Purple Trail - Lochbank Loop

Purple Trail - Lochbank Loop Stats

Grade: NG - Variable
Distance: 23Km
Singletrack: No Singletrack
Estimated Time To Ride The Route: 1.5 - 3.5 hrs

The Purple Trail - Lochbank Loop at Mabie is both public and forest road and takes in most of Mabie forest. There is no singletrack on this route, so is ideal for riders with less technical ability but with a reasonable level of fitness. The trail is exactly what you want to make it: a race round as quick as you can, or a chance to take your time and enjoy the views.


Making the most of the hills, the route does have its fair share of climbing, but just like the Big Views Loop the rewards are there. Enjoy the peaceful roads through the forest and revel in the views that you come across!

Marthrown Hill

Leave the trail centre and head towards the skills area before starting the climb up to Marthrown. Take time to catch your breath before heading down the hill to Stan's pond. Follow the road up round past Hillhead quarry, perhaps pausing to take in the view of Dumfries town on your right when you emerge from the trees.


You can rest your legs again on the road as it follows the side of Hillhead Hill before dropping down towards Woodhead. At the bottom of the hill the forest reveals a view down the valley towards Carswadda Farm.

Lochaber Loch

The road will then take you down towards Lochaber loch and Troston. Following the edge of the loch, the trail comes out of the forest and onto a b-class road. This will take you along through the twisty steading at Troston Farm before going up and over some small hills then dropping down to Glensone.


Another hill meets you as you re-enter the forest at Lochbank. Climb through the trees and enjoy the views over Loch Arthur before you carry on up the hill, winding your way to the top. On the descent, take time to make the most of the views, firstly Lotus Hill and then Criffel.

Lochbank Hill

Follow on down the road past The Darkside on your left, perhaps being lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some more "extreme" mountain bikers. Take in your second view of Lochaber Loch as the trail rejoins the road on the edge of Woodhead Hill.


The last big climb of the trail makes its way up the hillside before dropping steadily down towards the trailhead, and a well-deserved rest!

The Trails view grading charts

Visitor Comments

me and the boy cycled round this on May Day bank holiday,it was a waste of nearly two hours,rough forest road most of the way round.very poor route.
this is just forest road most of the way,and really rough and uneven in places very poor track
quite like an occasional ride round on fire roads,this is quite good
Craig Newton
not very good most of it is on very rough forest roads
Mark & Wendy
this route has had a lot of resurfacing work done since we visited last year and i think its been spoiled quite a bit,no where near as good a cycle-ride as it was.
Tommy from Leeds
pretty poor really,too much loose gravel for a non technical trail,spent most of the time trying to keep bike upright.
did the purple route today and was glad I made the 2 hour drive in the car to do it, a must for riders just wanting a ride out with no cars around them, will be going again and alot more often.
Stacey & Kirsty
we did this route today and it was alot harder than we thought to begin with it was just uphill after uphill and got hard but the down hills made it worth it next time we will be prepared
Great route, nice to be out on quiet part of forest.
Colin Renny
Done this for the first time today, man its hard, always uphill or downhill and the forest road is very very rough going in a lot of places!
colin & stacy
a great day out riding this very quiet and scenic ,also it wasnt raining!!!!!
Paul Wells
normally just do the red route,tried this and man was it hard, its never flat,seems to be always up or down ,really hard work,will do again next year when im much fitter!!!!
matty from newcastle
decided to try the purple route,was much harder than i thought,a lot of hard climbing but nice fast fire road descents made it well worth it.will be riding it again on my next visit.

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The Shed Cafe is now open;

Monday 10am - 5pm

Tuesday and Wednesday - Closed

Thursday and Friday 10am - 5pm

Saturday and Sunday 10am - 4pm

All weather dependant


  1. Car parking is available at the trail head and costs £3 per day.


Toilet facilities are on site, near the trail head.

Bike Hire

The Shed Bike Hire is now open 10am - 4pm 7 days a week until 30th September. For bike hire details go to:


or phone 07881819927


Trail Conditions

Current at 29th August 2014. 

Trails: The Darkside trail is currently closed. All others open.

Conditions: Good.

Diversions: None

More Info:  Contact the FC ranger service on 01387 860247 for more information. 

Today's Weather

57°F / 14°C

Further Information


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