What’s Open At Glentress? A Redevelopment Update

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The Glentress Masterplan sets out redevelopment proposals that includes new trails, improved facilities, and some new accommodation options in the area. Originally conceived before the 2023 UCI World Championships were planned to take place in the area, there have been a few amendments to the plan and schedule to allow the 2023 UCI World Championships to happen. If you’re planning a trip to the area, here’s what to expect.

Closures From March 1st

The Buzzard’s Nest carpark is closed. Riders can park at the main visitor hub area at the bottom of the hill. If you want easier access to the skills area and trails that start up by the Buzzard’s Nest, you can book an uplift with Adrenaline Uplift. It is £8 per person per uplift, or £80 for a family day pass (see their website for the full range of services and pricing). The Forestry and Land Scotland website also states ‘Vehicle access for forest businesses and clubs to the Buzzard’s Nest Skills Area can be arranged in advance by contacting our local office, but will be limited to drop-offs only.’

The Freeride Area, and Zoom or Bust are closed. Ho Chi Zoom has a diversion in place. Martin Page, Regional Visitor Services Manager for Forestry and Land Scotland, confirmed that no other trail closures are planned:

‘I can confirm that there are currently no plans to close any existing MTB network trails as part of the Glentress Masterplan delivery. There may however be the need to put some temporary diversions in place due to late season storm damage or if any environmental issues arise (e.g. nesting birds).

2023 UCI World Championships preparation

If you check the planning application for the Masterplan, you’ll see that there has been a lot of back and forth making amendments to enable to World Championships to take place at Glentress – all the Cross-country and Cross-country Marathon events will be held there. Many of those changes allow for things like better access for event vehicles, rather than affecting the trails. However, the large start and finish area for the event is the site that is destined to be the location of the new skills area. Obviously work will not be able to begin on that new skills area until after the World Championships, meaning that the new skills area is now scheduled for completion at Easter 2024. The existing skills area, near the (closed) Buzzard’s Nest carpark, will remain open until the new area is complete.

After the 2023 UCI World Championships the start/finish line will be reconfigured and accommodated into the Masterplan so it can be used in future.

No new trails will be created as a result of the World Championships, Martin Page confirmed: ‘The XC race routes will be using approximately 80% of the existing trails and those being developed as part of the masterplan, with the remainder being removed as they are not compatible with the site’s legacy configuration.

Restrictions from 10th July, Closures 1st – 14th August

From 10th July Forestry and Land Scotland will be handing over management of the car parks and visitor hub to the event organisers. These car parks should remain open during this time, although there may be some reduction in available parking spaces. Notification of these restrictions will be provided nearer the time – check the Glentress website for updates.

From 1st August 2023 to 14th August 2023 the car parks and visitor hub will be closed. There will also be no access to Glentress from the A72 for the duration of the event between the 1st and 14th August.

What New Fun Is Coming?

Under the masterplan there will be 16km of new trails. Approximately 4km of the new trails are being designed as multi user paths, with the remaining 12km or so being specifically designed and constructed for mountain bikes.

Keep up to date with any developments or temporary closures here.

Chipps gave Glentress his Editors’ Choice Award in 2021 – we’re looking forward to seeing things get even better in the future!

While you’re here…

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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Viewing 2 posts - 41 through 42 (of 42 total)
  • What’s Open At Glentress? A Redevelopment Update
  • ChrisL
    Full Member

    Wooden features significantly increase the inspection requirements on the trails they’re on in order to meet FLS’s duty of care. Therefore they fell out of favour a few years ago, when hard choices had to be made based on how much time rangers had to carry out trail inspections and maintenance. Some vital and/or iconic bits survived but alternative solutions were sought where they’d been used to go over bits of ground that were marginally tricky to build trails into.

    Full Member

    I like the black too! It’s barely black but it’s still a lovely ride. Same as Afan, it’s been left behind and a bit forgotten but that’s made it into something different rather than something worse. IMO.

    TBH, overall Glentress is a better place to ride than it was 10 years ago. People talk about it being in decline and in some ways, that’s definitely true but the offpistes and #enduro stuff have massively enhanced it. Instead of giving a bags of cash to On Track, they should just have given a load of crates of beer to those guys and we’d have brilliant new stuff everywhere.

    Full Member

    Interesting! I wonder what they found? Plenty of Red Squirrels around that area, would they still be hibernating?

    Maybe the same local builders have diversified into spreading out rare newts or slow worms or puffins or something in the freeride.

    Full Member

    Wooden features significantly increase the inspection requirements on the trails they’re on in order to meet FLS’s duty of care.

    Yep, as nicely demonstrated by the big wallride immediately falling apart when it mysteriously got reopened the other day. And the speed at which the wood features in the skills area went from open as usual to completely collapsed. I know people get cynical about wood features being removed but that really shows how quickly they can go off, and how they can seem fine til they’re absolutely not. Now it looks like a hundred year old pier.

    Full Member

    The loss of the Buzzards Nest is a massive shame in my opinion.

    For sure… It’d just naturally formed a centre, a “hub” you might say, over the years that I don’t think was ever planned but became such an asset, you can build endless loops from there. Even for a totally trailcentre rider, doing the red and then realising you have some leg left and doing laps of the nearby trails was superb, I always started new riders or visits to the centre there. With the best of intent I don’t think the new developments replace that at all; if they deliver, then it should be much more coherent and sensible with the skills area etc being actually at the start/end, and near the cafe, and near the ambulances and all that good stuff- but it’s a long way from spooky or the mast or the bottom of deliverance.

    Still feels like the chalets could have gone damn nearly anywhere in the forest, but the middle of the trails can only go in the middle.

    Full Member

    Zero. It was absolutely destroyed by the storm. I doubt they could ever safely remove the fallen trees

    Not manually, anyway- they’ll probably send a harvester in some time to the really flattened areas, when the moons align and there’s enough work to do to justify sending in a quarter of a million quid’s worth of machinery to do it, but the yields from windblow are poor and there’s no shortage of ripe timber to fell. So that could be years- and for the green at least it’ll likely have one eye on the cabin project too.

    For machine built trail of that nature it’s definitely going to be easier to smash in some new stuff. And move it to teh bottom of the hill, while they’re at it. But it’s a shame.

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