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Perthshire

Perthshire is in the heart of Scotland and has (arguably) some of the best scenery, local produce, native forests, friendly towns ready to welcome riders, active local communities/scenes across the area, and a variety of riding for all different levels of riders.

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Perthshire Highlights

Comrie Croft

Comrie Croft is one of Scotland's best trail centres which captures the spirit of mountain biking. The trail centre combines a feeling of free-living, unique accommodation options including nordic kata's, wild camping, eco-lodges and hostels, a range of activities, a fantastic cafe, a quality bike shop, and (of course) an amazing range of trails.

Kids (of all ages) will love the skills park which has so many features including berms, jumps, pump track, skinny climbs, and rock gardens all built into a space which is only a minute ride away from the trailhead.

As you climb up the blue graded (moderate) climb you will cross small burns with expertly handcrafted stone bridges and the views over Strathearn will become more and more stunning. Also, look out for one of Scotland's most beautiful birds of prey, the red kite, who frequently fly above the trails.

The blue trail flows down the hill with lovely rollers, berms, and other features that deliver a fun-filled, grin-inducing descent suitable for most riders.

At the top of the hill are the red (difficult) and black (severe) graded trails. Most of these are hand-built by the hard-working folks at Comrie Croft Bikes and they are an amazing introduction to a more natural feeling trail.

DM Bin S Perthshire Comrie Croft Credit Scotty Laughland

Dunkeld & Birnam

Steeped in Scottish mountain bike history, Dunkeld has an amazing array of trails sculpted over the hills surrounding Dunkeld & Birnam.

For riders looking for hand-built, technical trails then Dunkeld has a fantastic network of trails on Craigvinean Forest, Birnam Hill, and from the mast on Newtyle Hill.

Used for many a year by the Scottish Downhill Association (SDA) the DH track in Craigvinean Forest features fast, flowing sections, meeting technical and steep shoot sections - it is a great ride.

For those looking for non-technical mountain bike trails taking you into beautiful places then a trip up to and around Loch Ordie is a classic Scottish mountain bike route (might now be called a gravel classic?) and features brilliant views along shared paths.

All the trails are serviced by the towns of Dunkeld and Birnam which act as the trailhead. The destination is ideally equipped for a mountain bike holiday with welcoming bike-friendly cafes, deli, and restaurants, along with hotels and bars which regularly feature lively nights with local musicians. The local bike shop, Progression Bikes, is also handily situated in the centre of town with everything you need including coaching/guiding, hire of both bikes and e-bikes, and a great range of stock.

DM Bin S Perthshire Dunkeld2

Highland Perthshire Gravel

Highland Perthshire Cycling, an amazing, proactive, and forward-thinking community group, have developed a series of routes from day classics, suggestions for bikepacking adventures, and multi-day touring routes all captured on an excellent website - Perthshire Gravel.

The area covered by the routes extends to the Cairngorms National Park in the north, Comrie, and Crieff in the south, Rannoch Moor in the west, and Bankfoot in the east. The cities of Perth, Dundee and Stirling are all within a day’s cycling distance from the southern and eastern edges of the area covered.

Highland perthshire gravel Credit Highland Perthshire Cycling

Perthshire Gravel - photo from Highland Perthshire Cycling


Aberfeldy

At the heart of Scotland, Aberdfeldy is on the strath-Tay as the river begins its journey from Loch Tay into the North Sea. It has a range of riding all around with steep and techy trails in the woods, big mountain riding all around, a new trail centre forming (Glassie Bike Park), and pleasant and easy riverside rides down the Tay to Grantully (nicely combined with a coffee and cake/take home goodies at the Highland Chocolatier in Grantully).

DM Bin S Perthshire Credit Scotty Laughland

Pitlochry

As you would expect from a town that has the impressive Ben Vrackie overshadowing it, Pitlochry is an ideal base for a mountain bike holiday.

There are excellent big mountain adventures to be had, fun local trails in the woods and fairly easy riverside rides along Loch Faskally (although not one to ride if you have vertigo).

The town is well served by the well established Escape Route bike shop and cafe who will be able to provide you with expert advice on the best trails and their conditions in the area.


Perth

Sitting just north of the city of Perth is Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park with the Deuchny Bike Park. The bike park has a range of jumps, some drops and is a lot of good times in a small area. Both sides of the hill have good natural trails which are used by the Fair City Enduro every October. The area is busy with walkers and horse riders - please ride with consideration and respect for other forest users.


Alyth

Alyth is home to a thriving local riding scene. The small but well crafted, and really good fun Alyth Bike Park features a blue route, pump track and jump line - it is well worth a visit. It was the first trails in Scotland to be constructed under a community asset transfer when a local group of volunteers, Alyth Hill Users Group, raised the funding to buy the land and put bike trails amongst orchards, walking paths, and wildflower gardens.

There is a good range of hill paths to create responsible adventures from the town into the nearby hills and even the Angus Glens if you want to stretch your legs.

In town, there is many nice cafes, quality chip shop, and Alyth Cycles who will service all your riding needs.

The footage was shot recreationally by Craig Crawford and is on the Alyth Bike Park website.


Coupar Angus

Coupar Angus has trails in its nearby woods, including the (in)famous spicy trails of Ballo Woods home to the Ballo enduro. The town has a skatepark, amazing play facilities, and the excellent Coupar Angus Cycling Hub - a thriving third sector bike shop.


Inspiration for your Perthshire Trip

To minimise our environmental impact we are promoting riders to visit our key destinations and stay for as long as possible.

We hope that riders will consider their impact - travel as sustainably as they can, eat and drink local, give back to the trails they ride, and ride responsibly - considering their impact on other users, mountain rescue teams, landowners/managers, and the environment.

Train: You can access Dunkeld & Birnam and Pitlochry via the Inverness line of the Scotrail service. It has limited availability for bike storage and we recommend (attempting) to book your bike onto the train in advance of travelling. If you are unable to book your bike on the train, and although it is not guaranteed, we do find the train guard's and staff generally take a reasonable approach to taking your bike on a train. If there is no space then please be polite and considerate towards all staff (we know you will but just in case)

Bus: There are bus services to Dunkeld, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy and Comrie from Perth run by Stagecoach. They recommend getting in touch in advance with the local office to see if they will take your bike on.

Car: We recognise that a car, or van, is a really flexible and handy option for mountain biking trips. Covid considerations/restrictions should be taken into account, however, when possible we would recommend sharing lifts and minimising any unnecessary journeys. Where possible, park up and ride from your accommodation.

Food: Perthshire has a variety of local suppliers and, particularly in the East of the region, there is a fantastic variety of fruit and vegetables grown. This excellent produce provides locally sourced meals available at cafe's and restaurants in each of the destinations highlighted.

Drink: Although not as well recognised as some of the other areas of Scotland, Perthshire has a vibrant whisky distilling industry with globally recognised brands such as Dewars and Aberfeldy coming from the area. It also has Scotland's smallest distillery, Edradour, which is worthy of a ride up to near Pitlochry (the paths are busy though, so ride with respect). There are also many local craft beers (alcohol & alcohol-free) and gins. Be sure to ask in bars and restaurants - Scotland has amazing local produce that should be sampled and enjoyed (responsibly).

Worth checking out a national campaign celebrating Scottish produce 'On the Table' - truly mouthwatering stuff!

Hotels: There is a good selection of hotels across Perthshire. Please consider booking with Expedia through this link - so, 5% of your booking will go to the Tayside Trails Association to help them maintain and develop the trail network you will be riding.

Camping: We highly recommend staying in a recognised campsite where there will be facilities including toilets, showers, and waste disposal onsite. Many campsites, such as Grantully Station Park (ran by our friends at Scottish Canoe Association) and Comrie Croft, have excellent bike-friendly facilities such as bike washes, secure storage, and direct access to trails from your tent/camper/van.

You may also, under Scottish Outdoor Access Code, choose to 'wild' camp - especially if you want a bikepacking adventure. Please be aware that you only have this right if you are a responsible camper - click away for more details on what that means in practice from our friends at Nature Scot.

Campervans: We highly recommend booking your campervan into a recognised campsite. Access rights do not include motor vehicles. For more information visit our friends at Nature Scot.

Trails Association: A lot of the trails across Perthshire are covered by the Tayside Trail Association who have trail crews running in Dunkeld, Ballo, Pitmedden, and Deuchny. They, along with ourselves, also supported Ben Cathro when he built a trail without permission in Pitlochry - video and story on PinkBike.

Comrie Croft: The good folks, especially the legends Digby and Colin in the bike shop, at Comrie have been working hard on the trails both onsite and in other locations across Strathearn. When you visit please pay the car parking (very reasonable), and, if you can, please consider dropping a donation in - not only will this help maintain the trails - you know they build more if they can!

Glassie Bike Park: A newcomer on the scene and currently developing an exciting range of trails - check them out.

With the exception of Comrie Croft and Glassie Bike Park which are purpose-built trails, all the other trails and paths in Perthshire you are riding under the right of responsible access as defined in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

We highly recommend reading through all elements of our Do The Ride Thing guidance to understand your rights and responsibilities.

At times Perthshire trails and paths can seem less remote and wild than some other areas of Scotland however the weather can change quickly, the trails can be challenging and you (or a member of your group) could have an accident. Good preparation can really help you stay safe on the hills.

The area is also busy with other users of the outdoors please be respectful and friendly at all times, make sure other users know you are there and be ready to give way at all times, and we can all enjoy this beautiful area together.


Trail Maps & Apps For Destination

To help you plan your visit to Perthshire we have collated the official trail centre maps and rider-driven apps which can help you discover the best trails across the area.

Rider populated apps are a great way to discover new trails however they may not be up to date with trail conditions and we recommend doing further research before you ride.

Please ride responsibly on all trails - follow our Do The Ride Thing guidance.



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