The descent is the first part of over 4.5km of new singletrack being built to improve the blue route at Glentress, which is in turn part of phase two of the 7stanes project.

“The aim was to build a trail not too scary for those new to mountain biking, yet fun for all levels of rider,” said Andy Wardman, Forestry Commission Scotland’s mountain bike ranger at Glentress, who has overseen the works. “Wide, smooth surfaces and gentle downhill gradients should inspire confidence and the many jumps, rock steps and other features all have harder and easier options to enable riders to progress their skills. I’m really excited about this trail, hopefully it will encourage more people to try mountain biking and have fun! We hope the new trails will improve the starting and finishing experience for all riders.”

Glentress’s new blue descent spits riders out after an upper section named ‘Good Game’ that descends though a stand of mature Douglas Fir trees and has been built by local trail builder and now mountain bike ranger at Glentress, Richard Hamilton. The shorter lower section known as ‘The Admiral’ after a legendary sized pike, contours through the valley bottom and has been sculpted by another local trail builder Gary Forrest.

Alongside the new descent, the first climb (Dougie Bank) has received some tweaks and a 0.5km extension. Work will now be starting on a further 2.5km of new climb that will take the outward mountain bike routes almost completely off the forest road between the trailhead and the Buzzards Nest car park. Like the descents, the climbs will be graded blue and will feature gentle gradients and wide smooth surfaces as well as several viewpoints to make the climbing as enjoyable as possible. There will also be some harder shortcuts and optional features for more experienced riders to negotiate.

The climb is expected to be completed by mid July and together with the new blue descents will create several new ride options for novices, families and kids straight from the trailhead at the entrance to the forest.