THIS SHORT ROUTE TAKES IN SOME GREAT VIEWS AND FANTASTIC SINGLETRACK ON THE WEST HIGHLAND WAY. CATCH IT QUICK THOUGH AS THE PATHS ARE GRADUALLY BEING SURFACED :-(
TOTAL MILES : 8
TOTAL TIME : 2 HOURS
MAPS : OUTDOOR LEISURE 38, BEN NEVIS AND GLEN COE
LBS : OFF BEAT BIKES IN FORT WILLIAM. VERY HELPFUL
The best place to start this route is the Ben Nevis visitors centre (NN122729) as it avoids paying to park in Fort William. The Glen Nevis campsite has excellent facilities and lets face it you are hardly going to spend one day in somewhere this difficult to get to!
1 Turn right out of the car park and follow the road until you reach a right turn across the fields. Climb up into the forest until you reach a fire road. Turn Left on the fire road and climb, then climb a bit more, then some more. This is a fairly shallow but long climb but don't worry, it's the last long one on the route.
2 When you reach the end of the fire road (it doubles back on itself a couple of times then stops), turn right up a steep technical climb. Watch out for the rock drainage channels, pinch punctures abound! When you reach the top of this climb, the fun really starts. What follows is 4+ miles of 90% downhill twisty singletrack. You get forest switchbacks, rocky fast descents and little bridges to jump. There are a couple of short carries up steps but the rest is all rideable.
One of she short carries
3 After four or five styles, you reach the end of the forest and cross the fields on fantastically fast singletrack. One last high speed dash through the forest brings you to the road and a chance to cool those burning palms in the stream! You can carry this route on along the West Highland Way but the ride back along the A82 would be hairy to say the least.
4 From here you just follow the road (right) all the way back to Fort William. Watch out for the last descent into the town, it's a 30 mile an hour limit and after nearly creaming myself on the back of a near stationary taxi at 41 MPH, I'd be tempted to take it a little slower. Once in Fort William follow the pedestrianised High Street off the roundabout (last exit) and stop off at Off Beat Bikes for a chat. The Sandwich shop two doors down does excellent hot meat and roast veg rolls and tea.
5 Continue along the High Street until you reach the park, cut diagonally across the park and cross all the roads until you are heading for Inverlochy on the A82. Follow this until you reach a roundabout, straight across this one and then it's about a mile to the Visitor Centre.
THIS RIDE IS AN EXCELLENT WARM UP FOR AN AFTERNOONS BLAST ROUND LEANACHAN FOREST'S WAY MARKED TRAILS. YOU CAN GET A LEAFLET FROM OFF BEAT BIKES. THE RED ROUTES ARE SHORT BUT SWEET AND PRESENT SOME CHALLENGING OBSTACLES. IT ALSO HAS THE 2002 WORLD CUP DOWNHILL COURSE WHICH IS OPEN MOST OF THE YEAR BUT IS COMMITTING TO SAY THE LEAST!
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