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Falkland Estate

Off the beaten track

   
UPDATED November 2002

 

 
Mention mountain biking in Fife and three places will come to mind; Blairadam, Devilla and Tentsmuir. What won’t come to mind is Falkland. Tucked away to the west of the historic town is a compact forest with a high concentration of single track paths.

Falkland Estate is incredibly well managed, visitors are encouraged to explore the estate grounds. Please do not abuse the hospitality by inconsiderate behaviour, a lot of walkers and horse riders use these paths as well.

To make this description workable I have divided the forest up into sections; west middle and east, I hope that you can follow.

Circular routes

There are no circular routes apart from the main road around the forest. The best idea is to use this road to gain access to the tracks, all of the routes run downhill south to north.

Western routes.

West of the burn. There are three main routes, all off the main forest road and all running south to north. The westernmost single track is smooth and of constant gradient, the next one is a little steeper and is joined by the third track which has a very steep start, where your bum has to be over the back axle to get down. About half way down, there is a boggy section to look out for and there are more often than not branches blocking the junction, go around to the left.

From the junction of the second and third paths a path leads to cross a forest road and away to the north. It goes all the way to Strathmiglo on what is more often than not a muddy single track path. The descent into Strathmiglo after the aerial mast is on a well surfaced farm road. Watch out for brambles, nettles and pedestrians.

The remaining paths do not amount to much, one leads down from the forest road towards the chicken farm petering out amongst the trees leaving you to carry the bike through the ferns and brambles. So long as you head north you will meet the forest road.

Central routes.

From the burn to the sawmill road information point. There are a good number of walkers paths concentrated in this section of the forest. Some can be ridden, others can not. The track to the north of the monument can be ridden, though it is very difficult to describe to get there without a GPS. Several small trees are growing on this track which will make for a prickly descent and watch out for the drainage ditch at the bottom.

There is a forest road leading uphill southwards starting near the information point and the ornamental archway, unfortunately the road degenerates into a boggy path and is blocked by fallen trees. There is a way around but it involves climbing a steep banking. On the far side of the fallen trees a forest road leads steeply uphill. Fork right near the top and right again to go to the Tyndall-Bruce monument and a great viewpoint of the Howe of Fife. Continuing on this track will lead to a dead end with no obvious paths.

The left hand fork leads further uphill and ends shortly after. Two paths lead away the downhill one to the east is rough and not much good to cycle upon and the southerly path leads uphill past an small abandoned quarry to a style at the forest edge. It is not clear where the path goes afterwards.

Eastern Routes

These routes are mainly estate roads, though there are one or two paths that can be cycle upon. I would not recommend using the paths along the burn leading past the “big-house.” There is one path to the east which leads from the Cricket Field and one recently resurfaced which leads into Falkland over an ornamental land bridge.

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