The Central Belter is a new bikepacking route currently in development, designed by Markus Stitz, with assistance from local riders.
Starting on Portobello Beach it will incorporate most parts of the popular Capital Trail with an extension into East Lothian to feature the Herring Road. The route will also include parts of the Reiver Raid in the Ale Water Valley in the Scottish Borders before following the Capital Trail back to the Pentland Hills.
From here the route takes you through Edinburgh across Corstorphine Hill and on to the hidden gems of West Lothian, passing historical sights like the cottage in which James Watt laid down the plans for his steam engine, Cairnpapple Hill and Beecraigs Country Park. Past the famous Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel the trail travels further into the Carron Valley to Tappoch Broch, an iron-age broch near Torwood, and on to Carron Reservoir, before hitting North Third Reservoir near Stirling, which offers magic views and technically challenging trails.
After Stirling the Central Belter takes you past the famous Doune Castle and on Sustrans Route 7 through Glen Ogle, one of the most scenic stretches to cycle in Scotland. After a section on the West Highland Way from Crianlarich to Tyndrum it follows the route of the Highland Trail past Loch Lyon, and on an old coffin road back to Killin on Loch Tay. Past Ben Lawers it then takes you to a very remote section of the Highlands past Loch Rannoch and Loch Garry to Dalnaspidal near the Pass of Drumochter.
The route from here is currently under development, but will travel past Pitlochry and Dundee and down the Fife Coastal Path back to Edinburgh.
The route will be finished in summer 2017, the inaugural ride will start on 9 September at 8am at Portobello Beach. For more information on the event go here. To keep up-to-date about further developments please subscribe to our newsletter for free.
Central Belter Provisional Route from Portobello Beach to Stirling Bike Hub
Central Belter Provisional Route from Dunblane to Dalnaspidal