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.
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.
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.
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.
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.