Durris Wood Mountain Bike Trails
Durris Forest is one of two popular forests offering mountain biking (the other being Fetteresso Forest) accessible from the A957 Slug Road which joins Banchory and Stonehaven. In fact, the Slug Road separates Fetteresso from Durris.
Currently on offer is an 9 mile cycle trail round the 3 peaks of Cairn-mon-earn, Strathgyle and Mundernal with an optional spur to the top of Cairn-mon-earn. There is also a complex network of other forest roads and off-road MTB trails that provide some fine mountain biking for all tastes. The ancient drovers route of Elsick Mounth passes through the forest.
However, NETCO (North East Trail Centre Organisation) have an ambitious and achievable plan to turn Durris Forest into a world class mountain biking trail centre. Work is ongoing, with loads of positive steps forward achieved so far.
Find out more about NETCO here.
The Durris Forest is a chiefly coniferous forest made of the Durris Forest itself and several smaller outlying woods. The forest is co-managed by Friends of Durris Forests, and Forestry Commission Scotland.
The small car park signed posted from the Slug Road is a good start point for both cycle routes. A notice board provides a last minute reminder of the route before you head away on a fire break road.
This is way marked with white circles. The route uses forest road, and has some steep sections at the start, although the second part of the route has more gentle gradients. There are great views to the north near the end of the route, and recent felling and thining has opened out views within the forest. The forest route finishes at the Inchloan car park leaving just over a mile to be completed on a quiet stretch of tarmac.
The yellow way marked Cairn Spur leads off the circular route after about a mile. This is a real lung opener belying the fact that the spur is only a mile in length. The summit, at 378 metres high offers superb panoramic views. If you still have the energy then explore the Bronze Age burial cairn which now shares the summit with a more modern friend - a radio mast.
There are hidden gems of single track, swooping downhills and challenging climbs scattered through out the Durris Forest. They are not marked, but they are there. Just get out and explore. Ask other cyclists you meet on the trails - they might give up some of their favourite spots.