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Explore a variety of trails from the Highland capital


By John Davidson

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There are lots of cycle routes starting from Inverness. Picture: Gary Anthony
There are lots of cycle routes starting from Inverness. Picture: Gary Anthony

Inverness is the perfect base for cyclists to enjoy a variety of rides, from quiet road routes to testing trails through the trees.

One of the most popular routes – and one that is suitable for beginners and families – follows National Cycle Network Route 78 from the Highland capital to Dores on the banks of Loch Ness.

Using cycle paths and minor roads that meander past farms with views to the Great Glen ahead, it’s the perfect introduction to cycling in the area.

Take it up a gear with a hilly ride to Loch Ruthven, climbing out via Essich and Loch Duntelchaig on wonderful roads on south Loch Ness-side.

Or go off-road with a gentle ride along the Caledonian Canal towpath, following the seven-mile Dochgarroch Loop from Tomnahurich Bridge.

There are also plenty of tracks and trails for mountain bikers who follow the Great Glen Way out of the city towards Blackfold.

And Learnie Red Rock Trails on the Black Isle near Cromarty offers more organised trail riding, from easy blue-graded routes to technical blacks.

Routes head out in all directions from Inverness – north to the Black Isle, south down the Great Glen, west to Beauly and Glen Affric and east to Nairn and Cawdor.

Inverness is home to many official routes. Picture: Gary Anthony
Inverness is home to many official routes. Picture: Gary Anthony

There is so much to explore that you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Any of the excellent local bike shops in Inverness will be able to offer advice on where to ride and some even hire bikes as well as doing repairs and selling spares.

Check out Highland Bikes in Shore Street, Bikes of Inverness in Grant Street and MonsterBike on Canal Road for starters.

And after exploring the area, why not pop into Velocity bike cafe at the top of Stephen’s Brae to enjoy a nice coffee and cake to round off your ride?


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