The Moray Monster Trails at Ben Aigan are part of an exciting development, which includes - and should eventually connect - three different forests, Whiteash, Ordiequish and Ben Aigan itself.
The Moray Monster Trails is the name given to an enviable network of mountain biking trails, joining up three distinct centres, at Whiteash and Ordiequish, both of which are at Fochabers, amd at Ben Aigan, near Craigellachie. The development of all three centres is the result of an innovative partnership between the Moray Mountain Bike Club and Forestry Commission Scotland, with a lot of voluntary work undertaken by local riders to help to realise the dream of world-class trails in this beautiful part of Scotland.
The Fochabers Ring is the section of trail at Whiteash, and it is graded red. It mixes single-track, fire road and double-track en route to the Fochabers Freeride area, which boast some North Shore before taking you on to a trail that packs in jumps, berms and drop-offs. This section can be bypassed by continuing on the Fochabers Ring, which delves into Mirkwood and then follows some great natural single-track. The freeride area and the Ring join up again and it is possible to carry on back to the start.
In Ordiequish there are five possible rides, graded from blue to black - though there is no red-graded trail at present - with a skills area as well. All the trails start with the same climb, which takes you first to the family-friendly Soup Dragon - a blue route - and then to Gordzilla, which is a blue graded section. Or carry on, climbing 3kms in total, to the 2.4km Gully Monster - a tight, black-graded and very challenging trail, not least since it requires great balance, with a steep drop to the left. The Haggis is another blue-graded trail in Ordiequish woods: it is very rideable for a range of abilities and has lots of fun park style features.
The Haggis can also be used to connect with Ben Aigan. The Ben Aigan Hammer is the longest ride in this forest, with what is arguably the longest unbroken section of purpse built single track in Scotland. Measuring 6.7kms, it loops around the hill, climbing up and dropping down by way of series of sometimes dramatic undulations. There are also lots of drop-offs, jumps and table tops as well as great views across the Spey Valley. On a clear day the view extends to the Moray Firth, and north to the Morven and Sutherland hills.
At the end of the summit loops there are two possible descents: the black-graded Mast Blast, or the bunny, which is graded orange. The Bunny, which is 1km long, is steep in places and often rutted and bumpy. The Mast Blast provides a smoother downhill ride. Both lead to a section of fireroad that takes you to a final 1.2km section of single-track, switchbacking down to the carpark.
At just over 15kms, the Ben Aigan Hammer is the longest ride available at the three centres, but to connect this ride with Whiteash and Ordiequish gives a much bigger outing. In total the ride connecting the three centres is 28kms, with 20kms of that on single-track.
Blue - Soup Dragon
Blue - The Haggis
Blue - Gordzilla
Red - The Fochabers Ring
Red - The Ben Aigan Hammer
Black - The Mast Blast
Black - Gully Monster
Orange - The (pink fluffy) Bunny
Orange - Fochabers Freeride
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