr8 time, needs a chair lift, seriously good though
Mark Logie
Excellent fun, and a good challenge. Quite a good range of flowing and jumps and drop-offs. Not very technical, but requires a good level of confidence. Excellent track.
Sweet route with the right mix of ups and downs, avoid saturday as v busy.
My local trail (lucky me!) and I love it but it's beginning to show its age in places. Pennel's Vennel and Hit Squad Hill are both in desperate need of a make-over. Spooky Wood always a delight.
Andrew Henly
Rode it twice recently, was even better than I remember it. Sweet trails, looking forward to riding it again soon.
sid ambrose
Trying glentress this saturday for first time should be excellent, but somebody should take down these other spam comments
Moderator: Hi Sid, we have been having terrible problems with spam recently and a few seem to have slipped through the net. Should be all gone now though!
Tom & Arnie (road trip 2011)
a really great run nice easy climb to get your lungs going,then the hard work begins.will do again next time we visit.
My favourite riding spot, love the place, cant wait to come back. If you like fast, flowing, swoopy trails, DO NOT dismiss the blue trails ! Yes a 10 year old could roll along them safely, but try riding them at speed...
Great website. Are you thinking of adding trail maps to it? Perhaps using googlemaps satellite view?
Moderator: Hi Rhidian, you can join as a Friend (top of the page in the Menu) and you can download all the trail maps for free!
Robb Hales
amasing track must do again as soon a possible amazing fun !!!!!!!! spooky wood all the way
Totally amazing fun!!! the best so far!

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Glentress Café 

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 9.30am-4.30pm
Wednesday: Closed

Saturday, Sunday: 9am-5pm

For more information see:



Glentress has several parking options. The trail head is at Glentress Peel visitor centre.    
Buzzards Nest Car Park and Forest Road past Go Ape closed due to weather conditions

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.



Forest Park Gateway building (toilets, showers & changing) at Glentress Peel:

Open Mon - Fri : 9am - 4.30pm

  Sat & Sun: 9am - 5.00pm

Gateway Facilities will be closed 25th & 26th December, 1st & 2nd January

Showers cost £1 for 5 minutes

Bike Hire

Alpine Bikes
Monday - Friday open 9.30am to 4.30pm;
Saturday & Sunday open 9am - 5pm

Closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day.  Restricted trading hours from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 26th December and 2nd January

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

Bike hire is also available in Peebles and in Innerleithen.

Glentress Mountain Bike Trail Centre,, 38,

Trail Conditions

Glentress - Current at Thu 4th Feb 2016 


Trails:   Lower Green mtb Route, Blue mtb Route, Skills Area and Freeride Park all fully open. 


Upper Green mtb Route:  closed until Fri 18th Mar 2016 (7 days/week) for tree felling operations.  Janets Brae road (access to/from Peebles) and 'Zoom or Bust' also closed Mon - Fri (open weekends) for duration of works.


Red mtb Route: Matrix, Lombard St, Pie Run, Mushroom Pie and Magic Mushroom closed due to tree felling operations until Fri 12th Feb (7days/week).  Diversion from post 45 to 54.  Pennels Vennel closed long term due to windblown trees with diversion from post 37 to 38.  Rest of Route open.


Black mtb Route:  Last part of Redemption Climb, Ewok Village, XX, Bitch, Wormhole & Magic Mushroom closed due to tree felling operations until Fri 12th Feb (7days/week).  Diversion from post 87 to 54.  Rest of Route open.



Conditions:  Very wet - lots of surface water on trails.  Icy patches on highest level trails.  Please take extra care when high winds forecast as this could lead to windblown trees and branches across trails.


Diversions: See above


More info: Contact 07834 435380


Innerleithen - Current at Thu 4th Feb 2016


Caution!  Part or all of trailhead carpark likely to flood at present.  Please park in Innerleithen town if required.


DH Trails: All open.


XC Trail:  All open.   


Conditions: Very wet - lots of surface water on trails.  Icy patches on highest level trails. Please take extra care when high winds forecast as this could lead to windblown trees and branches across trails.


Diversions: none. 


More Info: Contact 07834 435380

Today's Weather

31°F / -1°C

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