Buy the OS Route Map and instructions for this route

The trail that cuts through Glen Ample is a great reminder of everything that’s wonderful about Scotland’s mountain biking. This is a wild valley, towered over by rugged Munros and hemmed in by impressive lochs. Plantations smother its upper reaches, but for most of its length, it’s open, steep-sided and remote; the kind of place that makes you want to linger a while and savour your majestic surroundings.
The route itself is all about the descent into the glen. The main challenges come from the initial climb to its head, first on a busy road that requires your full attention, and then on forest tracks that are steep in places but ride-able all the way. A deer gate ushers you out of the plantation into the full-blooded highland views, and from here the watershed is in sight, although a succession of small, boggy obstacles will ensure it takes a lot longer to get there than you’d have first believed.
And then it’s down. Mainly on rough-and-ready natural singletrack, but with plenty of other variations to keep you on your toes. The roughest sections will provide a challenge for even the most confident downhiller, with the fording of the Ample Burn almost guaranteed to make you put your foot down, or even a carry your bike, depending upon the state of the water. There’s a temptation to take the whole descent flat out — riding this good will always bring out the devil in any rider — but it’s just as good at 80%, with a little attention saved for the magnificent scenery.
The rest of the route — and there’s a fair bit left once you reach the bottom of the glen — is on well-surfaced trails and narrow lanes that’ll fly by effortlessly in under two hours if you keep your head down. But there are two potential distractions to keep you in the area a little longer: Rob Roy’s grave in the churchyard in Blaquhidder, and the pub in Strathyre. Visit both and you can quite easily make a day of it.