Red Route Stats
Grade: Red - Difficult
Estimated Time To Ride The Route: 1.5 - 2.5 hrs
Newcastleton's Red route provides fast, narrow singletrack, bridge crossings and boardwalks. The route finishes by taking in the Caddrouns Blue Route, making the overall distance 16km and squeezing in even more tasty singletrack!
The Hidden Valley
A brief forest road climb from the car park takes you to the start of the singletrack trails, and the entrance to the Hidden Valley.
This narrow trail swoops down through the forest with fast, exhilarating descents punctuated by short sharp climbs.
There are plenty of bridges and boardwalks to keep you on your toes and even a black grade raised timber trail line across a pond. The singletrack seems to go on for ever, but eventually you'll pop out on a forest road and the start of the main climb of the route.
The long climb up the forest road from Hidden Valley is known as The Linns. After a couple of kilometres, the Border stane pops into view and from here it's just a short pedal to the next section of singletrack - The Bog.
From the forest road the trail plummets into dark forest before crossing the Tweeden Burn over a stunning arched laminate bridge which sets you up for a mellow section of boardwalk across the bog. A short, steep climb later and time for a breather at the next forest road.
Dead Man's Quarry Climb
The next singletrack climb starts right away and takes its name from a nearby quarry. It's a steadier climb that lets you find a good rhythm and soon breaks out into a recently felled area of ground. A short but very sweet section of descending singletrack breaks up the climbing, though you are soon round the back of Swarfe Quarry and at the top of one of the finest descents in the forest - Swarfe Hill.
The trail starts fast and swoopy and maintains this feel all the way down, with rock steps and drops as well as occasional jumps keeping the adrenalin flowing. The route pops out at the start of Hidden Valley and heads back towards the trailhead before turning right and following the Caddrouns Blue Route. Look out for Pouter Lampert, one of the best sections of singletrack at Newcastleton - 2km of singletrack bliss - before rejoining the forest road back to the trailhead.