Scoltymountain bike

A morning of rain cancelled some autumnal walking but clearing to sun in the afternoon I headed out with a friend to Scolty woods which he’d not been to, for a quick blast on the bikes. I’d been there a month or two back for a stroll with some family, and much of it had been closed off due to forestry works and storm damage. Not much had changed in the intervening time, and frustrated by the limited navigation available, bypassed a closure to find some singletrack.

A clear view uphill to the Burnett memorial tower.
Off the main track past fences to go singletrack..
.. soon interrupted by a patch of fallen trees

Sure enough we soon enough had to drag bikes over fallen trees, not much evidence of any attempt by local mountain bikers to clear anything, and decided to keep to the main tracks. We ended up along the river where I’d hazarded a guess that the salmon fishers, spending hundreds of pounds per day, would have their access clear.

Through golden bracken glades
Past a small area of trees awash with twittering birds.. everywhere else mostly silence .. but here.. loud music

The riverbank provides a great view of autumnal colour being mainly clad in broadleaved trees as opposed to the majority of the area which is conifer plantation. We ran out of trail and headed uphill, I’d promised we’d visit the tower at the top on the way back.

One of quite a few fishing huts along the river.
This ‘hut’ is a victorian pump intake building
Pleasant riverside track
The final days of the year’s salmon season has quite a few fishermen out
Climbing away from the river on an overgrown path
harvest birch bowed and amber clothed

Getting closer we could see the extent of forestry activity: brutally bludgeoned vast areas like a warzone. Fortunately the west side has a scattering of moor, scrub and small trees which was still scenic.

Muddy haul up past rows of logs
Buzz-saw battlefield
Fortunately some ground closer to the monument has been left and is making a seasonal display
orange amongst the undergrowth: orange birch bolete
Late season blaeberries
Up on top: view to Clachnaben
Burnett monument

We decided to descend the ‘walkers path’ but it became clear that on wheels it’s a tough gig: steep and bouldery, and today slippery from the earlier rain and a mulch of fallen leaves. The occasional dismount was needed to negotiate some tricky sections. A better descent would have been the way we came up which would have flowed a lot better and would have had less walkers. There are other trails that descend south east, but these would have to wait for another day.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *