FORESTRY and mountain bikes is a mix traditionally thought of as being necessary to avoid at all costs for walkers but it works well at Glentress.
Boots and wheels largely get separate tracks and paths to themselves and, despite the abundance of trees, the views over the Tweed Valley, the Southern Uplands and the forest itself are fantastic.
The network of paths means it is important to keep track of where you are going, hence this detailed description of the walk. Make sure you are as prepared as you would be for a day on an open hillside. n
DISTANCE 9 miles. HEIGHT CLIMBED 2,000ft. TIME 4½ to 5½ hours. MAP OS Landranger 73. PARKING At Glentress Peel (the main car park), two miles east of Peebles on the A72.
IN SUMMARY Walk between the cafe and a bike shop, cross a bridge then a road. Turn right on a path on the other side. The path veers away from the road; go left at a fork, next to a marker post, then zig-zag through the trees till you reach another junction.
Go left for a view over the valley. Continue up the path, following marker posts with red flashes, to an information post and a track. Go left, then right after about 30 yards, up to a bench. After a section of trees go left at a fork and follow the path to a second fork where you go right to the Buzzard’s Nest car park.
On the other side go right, along a path. At a fork go left, past a marker post with a black flash. At another track go right then, after about 40 yards, left past a marker post with the number 13. The path crosses a bike trail then veers left to drop down to a track, where you go right. After a few yards go right, up a narrower track, then right once more, on to a path.
The path becomes rougher as it reaches open ground, then swings left to cross a track and continue uphill. After crossing the top of a small rise, drop down to the left then follow the path, right, into trees, eventually emerging on to open hillside.
At a marker post with the number 17 go left then, on reaching marker post 18, go right to leave the path. Almost immediately turn left up an indistinct path. At the top, go left, then cross a bike trail and continue to the top of Shieldgreen Kipps.
Continue to the end of the grass ridge to reach a shelter then return to marker post 18; go right. At a fork go left, downhill, then left again. Cross a track to continue to the Shieldgreen Centre.
Go left in front of the centre and after a couple of hundred yards left again, almost doubling back. At marker post 23 go right, through trees. Go right at a track and follow it all the way back to the car park.
REFRESHMENTS There is a good café near the car park at the start of the walk.
WHILE IN THE AREA
• Try your hand at mountain biking – you can hire bikes and get lessons at Glentress (www.forestry.gov.uk).
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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