It’s a long drive up Glen Clova to Glen Doll. I remember coming here as a child when the youth hostel and campsite were both open. Now neither are, but there’s a nice car park and somewhere convenient to park the van overnight. The ride started at the main ranger station and went up the glen that runs parallel to Glen Doll and doesn’t seem to have a name of its own.
After about 5k the path got stony and we ended up pushing, then carrying, past the bridge and waterfall and on up to the very top of the ridge that separates this glen from Loch Muick.
The hike-a-bike was tough (stony steps) but the views and ride along the top was worth the effort.
A long ride on easy paths along the top was followed by a steep track down to the shores of the loch opposite the hunting lodge where Queen Victoria met John Brown (apparently) and then along the south shore to the far end. From there it was a long but steady climb up to nearly 700m again and over the top on the ‘Capel Road’ followed by the most spectacularly amazing descent I’ve ever ridden in Scotland! Switchbacks like I have only seen in the Alps, exposure, rocks and logs/branches from where the forestry has been harvested. This descent is a real ‘must do’ for any Scottish mountain biker. I have no photos because I was far too busy enjoying it. But here’s a wee friend we met on the road back to the van:
Distance: 27km Time: 4hrs 30min Ascent: 866m