FATMAP difficulty grade
This bothy adventure starts from the small village of Dalwhinnie, nestled between the highlands and the Cairngorms.
Renowned for its single malt whisky, be sure to pick up a dram from the distillery before setting off into the wilderness.
Despite being easily accessed by car or train, it doesn’t take long pedalling alongside Loch Ericht to leave civilisation behind.
Thanks to the Ben Alder estate, the first stretch is a great quality gravel track with the numerous impressive estate buildings en route.
The singletrack begins as you leave the estate grandeur in your dust and get well and truly off the beaten track.
Thanks to some newly built bridges, the ride isn’t as challenging as it once was; however, this will be the most challenging section with some inevitable hike-a-bike in places.
Be sure to take special care on the slab rock section which can be slippery at times.
The slow progress is compensated by stunning views across the Loch, which remains close throughout.
Before long, you’ve reached your destination for the night and earned a well-deserved rest in front of the fire.
Be warned, Ben Alder Cottage has a history of mysterious events, and as local legend will have it, you may well be sharing the bothy with ghosts of the past.
After a quick morning dip in the loch to blow away any whisky-induced cobwebs, you’re settling into the long but fairly moderate climb up the glen to Bealach Dubh.
The final section is a little tough, getting progressively steeper, but be sure to check out the Vickers plane wreckage before descending down the epic singletrack to Culra and back towards the Estate.
With the wind often behind you, you’ll make quick work of the remaining gravel track and be back to the car before you know it.