With plans being scuppered to ride the Wanlockhead Gold Rush route in the borders due to forecasted rain I checked the weather and parts of Perthshire and Fife seemed to be the dryest with just the slightest threat of a small shower but being cloudy and overcast at times.
Sounded good to me so I informed the mates about the change of plan and suggested an old tough favourite.. The Edradynate Loop.
This route has lots of climbing and it does seem never ending at times but it’s all rideable but some riders may struggle with the brutal zig zags nearing the high point of the route, however its well worth it as the views on a good day are as good as they get in this area. The route starts straight out of Pitlochry and crosses the A9 before climbing up the Rob Roy Way, this is relentless but never too steep and it’s not long before you are at the gate on the forest edge with the prospect of the singletrack descent to Strathtay.
This descent weaves its way down the hill through whin bushes, wee rocky sections and fast flowing tracks through the trees to emerge at the golf course at Strathtay, all good fun to this point.
Two miles of scenic riding along the quiet road brings you to the start of the huge climb just after crossing the Edradynate burn at a cottage and this climbs up rather steeply for a two or three miles on a tarmaced minor road to emerge at a farm at the Brae of Cluny (Bear left at most junctions) up to this point.
A landy track then follows climbing less steeply all the way up past Loch Derculich and onto the steep zig zags between Farragon hill and Beinn Eagagach.
This will test your stamina and fitness for sure but there is payback in the form of a 3.5 mile descent to Loch Tummel. In the meantime have a look at the turquoise pools of Barytes mines on your left but don’t swim in them as you could end up glowing like the Readybrek kid on the TV adverts.
The descent to Loch Tummel is a fast and furious affair with the top section being rather loose with ruts but smoothing out as you get further down. Arm pump is gonna get you on this so have a break and admire the views for a moment. Soon enough you end up down at a farmers cart at Netherton and some more undulating roadwork beckons to the bridge at the Linn of Tummel, cross this and enjoy the singletrack to Gary Bridge.
After Gary Bridge go onto the main road into Pitlochry but head right for some more trails around Loch Faskally to end up back in Pitlochry.
Our route ended up at 40 Kms but by cutting out the Tummel section it’s around 30 Kms.
A great route taking in singletrack, doubletrack and rough estate tracks and good for people who don’t mind lots of climbing and who are fairly competent at navigation.
The climb begins straight from Pitlochry.
Winding trail through the bushes. Keep your eye out for hidden obstacles.
Apart from the dozens of pheasants running in front of you, there are nice scenes around every corner during the long climb up to Beinn Eagagach.
A break at a river crossing
Upwards to the skyline
Looking over to Farragon Hill from the Barytes mine.
The water is usually more acid Green/Turquoise than it was today.
Very murky light today so the views were not all they could have been.
Fast descending after the initial steep loose section.
View from the Bridge