Hardrock Trail

Hardrock Trail Stats

Grade: Red - Difficult
Distance: 25Km
Singletrack: 65% (black-graded sections are 100% singletrack)
Estimated Time To Ride The Route: 1.5 - 3 hrs

The Hardrock Trail is a classic red-graded route that includes miles of singletrack and some very challenging black-graded features.


The hard granite surface makes the trail one of the most resilient in the country and provides good grip in the wet, so the route is fantastic to ride all year round. Attack it in cross country racer style or at a more leisurely, playful pace.


A highlight of the route is the Slab - sheer granite lying at a steep angle - but there are plenty of other sections on the Hardrock Trail to excite and test the skills of any mountain biker.

Skills Loop and Cloak Hill

From the car park you head out into the skills area, hone your riding skills on all grades of trail, from green to black.  Look out for the steep rock (mini slab) on the black loop.


From the skills loop join up with the blue route for the long straightforward sections of raised timber trail that take you across the bogs of Richorn Plantation. Continue climbing on forest road up the side of Cloak Hill, heading towards Moyle Magic.  Take a rest whilst viewing the 'Heart Stane'.

Moyle Magic

As you reach the start of Moyle Magic the view opens out, but keep your eye on the trail as it ducks and dives around the open hill before climbing into the trees. A steep snap leads to the high point before a downward rush into the open again (and a great view towards the coast if you dare to take your eyes of the trail). Continuing round the hill takes you on to the technical rocky singletrack of the Barnbarroch Loop.

Barnbarroch Loop

Tight, twisting and rocky this classic piece of trail is challenging but never excessive, with many short step-ups, step-downs, and small rock outcrops to negotiate. Watch out for harder options near the start. The technicalities ease when you enter the Beech Wood but the effort continues as you carry on climbing. When you reach the road you’ll gain a welcome rest and another fine view.

The Slab

The most talked-about section at Dalbeattie, this daunting 15-metre section of sheer granite lies at a steep angle. From the top the Slab can look terrifying – but as countless mountain bikers will say, to ride it is a thrilling experience and you'll find your heart rate starting to rise as you contemplate your choices here:


The red-graded route continues along the road a short distance to a rocky, descending traverse that is full of interest. It leads below the Slab (watch out for Slab slayers joining from the right as they can’t stop) and down to the bottom road. If, however a descent of the Slab is your goal you first have to tackle the Qualifier - a very steep drop on 'pitched' rock demanding a cautious approach.


If you pass the test the Slab awaits with a choice of entries – left is level but rutted, to the right over the highest point is bolder but smoother. Both lead to the point of no return. Weight back, feather the brakes and i’s soon in the bag - you can make it sound as easy or hard as you want later! If the Slab is too daunting for this visit take the easier (but still black-graded) bypass to the right of its crest. Either option joins back into the red route midway down.


After the rigours of the Slab the trail continues easily for a while before more singletrack, the first section tricky, the second very rough leads to a road climb. This steepens near the top and leads to the descent around Smithlands Hill. Again the view may distract you, but the going is challenging with rock, rock and more rock delivering you shaken (but not stirred) back to the road.

Barcloy Hill and The Terrible Twins

Barcloy Hill presents another black-graded option – the Terrible Twins: two slabs of granite lying at a steep angle (but not as long as the Slab) provide the technical challenge but they are easily bypassed to the right if desired.

Spooky Wood II and Jacob's Ladder

After the Twins, a stretch of forest road leads back into the dark dankness of Spooky Wood II, then out into an open woodland corridor for a fast run down to Jacob's Ladder. This one goes down not up. It’s tricky at the top and requires caution until the lower paved section is reached where you can ease off the brakes again.

Rock don't Roll

More fast, easy forest road and a lovely flowing singletrack section of the blue route leads to Rock don’t Roll. The gradient is quite level and this trail is best attacked as hard as you can until some giant boulders block the way ahead. They require momentum and balance to clear successfully.

The Instigator

A spell on forest tracks will have you hungry for more singletrack and technical challenge - and The Instigator will not disappoint. The easiest line is on flowing trail through an interesting area of rocky crags with nothing more than a square-edged stepdown near the end, but the black-graded options of Log on Log Off, Shaky Jakey and The Eye of the Needle are there to tempt you. These are all tricky log rides off to the side of the main trail, linking together some of the rocky outcrops and you need to be confident of your skills before attemping them. If in doubt, try the long log ride at ground level towards the end of the section and leave the others for another time.

Volunteer ridge

You’re well on the way back now and only Volunteer Ridge and the final section of twisting trail are left to take you back to the car park.


Here a final black grade option presents itself, so assess your performance so far and if confidence is still high you may wish to attempt the narrow ridges and rock steps that branch off to the left. Alternatively, just speed on by and back to the start.

The Trails view grading charts

Visitor Comments

Went face first into a tree and burst my lip. Poor show :(
david roy
2nd time and enjoyed it more this time. Takes time to get confident on the very rough rocky sections. There is now an adjacent private cafe that wasnt there or signposted last year.
cameron robertson
Having done most red routes in Scotland Dalbeattie was one of my last and now one of my favourites. I can't wait to go back now i have been round it and next time ill push a bit harder.
Jeff Downey
Great ride on red route last week on a lovely sunny day. More technical rocky bits than I've encountered elsewhere but it was really good to try the little taster loops first to get tuned in for the main ride. Will definitely be back and more able to tackle the route now that I more familiar with it. The Slab may have to wait a little longer!
Be prepared for OTB.
Be prepared for OTB.
Andy P
Found this to be a challenging but fantastic route. Red/Black boundaries a bit blurred at times. However this is my new favorite trail.
I have ridden here before many years ago and remember the Slab! On my return visit I can say that I really enjoyed it. The last time was about 10 years ago and I think there are some newer sections to it (either that our I can't remember them but it seemed more varied this time round. Some great sections that require a bit of care on the brakes and faith you will make it to the bottom, especially in the wet. Good fun.
Came up for the week been round twice and still found it intresting will do again
I agree with John, first half is quite good but the second half is mainly fire roads up and down which gets boring and offers little reward
rod stevson
rode this with my friend we both loved it other than the treck diverson this was great very challanging.this is the best track out of all the stanes much appriciated thankyou
Tim & Euan
Loved it, and I mean LOVED IT. We would say we are intermediate mtb'rs and found the whole trail a challenge that throws loads at ya and keeps you well and truly focused. We did the whole thing as a night ride but will be back to do it during the day and do the slab which we bottled.....ha ha.
Absolutely epic, in great condition, especially considering the wet weather,along way to come but always worth it when I get there! Possibly my favourite route!?
Simon Molloy
Red trail absolutely fantastic. Friends commented we must be better skiers than moutain bikers as we regularly do black runs when skiing but the black runs here were way too advanced. Red run had plenty of challenges and excitement.
Did the trail builders get bored and give up halfway through this centre? Who thought linking a first half of excellent technical singletrack with a second half of boring blue/green graded fire roads was a good idea? If anyone has their phone number, give them a ring and ask them to finish the job!!
5 stars for the first half. One for the second.
Gav Johnson
Me and my mate were up in scotland last week and took on this trail. from start to finish it wants to throw you off! got to be switched on throughout the ride or off you go!! We both loved it and will be back!!
Hayden Wright
Just got back from a week in Dalbeattie and myself and my brother rode these trails every day. It was our first go at a 'real' trail. The taster loop is great and helps you home in on skills needed for the red route. The red route itself is fantastic and is tiring on both body and mind, long climbs lead to sharp rocky descends that require 100% concentration, blink and your eating granite! cant wait to get back next year!
Hayden Wright
Just got back from a week in Dalbeattie and myself and my brother rode these trails every day. It was our first go at a 'real' trail. The taster loop is great and helps you home in on skills needed for the red route. The red route itself is fantastic and is tiring on both body and mind, long climbs lead to sharp rocky descends that require 100% concentration, blink and your eating granite! cant wait to get back next year!
Philip Hunton
Excellent Trail, some features a bit advanced for me at the minute but they give me something to aim for and identified the need to develop my technique....Ill be back!
Excellent trails, first time round last weekend and i was not dissapointed. Some really challanging singletrak and some scary as hell black features, good flow in places, wide variety of features, just beware the rocks, always keeps you on your toes. My new favourite trail centre.
An interesting trail in that there was little opportunity to relax. You just knew that there was going to be something small, or perhaps big, to catch you out around the next corner. So even though it's not particularly long it can be quite tiring to do at speed. No flowing sections here but having ridden four centres it was great to see they all had different characteristics. And yes we will come back.
Very technical. The trail needs full concentration much of the time. A trail that grows on you
Decent trail, but not the best the 7 have to offer. Pretty exhausting technical riding, not particularly flowy in large part. I hope you like rocks!
Did this the other day and was very disappointed . There so much fire roads that it ends up getting very boring , there is a handful of really cool things Granite Slab etc. But they dont fully make up for it . I wouldn't go back I would rather go to Kirroughtree
Totally amazing!havent been but really really great.
Top quality riding-as good as it can get
havent been but still 5 stars
Some of the best single tracks I have ridden on, first class venue, will definitely go back, highly recommended.
Tom jones
First time to this trail and went on the red run which I found to be a very good red run but with not much climbing involved and there are some nice drops to go down as well but my only fault about it is there is a lot of places on the trail that could have jumps put in just to make it that bit more fun but other than that it's my fave trail to date and will be heading back this Sunday on a better bike.
Big D
Bit dissapointed to be honest. I'm used to riding Glentress and Innerliethen and had hoped for more of the same. Did the Taster Loops and the Blue with my young son and we were both pretty bored so went round again to do the Red Route. Not very technical and not much elevation on the routes. Nice day out though and some stunning scenery.
Ridden the Dalbeatie trails three times now and cannot wait to get back up there in two weeks for my summer holidays for some more - it's fantastic!
John Harford
Trail was a a bit tricky for me but I have to recommend a visit to the Forest Tea Room. Nice people, who keep cool chickens and brew a nice pot of tea!
Davster x
Dalbeattie now has a cafe...just before you turn into 7stanes car park...well worth a look.
Jamie Stogden
Taster trails are brilliant, could just complete laps. I've marked the entire route down as it broke me, I've ridden alot of reds at places like Kielder and Mabie and this is so much harder. It battered me on my hard tail. Need more bike and more skill as it definitely feels like a black.
Darren jones
Had an excellent ride today will be back. Great well maintained trails. Thank you
I have to agree with GTCD bit of a slog and it is a difficult red where some bits should be black. Did Laggan a few weeks ago and was looking forward to riding over some more rocks. Too much forest road which got annoying especially near the end.
Best day ever on the red in awesome condition.
Very disappointed with this trail! All you seem to do is climb but it has no rewarding decent. There is also far to much forest road. The only reason I gave it 2 not 1 stars is that the taster route is pretty good.
The Vonster
what a great trail the hardrock trail is, using lots of natural instead of man made which was ace. Super technical stuff...nailed the Slab and the Equalizer...Terrible Twins etc was closed due to felling :(
Phil Brown
A very good and challenging forest, would have liked to do the whole thing but about 50% was shut due to tree felling but the stuff that was open was brillient
most difficult red route of all stanes. alot more of this trail should be black grade. found it either a flat slog on forest road or difficult sections id get off and push. better going to mabie or kirroughtree.
terrible place
this place is a good ride out just the right distance and really grippy because of the granite, good fun doing the slab aswell !!
Sam Land
Dalbeattie has got to be one of the best. The skills loop is AMAZING !!!!
First time back in some time and it has changed alot. More technical than it used to be and all the better for it. Only complaint is that it just sort of fizzels out at the end without a big blast like alot of the Stanes but not worth loosing a star over. Will be back soon.
Mark Logie
A simply excellent red route. The most technical I've been to, with fun and awkward rocky slabs and frequent step-ups. A good mix of technical and flowing singletrack. Absolutely unrelenting in barnbarroch, but never a dull moment. Tiring, and thoroughly recommended.
Last of the 7 stanes we rode & it was lots of fun. Challenging Red in the wet and WOW does the slab look bigger in real life!! Maybe next time...
I rode every Black and every Red at all the Stanes over a 2 week period. This trail stood out for me and is truly superb, just needs to be ridden aggresively to get the most out of it. I have been back since and it just gets better the more you ride it.
Gary Anderson
A great trail that felt a lot more technical than some of the other stanes ive rode. The slab is fun tho. I'll be back.
My least favourite 7stanes - all about the slab, twins and qualifier - a bit like a skills area. The trail itself is undulating. Very very slippy black section on way back over woodwork and mini slab.
Big G
Fantastic trail my fav stane..could do with cafe
Dalbeattie is truly a world class challenge
Tom & Arnie (road trip 2011)
this red route has been worth the long journey from wales alone,ace singletrack most of the way round,some excellent sections,some really excellent sections.a proper mtb red route.
manuel verdaso
el classico.but it rain too many times in scotland!!!!!
My favourite 7 stanes route.
Epic red route more of a challenge than Glentress and Kiroughtree
Is there a better man made mtb track anywhere in the world?
Neil from Dalbeattie
The best singletrack, old school style track anywhere in the world (and in no way am I biased cos I live 1 mile from the start)
Paul Witcombe
Sweet, first time riding here. Messed about on the taster loop then round Hardrock! Really good, completed the slab and the terrible twins! Think the twins was more challenging! Good times!!!
sweet track, love the natural granite rocks and the slab is properly scary too , not many climbs aswell! :)
Off to do this route tomorrow! It just gets better every time I go!
FakeBull Dave
Did it yesterday on my hardtail,fantastic.Two other guys on full suss out who did the slab. Me and Fakebull Gary followed suit a leap of faith but bbrilliant you have to do it if you visit. Up till now MAbie has been our fave but this beat it hands down,great had everything ..!!

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Nearby Dalbeattie has a range of facilities to help you make the most of your visit.


Car parking is available in the Richorn car park, where the trail head is located and costs £3 per day


New toilets block in
Richorn car park is now open

Bike Hire

A bike wash is on site close to the trail head.

Bike hire - MPG cycles in Dalbeattie. Open Monday- Saturday. Telephone 01556 610659.


Bike hire - Gorsebank (400 metres from trailhead) and is open 7 days. Call 01556 611634 or 07814 501214 Accommodation and Services or visit www.gorsebank.com

Trail Conditions

Current at Thu 4th Feb 2016

Trails: All open.    


Conditions:  Wet - lots of surface water on trails.  Please take extra care when high winds forecast as this could lead to windblown trees and branches across the trails. 


Diversions: None.


More info: Contact the district office by email on dumfries&borders@forestry.gsi.gov.uk 


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