A long remote mountain bike tour in the Grampian Mountains
A compass, O.S. Landranger Map 43 and the ability to use them are necessary for this route. Sufficient warm waterproof clothing and food are essential at any time of year. Do not cycle alone.
The southern section here, marked in purple is a circuit via Gleann Fearnach, passing to the south of Beinn a' Ghlo; virtually all of this is bikeable. The route can be made into a circle using public roads via Pitlochry. There are other possibilities however in Glen Tilt.
If you are prepared to walk for maybe three miles you could do a northern circuit linking Fealar Lodge to the top of Glen Tilt. This would create a northern loop entirely off road. Do not bike in this area during the stalking season (Aug - Oct) without checking locally first.
Access to the start is from the A924 nine miles east from Pitlochry. The entry point is 500 metres east of a school and a converted church. A sign says Glenfernate and Fealar Lodges and indicates that unauthorised motor vehicles are not allowed.
The road is tarmac as far as Daldhu. Bear right at the gable end of a bungalow shortly after the start to go round farm buildings, then continue up the glen. There is a gate to open and shut at the foot of a hill, after this the road rises gently all the way to Daldhu Lodge. Bear left on to a grassy Land Rover track by the river just before the lodge.
The grassy track soon gives way to a stony one, there are some ups and downs but the general trend is a gradual climb towards Beinn a' Ghlo, the track always visible in the far distance. Shortly before crossing a burn a right fork leads up Glen Loch to the oddly named Loch Loch. This is a scenic diversion and quite short.
After Glen Loch you pass a ruin and a steeper climb begins. The Land Rover track runs out after a couple of miles and you are on a rough footpath. Nevertheless we found this reasonably bikeable. You need to take care to follow the main track which turns south after a mile or so, do not be seduced into following deer tracks which lead off to the south-west and take you nowhere.
About a mile after crossing a burn, you pass through a gate and are on a faint vehicle track leading towards Shinagag. Bear right at Shinagag, following the vehicle track round to the north-west, crossing the Allt Girnaig burn on a small bridge. After this there is a gentle climb, then a long descent all the way to Blair Atholl. You splash over a ford, pass a wooden hut, then go through a gate to join a tarmac surface by Loch Moraig. There is a small car park there, mostly used by fishermen.
Bear right at a tree lined section then descend steeply to the River Tilt. After this there is a gentler descent on the east bank of the river to the public road.
If you are doing the route in the opposite direction note that the sign here says: Monzie, Old Blair and Glenfender.