Purple Trail - Lochbank Loop
Purple Trail - Lochbank Loop Stats
Grade: NG - Variable
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!
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.
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.
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!