Kirkhill Forest Mountain Bike Trails
Kirkhill Forest mountain bike trails and fun park pump track, just a couple of miles out of Aberdeen on the A96 beside Dyce, is definitely worth a visit.
On offer is a purpose built MTB fun park and pump track, with bumps, jumps, berms and challenges; plus 7 or so miles of cycle trails on fire break roads, and heaps of very tricky sections of unmarked single track. If you cross the A96 there are loads more paths, tracks and trails to be explored in Tyrebagger Forest. And for a longer ride link these through to Elrick and Brimmond Hill.
The Kirkhill cycle trails manage to provide challenges for the experienced mountain biker, and yet still be suitable for a family cycle.
The most popular car park for Kirkhill, perhaps because it is right next to the start of the bike trails and pump track, is sign posted from the A96, about a mile from Dyce airport roundabout. It is big, holds loads of cars, but in the past was known to attract thieves so make sure you lock up and hide your valuables when out riding.
East Woodlands is a small alternative on the north side of the forest, which gives access to the main trail via the North Spur.
No trail maps seem to be available, however navigation on the fire break roads is fairly straight forward. If you need a map then consider buying one of the new active OS maps, recommended if you want to get off the way marked trails and explore a bit more of the surrounding forests including nearby Tyrebagger and Brimmond Hill - see link on the right hand side.
MTB Fun Park and Pump Track
Kirkhill MTB Fun Park and Pump Track was officially opened in March 2005 and has been providing ear to ear smiles ever since. This short section of trail (about a mile) was purposely built to provide a range of technically challenging features - jumps, bumps, berms, and tabletops. It's designed specifically to help you perfect your offroad biking skills. Be aware however that it is best suited to intermediate and advanced riders as it is tricky in parts.
It begins with an easy uphill ride through mature conifer forest to an open area, from where the descent back to the start takes you through all the classic mountain biking features you would expect. It finishes in the main car park giving you a great chance to show off to your mates and the other riders getting ready to hit the trails.
The 6¾ mile Kirkhill Loop, way marked by a red bike icon, starts from the MTB fun park and climbs steadily along fire break roads to Tappie Tower at the summit of Tyrebagger Hill. Tappie Tower offers good views to Inverurie and Bennachie to the north. From here the trail drops slowly for the remaining 4 or so miles back to the car park. For the more adventurous there is a choice of 3 unmarked single tracks leading from the tower back on to the Kirkhill Loop.
Although the trail is mostly fire break road - aka boring, it is a good introduction to Kirkhill. It gives lots of opportunity to spot unmarked trails for you to explore.
The short (½ mile) south spur also begins (or ends?) next to the Pump Track and cuts off a corner of the Kirkhill Loop - follow the white markings. This is steep, rough, rocky and criss crossed with roots making it ideal for the more experienced rider.