The Lecht Mountain Biking Trails
Europe and the US led the way in ski centres opening lifts to mountain bikers in the summer. Grampian wasn't long in catching up. The Lecht Ski centre, in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park at the top of the pass between Tomintoul and Strathdon, ferries bikers 700ft up the side of the hill on a 3 person chairlift to let them experience the thrill of gravity as they make their way back to the bottom on purpose built trails - ready to do it all again.
Both of the Lecht's MTB trails have been designed by leading trail builder Peter Laing, renowned for his work at Glentress, and are described as mountain cross. In other words - fast, fun, downhill trails that are suitable for those who love quick descents but wouldn't venture on to a traditional downhill course.
Obviously the chairlift isn't free, but with tickets costing about £20 for an adult half day then its got to be worth a try. Cheaper tickets are available for juniors and children.
Check The Lecht's website for latest prices and opening times.
The Lecht MTB Trails Descriptions
On offer are a two trails; a blue and a more demanding red, and a skills park. From the top of the Snowy Owl chairlift, there is a short section of access trail then both trails begin. They share the same first few hundred metres at the top before they split.
The Blue Hare
The 1.9km long Blue Hare trail has a well groomed surface littered with relatively easy jumps, bomb holes, and bermed corners. The provision of avoidance lanes and passing places make this a great trail for practicing your technique on jumps and berms. It also provides an ideal warm up trail before embarking on the more challenging Red Fox trail.
The Red Fox
The 1.6km long Red Fox trail offers all the features of the Blue Hare, but more extreme. There are dirt jumps of various types including two large (avoidable) gap jumps and two ditch jumps, bomb holes, berms and riding features built from rock. A hardtail would be suitable for this trail, though a full suss is definitely preferred.
Facilities at The Lecht
local_parking Free parking.
wc Toilets available.
Cafe in the Ski Centre, or nearby Corgaff.
Nearest shops, bars and take aways are in Tomintoul.
Mobile signal good all over.
Nearest cycle repair shops are in Ballater & Braemar.
If you think we have missed something in our guide to The Lecht mountain bike trails then let us know. Contact details are on the link at the bottom of the page.
Getting to The Lecht
The Lecht Ski Centre car park is right beside the A939 Cockbridge to Tomintoul Road. This is not only the highest main road in Scotland, but also in the UK.
Use postcode AB36 8YP or grid ref NJ245130 if using Sat Nav.
Other Mountain Bike Trails to Try
Aboyne Bike Park
Aboyne Bike Park is a small mountain bike centre, on the edge of the village of Aboyne, in Bell Wood. Five short trails offer something for the novice to the expert with black grade downhill tracks and a triad of trails making an impressive jump park.
Ben Aigan in the heart of Whisky country offers an exposed circular mountain bike trail which provides superb views over parts of the Spey Valley. Tough climbing in parts and free flowing descents.
Bennachie Turnpike Trail
The Bennachie Turnpike Trail is a tough, circular mountain bike route, using for its first few miles part of the old Aberdeen to Inverness turnpike road. This is definitely one for the more experienced mountain biker.
Glenlivet Trail Centre
The Glenlivet MTB Trail Centre, known as Bike Glenlivet, boasts a 22km Red trail (with black grade features), a 9km Blue trail, a 1km Orange freeride trail, a short Mini Downhill enduro style track, a pump track, and a skills area.
Scotland Mountain Biking:
The Wild Trails
Above books available from Amazon