If you look at an OS 1:50k map of the area you'll figure it all out easy enough. It would also make a good camp spot although annoyingly there is a fire site here. "Ordnance Survey Explorer Map #385: Rannoch Moor and Ben Alder" covers that portion of the Scottish Highlands inbetween the scenic but civilized environs of Perth and the towns along the A9, and Glen Coe and the dramatic scenery of the West Highlands. They are short though. Looking north east through the strath carrying Lochan Earba. Hear pronunciation Press to hear pronunciation Carn Dearg is a remote peak between Rannoch Moor and the Ben Alder range, above Loch Ossian. Its all rideable until the last bit of the climb where the gradient will likely defeat you unless your running a 20/50 granny gear. It can be climbed either from either Corrour or Rannoch stations on the West Highland line. This was one of those fat bike 'moments' as a normal bike would have been hopelessly bogged down through this stuff whereas the fatty rolled through the lot. Riding station to station. At the end of the loch just opposite the YH turn left on a new (in 2017) track which climbs back eastwards away from the loch. Ben Alder Circuit from Loch Rannoch I had to cash in on the unseasonably good weather so decided to head for my latest playground - the Ben Alder area. In August it was very damp and I've done it since when its been nigh on bone dry. Newtonmore Riding Centre Riding, trekking and instruction available. With stunning views behind you towards the Glencoe hills and mountains as well as the views ahead past Rannoch station on towards Ben Alder you are left breathless! Marina, Loch Rannoch Hotel Boat Hire, white rafting and canoeing. I'm not about to bang on about safety or navigation or kit choice as per normal guides because as far as I'm concerned its up to you to sort this out. The old lodge is also a top bivvy spot, I'm here on a tour north. This was originally an estate lodge but then became a hospital for TB sufferers on the basis that they needed isolation and lots of fresh air. In front of you is one of many Scottish geological marvels - a wide strath at 400m altitude running pretty much bang on 90 degrees to the main Glen Garry / Drumochter Strath. Take either of two left turns to take you all the way up Strath Ossian to Corrour Shooting Lodge (this is all obvious on the map). You haven't climbed Carn Dearg (Corrour) yet. Typical trail shot looking back towards Culra. Watch your nav through the missing bit, I followed my nose from the end of the marked path and this seems to be where most people are going as when you join a wee side burn there is a path of sorts. This is the Old Road to the Isles and part of an ancient right of way from central Scotland to Fort William and beyond. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. Top of the climb looking west over to Blackwater Reservoir (the furthest away one) and the Glencoe hills. This is a bit overgrown in places so keep an eye on your GPS as I managed to lose it at one point and stumbled around for a bit to find it again. There is a new cafe in the closed hotel which provided toasties, scone and coffee (sat outside in the sun!) Most of the rest, by accident or the design of a mountain biking upland path designer, have enough of a kick from the rocks either side of the gap to enable an easy jump over them. The beach looked tempting but I had a quicksand incident here previously so stayed clear..... From Ben Alder Cottage you start on 10 miles of divine single track. Lochan Earba is to the right of the small hill just off centre. Glaciers, we salute you. Where the glen widens out there is a good camp / bivvy spot. Carry on to Loch Ericht and along the west shore. Instead, go downstream a bit and look for the track on the far bank, not shown on the map. Overlooking the 20-mile long narrow stretch of Loch Ericht in the Scottish Highlands, it enjoys a remoteness today which makes it a From Rannoch station, he set off on the 10-mile trek to Ben Alder, at 4,000ft one of the highest mountains in the central Highlands. If the above looks a bit drastic but you want to explore the area, then just ride up the various bits of double track and back again. You've then got 2k of bog trotting. It will also help me remember where I've been over the years! If you've read (and ridden) this far you've already done all but one of the trails in this route. Hopefully this will serve to help people get out there and enjoy the great outdoors as seen from a bike seat. Blair Trekking Centre Set in the grounds of Atholl Castle. For the adventurous there are a number of biking opportunities in this area and some truly classic through routes. The track runs out at the end of the loch and the marked path is another vague boggy none line. From here the gradient eases although its rough going. Near the end of the marked path looking back the way you've come, This path is a bit rough at first but has been extensively upgraded after only a k. Follow this until it joins the Lochan Earba track and return to Dalwhinnie as per above (or back over the Bealach Leamhain if you want more fun!). After the deer fence on the left stops is the boggiest bit. Follow this to the Loch end but bear right when the track starts to descend in earnest. Keep on until you join the main river Pattack track and head south up by the river. Ben Alder Cottage - one of Scotlands top bothies. Its not too bad and I did once do this on a Salsa Fargo so don't be put off as its only 1.5k. Getting onto the Lochside trail involves a diversion away from the Lodge. Covering some 68000 acres stretching from Loch Rannoch to Dalwhinnie. It was a bit of a push before we gained the footpath to Ben Alder at Cam Chriochan. Alighting at Rannoch, we will navigate a network of trails and paths through the estates of Corrour and Ben Alder to reach another train station at Dalwhinnie, on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park. On a good day the views towards the mountains of Glen Coe and the Black Mount to the west, Schiehallion in the east, Ben Alder Forest in the north and Rannoch Forest in the south are breathtaking. Top tip - keep to the right until a short plank bridge, its dryer and smoother. From here take the track on the east side of Loch Ossian. This long (9km) thin loch usually gives the opportunity to sail along and conserve energy for a truly stunning river lies at the end. As a starter for ten herewith is the basic description of a 50 miler start-able from either Dalwhinnie or the west end of Loch Rannoch..... Do this clockwise and ideally start at Rannoch but it works fine from Dalwhinnie. The sporting lodge, forming part of the surrounding Ben Alder Estate, has been refurbished to a very high standard throughout and has been running as a luxury holiday let for the last 6 years or more. This is a good one so well worth a visit. For that reason I'm not going to try to post up maps or detailed route finding notes. One of my favourite bits is in the north eastern corner centred around Ben Alder, an 1148m hill with a few fellow munroes around it. I had to cash in on the unseasonably good weather so decided to head for my latest playground - the Ben Alder area. Around Ben Alder. That said incorporating it into a circuit is tricky. Turn right, 3 miles to Kinloch Rannoch. Dry and narrow with only the odd burn crossing to interupt progress and provide a wee technical challenge. Loch Eighaech and snow-capped mountains south of Rannoch Forest Get on this as its the best route to the bridge. I'd trudged along there when you rescued me near Corrour.The only one you haven't mentioned is the one to the NW of Loch Pattack, might be the only option if the dodgy bridge goes and the river is high.What's the track like on the south shore of Loch Ericht? I bivvied here in 2018 doing this circuit as an overnighter. It had been a bit grey up until that point but then the sun came out! Another section of vague path / bog lead to my third bothy of the day at Duinish. The trail then improves and you descend down to loch Beithe where the trail improves again, finally descending back down to culra on another fab built path. At one point the argo track crosses the marked line up a steep bank. As usual the last mile to Ben Alder Cottage was the hardest as we struggled through the black quagmire with bikes over the shoulder. The magnificent Ben Alder Estate is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. If you look at a large scale OS road map of Northern Scotland your eye maybe drawn to a large area of wilderness bounded by the A9, A86, A82 A85 and A827 with only a couple of C roads and the B road alongside Loch Rannoch intruding into the southern area. You descend a bit on a super narrow line then climb again for a short section to the Bealach Cumhann. If you do decide to push through, its around 4k of difficult going. Thereafter its a good doubletrack descent back to the road and your start point. Supplies are available at Dalwhinnie from the petrol station and a small cafe that operates out of the old hotel. As above there is a through route option if you are willing to risk a rather drastic hike-a-bike section. Look to your right (i.e west) and you should see the West Highland rail line crossing the desolation of Rannoch moor. This is a bit harder than the Allt Cam path but its well worth it for the views alone. So your next move is to reverse this. Over the last few years I’ve come to love this area. Yet another blog about someones biking adventures. Cheers BobThe path along the south shore is very boggy apparently - a mate has taken a D of E group along here and won't do it again. I'm not sure who did the work across the Ben Alder estate but clearly they got a different brief from what the NTS provide. The view northeast showed just how far I had travelled: The view southwest looked out across Rannoch to the distant hills beyond. In 2014 most people thought we had a mild and snow free winter. Rannoch Moor and Ben Alder (OS Explorer Map Series): Loch Rannoch by Ordnance Surve A1 edition (2007) on Amazon.com. So be warned and take the right kit. The total length of this single track (Ben Alder Cottage to the double track above Pattack) is 16k, if you want more you have to go to Fisherfield..... One of the appeals of this area is the scope for short circuits, easy ride in / ride out trips (a perfect break from the drudgery of the A9 if you are heading north) but there are also a couple of classic big day rides. This may seem a bit of an embuggerance but actually it follows a great bit of single track. The trail dumps you on the main Lochan Earba track. The plan had been to ride over Bealach Leamhain to Loch Pattack, then out to Dalwhinnie, thence to Newtonmore by NCN 7. There is a small island in the river perfect for a pitch up. You then pop out on a big track which is an easy pedal to a bridge over a small burn. Its then a case of fighting your way up the bank on any likely looking line. As well as great scenery there are some fabulous trails offering the full range of riding experiences. Rannoch Station is connected by road to Kinloch Rannoch. So that's about it. I've never actually stayed here but its a belter. From here its fairly good going down to the start of the onward route. As relative newcomers to off-road bikepacking, our aim is fairly conservative although thrillingly off-grid. Its all pretty easy excepting the crossing of the Alllt Chamhlain. Note that its not a hugely popular walking route as most munro baggers go up the direct route to Ben Alder. As well as the above there are two through routes (well one and a half as they both start at the same point) either on the Highland Trail 550 route to Lagan or else as a means of getting into the Cairngorms via Dalwhinnie. Away from winter (which runs from October to May!) This was the warm up for all of the horrible storms late '15 early '16. Follow road through the village and along the north shore of Loch Rannoch then 9 miles along the loch side to Bridge of Ericht. Nice one Phil! I was heading through this area on the way back to where I'd left my car from Aviemore. However doing it as a there and back again would be an excellent use of about 3 - 4 hours or so. For a bit more adventure there are two trails that are effectively dead ends (unless you are feeling really adventurous!) From there, Loch Ericht can be seen almost in its entirety. Nav is simple - start at Dalwhinnie, head down Loch Ericht, Over to Loch Pattack, down the river and cut round west to Lochan Earba (i.e. Being a path nerd I know more than is good for me but its always interesting to compare construction styles across Scotland. When you pass back into Ben Alder Estate the surface improves dramatically and then its an easy pedal back out to Dalwhinnie. Follow the obvious singletrack through the woods above the lodge, its sundry buildings and the underground heli pad (I kid you not!). Technically its harder this way but all good stuff and there are no significant challenges. In clear weather the views to Ben Alder and Loch Rannoch are worth every pedal stroke. Head west along the road to the obvious right turn into the forestry at 507577. If you are determined to push through then be warned the next two hundred metres are tricky. The next section is on NCN 7 - a smooth cycleway alongside the A9T. Her first foal Maddy was born in February 2019 and is one of the best young fillies we have ever bred. First up is the path shown on the OS that goes up the Allt Cam. Be warned, you need all your food with you. The bottom section steepens somewhat with a few pitched sections but it all goes right to the Bothy. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. After a leisurely drive to Loch Rannoch I abandoned the car and headed north through the woods near the head of the loch towards Loch Ericht This one has been around in various guide books for a while - it even pre-dates the path work so must have been hard going in those days. More luxury accommodation - Duinish bothy. With Scotland’s 10th largest loch, Loch Ericht, five Munros and some of Scotland’s most pristine scenery, Ben Alder Estate’s luxury lodges are an ideal setting for truly memorable holidays. If you look on the map you'll note a path shown a couple of k down the glen. I’d long wanted to visit Ben Alder Cottage. I first did this trail as part of a lengthy tour which actually included the Western Isles. Corrievarkie Lodge Bridge of Gaur Rannoch This is one of several that the estate did up in about 1999, entirely at their own expense. If its been very wet, don't bother as the levels will be too high. It was actually drier than when I passed through here in August and presented no problems for the ICT. Ben Alder is actually one of the most isolated peaks in all Scotland being miles from the nearest road. Approaches are long from any direction; Corrour Station gives the nearest access from the west, whilst it is possible to approach from Loch Rannoch in the south. 01796 481568 This post is meant as a guide to this area by way of describing some of the rides I've done there in the last few years. I've been planning to do a ride in the vast, largely uninhabited area around Ben Alder for some time. Anyway following the path is well worth it and it makes for a very nice easy descent on the way back. It’s a remote bothy by the standards of the Central Highlands, concealed beneath the bulk of Ben Alder on the shores of Loch Ericht. And then there’s Ben Alder Cottage, the haunted one. Stage 16, Tuesday 25 May 2010: Rannoch to Ben Alder Cottage, 12 miles (10 on route) My long-time walking partner Dave Travers journeyed up to Rannoch … A fine evening in 2018 looking west to the Glencoe hills. OS maps show the end of the double track here but it continues to 494655. I got to Culra Bothy around 7 and it was raining torrentially, hence me ignoring the closed signs and spending the night in the main room. Hopefully this will serve to help people get out there and enjoy the great outdoors as seen from a bike seat. In about three hours time you'll be at the notch at the top of this glen looking back down to your present location. One dismal November day I'd driven up from home on the way up to see friends in Aviemore. Around Loch Ericht. If I'm going to carry my bike up to 840m I want to have a view off the top. Its a great train journey so whilst your up here, do it! Bear right again heading for the Coille Doir-ath. One last climb followed by a gentle descent back to Loch Rannoch overlooked by Schiehallion. If your familiar with the principals of Upland path management you'll know these terms and what they mean. Technical challenges come in the form of various burn crossings and assorted random rock features. There are a couple of bits that have washed into the loch and have been re-aligned but a couple of bits haven't. Nav is generally easy as you are mainly on well defined trails or following burns, rivers, glens and other generally noticeable features. This (roughish) track goes for about 2k before it climbs up into the hills. 2014 had been dry all the way through Autumn so this day it was fine. The last time I tried it was sunny but a late fall of snow would have made it a schlep. This was my first time south to north of the Bealach dubh trail. Abandon ones conveyance at a small layby 100m east of the Rannoch power station. In terms of rideability you'd maybe be better doing this the other way round as you can get up this good trail and the rough descent is all rideable. Not all of this is a walk, especially if your on a fat bike, so its worth it if things are reasonably dry.