Littlehouse Media

The UK’s first waymarked gravel cycling trails opened near Aberfoyle

Bike Trossachs CIC, a cycling focused community interest group based in Aberfoyle, has today (Thursday 21 July 2022), opened three new gravel cycling routes in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, the first waymarked trails in the UK dedicated to gravel riding. This opening also coincided with the pandemic delayed launch of Gravelfoyle, the new destination tourism brand for Aberfoyle, whose prime objective is to promote the area as Scotland’s premier gravel cycling mecca.

The 10km, 20km, and 30km waymarked routes start and finish in the centre of Aberfoyle and venture deep into the Loch Ard Forest, exploring the areas surrounding Loch Ard and Loch Chon.  The routes have been designed to encourage more cyclists, everyone from families with an appetite for more relaxed off-road adventures to weekend warriors keen on longer distance challenges, to experience the joys and thrills of gravel riding in the area, while using Aberfoyle as a base.

The village of Aberfoyle, located on the edge of The Trossachs in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, within easy reach of Stirling, Glasgow, Perth, and Edinburgh, has, in the last few years, become a hotspot for Gravel Riding, the latest trend in cycling.  Within just a 12km radius of the village, there is a network of over 200km of off-road, multi-surface forestry tracks and trails, gravel roads, and paths in the most stunningly beautiful countryside, all waiting to be explored. 

The new Gravelfoyle brand is an evolution of a hashtag initially born out of Dukes Weekender, the hugely successful, community run, family friendly, gravel cycling festival, staged in and around Aberfoyle in 2018, 2019 and 2021, that encompasses the true spirit of gravel riding – adventure, exploration, wild countryside and the simple pleasure of riding your bike. The event, initially started by local riders, is now operated by Bike Trossachs and following the inaugural event, the hashtag #gravelfoyle grew in popularity, with visitors and the community using it year-round across social media channels while sharing gravel riding photos and adventures from the area. The tag now with thousands of shares across instagram was the obvious choice for the destination brand name.

The success of Dukes Weekender in promoting the high-quality gravel trails in the local forests of the national park has also been one of the catalysts in both establishing Aberfoyle as a booming year-round cycling destination, and the recent economic upturn for local businesses.

Aberfoyle businesses and the local community are fully invested in Gravelfoyle, driving and implementing this project.  They are keen to build a diverse community of practitioners to promote cycling participation, infrastructure, and tourism in Aberfoyle, with a view to developing local jobs, and wealth and encouraging sustainable economic growth.

Partnership and collaboration are at the heart of the Gravelfoyle brand. Funding for the UK’s first three waymarked gravel routes has come from Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER, Forestry and Land Scotland, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, and The Strathard Development Trust.  They have all committed to providing support for the future development of access infrastructure in the national park.

Enda McLoughlin, Chair for Bike Trossachs CIC, said: “We have seen a definite increase in outdoor, active tourism in the area over the last few years, with cycling leading that change. We are harnessing this success, and are delighted to be the community lead for this local initiative, providing beautiful and safe routes for locals and tourists, to explore the Loch Ard Forest.”

Kenny Auld, Head of Visitor Services for Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said: “We are really excited that the Gravelfoyle Trails are opening and more people can discover this wonderful area for gravel riding.

“Aberfoyle is already a great destination for all types of cycling and these three routes highlight the best of the forest road network with amazing views of Ben Lomond and Loch Ard. With three waymarked loops of 10km, 17km and 30km there are routes for everyone. The routes provide a fantastic opportunity for people to leave the car in Aberfoyle and explore Loch Ard Forest by bike and we encourage everyone to give it a go. We know the ‘Gravelfoyle’ brand has taken off through the local cycling community even before the routes were launched and this just shows the level of demand for cycling in the area. With the waymarked trails now going live we hope Gravelfoyle will be an addition to Scotland’s list of must do cycling experiences.”

Jason Clark, Cycle Tourism Officer for Forth Valley & Lomond Leader, said: “FVLL is delighted to support the development of these trails around Aberfoyle with a significant funding contribution. It’s an exciting and ambitious project which will enhance Aberfoyle’s reputation as a gravel riding destination and cycling hub for all, bringing significant economic benefits to both local businesses and communities.”

Stu Thomson, local rider and one of the founders behind the Dukes Weekender, said: “This is a hugely exciting step for the village and the Trossachs area as a destination. It’s been wonderful to witness the organic growth of gravel cycling in the area and as locals the first question we’re always asked is ‘where do I go?.’ Now we have three fantastic routes for visitors to explore, opening up the sport to new participants and further elevating the village as the go-to location for gravel cycling.”

Phil Crowder, landlord of the Forth Inn in Aberfoyle, said: “What Bike Trossaschs and Gravelfoyle is doing is magnificent for the community. I didn’t realise how much we needed the waymarked trails until the boards were erected this week. My business sits adjacent to the boards. They are viewed then ridden and when people return they frequent the Inn and talk in glowing terms about the experience. All these routes have been hidden in plain sight and Bike Trossachs have brought them to life and it’s to everyone’s benefit.

Liz MacGregor, owner of Liz MacGregor cafe on Aberfoyle main street, said:  We’re delighted to see the launch of the Gravelfoyle trails in Loch Ard Forest. Highlighting and developing one of the fantastic opportunities Aberfoyle has to offer for outdoor activity is likely to have a positive impact on many local businesses and help to further raise the profile of Aberfoyle and Strathard.

Ends

Media contact:

Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E: [email protected] | M: 0044 7913 951717

Images:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/gds3er5xg0j8n3c/AADAXLgOBOCTTPNN7OtSDbUXa?dl=0.

Gravel Cycling

Gravel cycling is a relatively new cycle discipline bringing the accessibility, physical benefits and non-technical aspects of road cycling to the safety, experience and landscape of mountain biking. From super-chilled social rides to remote and demanding endurance racing, mass-participation events to dirt touring, there’s something in gravel for everyone; and at entry level it doesn’t require specialist bikes and equipment.

Digital media:

Website – https://www.gravelfoyle.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gravelfoyle/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Gravelfoyle

You Might Also Like

Go Swim Loch Lomond – a new open water event for Scotland

Lochaber Tourism Day with Cal Mac – Debate, Engage, Network

Elite Freestyle Skier, Kirsty Muir (17), wins Youth Mountain Award

Top award for World renowned Scottish landscape photographer, Colin Prior

No Fuss serve up a vindaloo of an off road bike festival

New look Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel, new era of hostelling in the Capital

Mark Cavendish to return at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain

New hydro scheme powers Scottish mountain resort

Media Advisory – 500 runners to tame Edinburgh with the inaugural Ultra Tour

Do we hear Muckwedding Belles in Fife?

Fort William Mountain Festival back to a live, multi-venue event in 2022

Mountain Bikers Gear Up for a Fun Day’s Night in Falkirk

Planning on holidaying at home? Give hostelling a go!

Millburn Academy ensures a warm welcome to Inverness Youth Hostel

SKI-AN-DURO, a new ski and mountain bike Enduro for Scotland

Keith Legge, CEO of SYHA Hostelling Scotland, steps down after 13 years

Muckin’ good news for two wheeled Early Birds

Scottish Enduro Series confirms POC as headline sponsor for fifth year

No Fuss add two International MTB events to 2018 programme

New European partnership to upskill adventure tourism in five countries

Visit Moray Speyside launches their biggest ever UK marketing campaign

Coast to Coast – run, bike ride and kayak 105 miles across Scotland

Young ‘Fifers’ invited to collaborate in Eliminator Bike Festival

No Fuss for Kinlochleven, the UK’s only Enduro World Series Qualifier

The ultimate runners’ sightseeing tour of Edinburgh returns

Cream O’ The Croft – far more than just a bike festival

300 Dutch adventurers to run, bike and kayak across Scotland

Archibald urges Edinburgh locals to sign up for HSBC UK City Ride

Muckin’ good discounts for a muckin’ good 2019 event programme

Nevis Range partner with Disability Snowsport UK for Winter 18/19

Glen Nevis Youth Hostel re-opens after major redevelopment project

Hostelling Scotland fully open for business after two years

Jura, the Border Collie, trains to become the first Ski Patrol rescue dog at Nevis Range

Nevis Range and Trek renew commercial partnership for 2020/21

Young volunteers wanted to run IRONKIDS Scotland running events

Edinburgh’s Electric Cycle Company is being supercharged

#myoutdoorcapital – OCUK to put visitors firmly in the frame

Gravelfoyle – Gravel Cycling at the heart of Aberfoyle’s new tourism brand

Nevis Range and Trek renew commercial partnership for 2019/20

Gold and Silver gongs for Torridon and Loch Ossian Youth Hostels in TGO Reader Awards

Loch Ossian and Torridon Youth Hostels shortlisted in TGO Reader Awards

A bit of ‘This and That’ for stunt riders Danny MacAskill and Kriss Kyle

Edinburgh’s Electric Cycle Company sees 80% rise in Lockdown sales

Immerse yourself in Lochaber Ideas Week 2019

A Mucky Duathlon for the Eliminator Bike Festival in Fife

SYHA collaborates with Glasgow Caledonian University

Muckin’ good mountain bike events launched for 2016

UK’s first Team Enduro event comes to Comrie Croft, Perthshire

POC headline sponsor for Scottish Enduro Series for sixth year

Fair City Enduro – The UK’s Most Spectacular Mountain Bike Race

Lochaber community is pulling together to give Nevis Range a lift after lockdown!

Lochaber’s Nevis Range becomes an accredited Living Wage employer

Another Muckin’ great line-up of mountain bike events announced for 2017

Halloween fancy dress mountain bike Enduro returns to Perth

Rob Cochrane wins 2019 Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture

Are you hard enough to take on The Double Stalker?

SYHA’s Glasgow Metro youth hostel awarded 3 stars by VisitScotland

Route announcement confirmed for HSBC City Ride in Edinburgh

SYHA Hostelling Scotland – building Scottish hostelling for the future

Nevis Range, Scotland’s highest snowsports destination, open for business

Cameron McNeish wins 2018 Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture

Start your Highland biking adventure at the new Nevis Range Bike School

Media Advisory – UK’s highest Shinty match to promote tourism in Lochaber

Cream o’ the Croft: three Muckin’ good family festivals rolled into one!

Run Scotland in two days with the new Ultra Tour of Arran

‘Death Zone’ mountaineer, Nirmal Purja, to headline Fort William Mountain Festival 2020

Young people invited to collaborate in Muckin’ good summer festivals

Hostelling Scotland to temporarily close Youth Hostel network

Inspirational athlete and adventurer, Karen Darke, wins top mountain award

Nevis Range looks forward to reopening in July

The Cream of Enduro will rise to the top at Comrie Croft

VisitScotland’s Lord Thurso to deliver The Charles Kennedy Memorial Lecture

Fort William Mountain Festival 2021 goes Covid-19 safe

A muckin’ great Audax, perfect for Cream o’ the Croft road cyclists

Discover Scotland’s ‘Braw Buildings’ with Hostelling Scotland

Business Community Programme launched for Lochaber Ideas Week 2018

Media Advisory – Images – The Ultra Tour of Edinburgh

Competition Climber, Shauna Coxsey, wins Scottish Youth Ambassador Award

Lochaber Ideas Week returns to Fort William after a two-year covid hiatus

It’s all about head to head bike racing at Fife’s Eliminator

Media Advisory – Cancellation of The Mighty Deerstalker, Saturday 03 March 2018, The Scottish Borders

Entries open for SKI-AN-DURO, Scotland’s new ski and mountain bike Enduro

Huge demand for ultrarunner Jasmin Paris at Fort William Mountain Festival

Cyclists Get into Gear for Angus Cycling Festival

Noel Williams wins 2019 Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture

Best seat in the house! Where to catch Stage 1 – The OVO Energy Tour of Britain

Summer Youth Hostel Returns to Glasgow

Scottish Climbing Instructor, Tim Miller, wins Youth Mountain Culture Award

Paul Merton Visits SYHA’s Loch Ossian Hostel – Paul Merton’s Secret Stations

Finance and Economy Secretary, Kate Forbes, opens car park and off-grid toilets at Skye’s Iconic Fairy Pools

Margo Paterson appointed as CEO of SYHA Hostelling Scotland

Nevis Range is making it snow all season long!

Becoming a Conscious Host: Carbon Neutrality and Beyond

Youth development key to Edinburgh Central’s 10th Anniversary

New Lochaber website aiming high

‘Connect To Your Adventure!’ – big success in just 7 weeks

Chris O’Brien appointed Destination Manager for the Outdoor Capital of the UK

Lochaber’s ‘Connect to Your Adventure’ digital marketing campaign, a huge success

Fort William has all the Mòd cons

Up to 350 riders will take on the Fair City Enduro when it returns to Perth

Run Scotland on The Ultra Tour of Arran

Nevis Range and Trek announce a partnership for 2018/19

Nevis Range moving forward with interim CEO Rod Pashley

IRONKIDS Scotland – 3,000 kids to take part in global running series

OATS in search of a Fairy Pool of staff

Hostelling Scotland, a new brand identity unveiled

National Funding Boost for Cream o’ the Croft and The Eliminator

Changing times at Nevis Range Mountain Experience!

Figurehead environmental campaigner, Dave Morris, wins top mountain award

‘What would Mary do?’ at the Fort William Mountain Festival

Enduro World Series Qualifier, Kinlochleven – Race Report

Danny MacAskill celebrates Edinburgh anniversary with Fringe debut at Circus Hub

Epic Halloween tale of ‘Ned vs Monster’ in the Outdoor Capital

New massed ultra running tour to challenge Edinburgh’s visitors

IRONKIDS activity programmes promote healthy and active lifestyles – SUN, FUN, RUN!

Big Biking October – two International bike events for the Outdoor Capital

Fort William – the perfect cruise destination

Celebrating 90 years of Scottish hostelling

Muckin’ good festive discounts on Muckmedden 2018 bike events

Hostelling Scotland opens four summer youth hostels in 2018

Danny MacAskill launches video, ‘Danny Daycare’. Best ‘uncle’ ever?

Inverness Youth Hostel gets a fresh new look

An appetite for adventure in the North West Highlands

Frazer Coupland appointed Chair of The Highland Tourism Partnership

SYHA partners with Ayrshire College for valuable volunteer experience

Winner covers 319km at The UK 24hr Mountain Bike Championships

Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival 2018 – The Long Road To Adventure

Three female adventurers to take on epic 1936 cycling trip

Enduro riders, prepare yourselves for a Highland Clan battle!

Developing for the future at Nevis Range!

Expose yourself the No Fuss way

Bikes. Dirt. Downhill. Bike Night at The Fort William Mountain Festival 2016

World teams heading to Edinburgh for OVO Energy Tour of Britain

A new mucky duathlon for the Eliminator Weekender in Fife

The new Pentland Trail Centre – The future for Edinburgh biking

Young event assistants invited to join the IRONKIDS Scotland event team

Edinburgh’s Electric Cycle Company has been supercharged

Sporting legend Gavin Hastings to inspire Lochaber at Ideas Week 2017

OCUK unveil their new branded gondola at Nevis Range

Get your adventure challenge on with Project: Explore

Re-Defining the age of adventure as the EMFF returns in February

Tour De Ben Nevis and and Ultra Marathon De Ben Nevis – Race Report

Dr Liz Cameron, Scotland’s voice of business, to headline women’s networking lunch

Haggis from Scotland’s first free-range Haggis farm goes on sale in Lochaber

No Fuss partnerships lead the way for Scotland’s Enduro

Hostelling Scotland begins phased opening of Youth Hostel network

Scotland’s mountain bike Enduro World Series qualifier sold out in record time

Lochaber Tourism Summit 2019, a must-attend event for Highland tourism businesses

People are at the heart of SYHA Hostelling Scotland!

SYHA opens new summer youth hostel in Edinburgh

Geraint Thomas and Owain Doull return to OVO Energy Tour of Britain

Nevis Range team up with Endura

Fair City Enduro Confirmed As Scotland’s Only Enduro World Series Qualifier

Fife farm to be transformed for a family bike and outdoor festival

The Fort William Mountain Festival 2018 – Celebrate the great outdoors

Fife farmland to host the new Eliminator MTB Weekender Festival

Hot water on tap for Loch Ossian Youth Hostel

Danny MacAskill is ‘Doing the Dubhs’

SYHA appoints Lois Marshall as Youth & Volunteer Engagement Manager

Two Scottish youth hostels celebrate landmark anniversaries

The Ultra Tour of Arran, a big draw for international adventure tourists

Dukes Weekender, a catalyst for Aberfoyle’s rise in gravel cycle tourism

Nevis Range to turn back the clock to 1989 to celebrate 30 years of adventure

No Fuss running events given Compression boost in 2018

‘A Meeting of Minds 2’ celebrates innovation in Scotland’s aquaculture sector

Alex Dowsett confirms return to OVO Energy Tour of Britain

SYHA Hostelling Scotland assist in a Recovery Version

Outdoor Capital Activities and Attractions Expo open for tourism business

Elite mountain bike racer, Mikayla Parton, wins Youth Mountain Award

The Falkirk Funduro 2017: mountain biking fun with two capital F’s