Mixture of back roads and forest trails, hilly at times
The Speyside Way runs from Spey Bay to Aviemore. Bikes are allowed on much of it as far as Ballindalloch. Beyond this there are a number of back road alternatives. The National Cycle Network Route 1 also runs by Spey Bay and this might be included in a longer trip.
The Speyside Way is surprisingly quiet but very varied. Some sections are on the old Strathspey Railway, other parts are in forest, these are quite hilly. The route also uses riverside paths and minor roads.
The nearest railway stations are at Elgin and Keith, there are bus services which call at various points on the way. They don't take bikes, but might be very useful for returning you to your car at the end of a trip.
The local ranger service issue an annual newsletter, called The Speyside Wayfarer, this gives information updates on the state of The Way, and is full of advertisments for B&Bs, hotels, places to eat and places to buy food. The phone number of the ranger service is 01340 881266.
Fochabers is an attractive small town with plenty of places to eat (Quaich Cafe, Tart & Pie Shop, and plenty of shops).
This section is hillier, particularly around Ben Aigan. Leave the town by continuing east along the main street (A96) the turn right (south) just before a school. Do not continue to the A98/A96 junction.
After a climb pass Slorachs Wood. There is a scenic picnic spot on the opposite side of the road. One of the entry points to Forestry Commission mountain-bike routes is here.
After this there is a steep descent with a tight bend at the bottom, followed by a fierce climb. Following on there is a long descent, gradual at first, to Boat o' Brig, with fine views of the River Spey below.
At Boat o' Brig, we cross the B9103 - this can be busy. Turn right, then immediately left up steps by a house with a portico to leave the public road.
Climbing steadily now, turn left at farm buildings, and follow an electricity line into the forest. Turn right uphill again at a gun club sign.
The track dips into Ben Aigan Forest, then skirts it giving good views of the Spey valley. After this it enters the forest, and climbs steeply to a forest road. Turn right here.
There is an initial drop, a further climb, turn right at the forest road junctions. Finally there is a fast descent to leave the forest at a mountain biking sign. Turn left on to the public road and descend further; turn right at the A95 to enter Craigellachie.
The ranger's office is at Craigellachie. You can camp here free of charge - an attractive site by the river. There are toilets with cold water only, and no other facilities. Craigellachie has a Spar food shop, there is a friendly pub with a riverside garden and a good hotel and a choice of B&Bs.