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Video & Photo Story: Exploring a Wide Variety of Trails in Scotland's Biggest National Park

Dec 1, 2021
by Scott Laughland  

I'm stoked to share episode 3 of my short film series aptly named, 'Scotty's Scotland Showcase!'

The Cairngorms has two amazing trails centres. Laggan is probably known as the UK’s most progressive, famous for its massive rock slabs and technical ascents and descents. Whilst we were there, we checked out the lesser-known Laggan Brown trails which are all natural and climbed up to Dum-da-Lamph, a Pictish hill fort above the trails.

On the east side of the National Park is Glenlivet, here they’ve been developing new trails and just this year they built an orange flow jump line, which was incredibly fun. We also checked out their ‘Mini DH’ trail which is a hand cut natural trail with a good size machine built jump line.

As for big mountain riding, Sgòr Gaoith is one of my favourite Munro’s in the Cairngorms, it is relatively accessible and upon reaching the summit you have incredible views right across Scotland. The descent is fast and technical all the way back down, you've really got to watch out for those water bars.

We finished off this episode by checking out High Burnside, the trail network above Aviemore. The trails are rugged, burly and hand cut and it really showcases the variation on offer in the National Park.

I wasn't lying when I said the views were unbelievable.

The summit is made up of a series of sizeable rock slabs.

From here it's around about an 800m descent back to where we started.

The expanse of the Cairngorms is massive and there is plenty to explore.

There's a lot of steps to contend with, the trail surface is loose but it is such a fun flowing descent.

You really get that endless trail kinda feeling.

The Heather was popping as the storm clouds rolled in, we got caught out by the ever-changing weather that day, rain rolled in and out, layers were on and off.

Glenfeshie is one of the locations in the Cairngorms where re-wilding has been taking place and for the first time in years, young native trees are naturally growing.

About to drop into Glenlivet's newly build Orange Trail, a fun flowy jump line.

One of my favourite jumps was this little step up, it's super floaty and real nice to have a session on.

The line is entirely rollable apart from an optional pro line at the bottom where there are two sizeable doubles, great to see this kind of progression in Scotland.

Glenlivet's Mini DH is a natural hand cut trail, easy to lap and is quite contrasting to the rest of what's on offer at the trail centre.

Burnside is again contrasting to the other riding in the National Park, it's entirely natural and all hand built technical riding.

Dropping off one of the bigger rock slabs.

More rock slabs and bigger drops.

This episodes sustainability focus is on re-wilding. A fact very few may be aware of is that, only 4% of Scotland’s woodland is native and as a country we only have a 19% woodland coverage, compare that to the 37% average in Europe. Once upon a time, our hillsides would have been covered in native woodland and to find out a little more, I met with Peter from Scotland: The Big Picture.

The entire series is being created carbon neutral. All our journey emissions will be offset and the advertising revenue generated from you watching the series will be split between planting more native trees in Scotland and the local trail associations.

Produced by Scotty Laughland
Cinematography by Glen Thomson
Photography by Jonny Cook

Regions in Article
Laggan, Aviemore


15 Comments

  • 9 0
 There was an article published about Iceland this morning that has now been removed... Shame because the comments section was both educational in terms of why you shouldn't ride the trails featured, but also some information on what you could ride if you wanted to go!
  • 1 6
flag SacAssassin (Dec 2, 2021 at 20:23) (Below Threshold)
 That article was great. The Karens in the comments not so much. Indeed good info and one of the best arguments for global warming I've seen.
  • 1 0
 Great video, the new trail up HBS is so much fun and Glenlivet orange is a nice flow line. Hopefully all the fallen trees from last weeks storm are cleared soon and there is no long term damage to the trails. Quite sad that I heard a couple of days ago that the last rock garden on the HBS trail has had the rocks removed by someone and not the builder which sucks.
  • 3 0
 "Scotty riding Scott bikes in Scotland" would have also been an acceptable article title.
  • 1 0
 A Scot named Scott on a Scott
  • 1 0
 @RZV1984: A Scot named Scott on a Scott in Scotland
  • 3 0
 Immediately investigates how much taking bike on flight to UK will cost.
  • 1 0
 Depends where you're coming from! I think anyone who comes here will generally be blown away by our world class trail network!
  • 1 0
 All credit to the man who produces such quality content and then hands the profits back from it to help sustain the trails and the land. You sir are a good man.
  • 1 0
 Great work Scotty, Scotland really is incredble!
  • 1 0
 Thank you and that I can't deny... It is truly special!
  • 1 1
 Sgor goaith is a brill decent. Probably my favourite.
  • 1 0
 100% one of the best, Torridon probably beats it though!
  • 1 0
 Great video and cause
  • 1 0
 Thank you, glad you're enjoying it!

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