- Distance: 6 miles
- Time needed: ½ hour to 1 hour
- Classification: Easy
- Type: Mixed, Gravel
- Cycle hire: Bothy Bikes in Aviemore, tel: 01479 810111
- Access: Train Station at Aviemore
Begin your ride just north of the railway station in Aviemore - take the subway under the railway line and turn left onto National Route 7. Follow a quiet road for a bit and then wind your way through a residential estate, before joining a shared-use path for walkers and cyclists, which takes you all the way to the village of Boat of Garten.
This journey offers excellent wildlife spotting opportunities as you cross heather covered moorland, surrounded by spectacular mountain ranges and dense forests. You may also see and hear the occasional passing steam train on the Strathspey Railway. The village of Boat of Garten is known as the ‘Osprey Village’, as, after the species had been driven to near extinction, a pair of Ospreys reappeared at Loch Garten in the 1950s.
When you come into the village, keep cycling to the north side and you will see a sign for the RSPB reserve at Milton Loch, where you can get up close and learn more about these majestic birds of prey which migrate here to breed every year. Since you start and finish at either end of the Strathspey Steam Railway, you can return with your bike by steam train if your legs are too tired. Alternatively, you can make it a circular route by returning on the on-road section of National Route 7 on the B970 (9miles).
Things to see and do
- Cairngorms National Park
- Various Lochs including Loch Pityoulish, Milton Loch and Loch Garten Reserve, which has viewing points, nature trails, guided tours and a café. Wildlife includes osprey, red squirrels and tree pipits.
- Boat of Garten is fantastic for bird watchers, with the hide at Milton Loch on the village's north edge being the best spot.
- Aviemore Centre
- Rothiemurchus Visitor Centre
- The Strathspey Steam Railway (summer only)
- Loch Garten Osprey Centre
Map shows the National Cycle Network and local routes in this area.
This journey offers excellent wildlife spotting opportunities as you cross heather covered moorland, surrounded by spectacular mountain ranges and dense forests.