Discover the Best Inverness Bike Trails: 8 Routes to Try!

Discover the Best Inverness Bike Trails: 8 Routes to Try!

cycle routes near inverness

In this post we highlight some of the best bike trails in Inverness and the surrounding area, including well maintained cycle paths and local mountain bike trails! Inverness is a beautiful place to cycle with plenty of great routes to choose from. The scenery is stunning, with lots of places to stop and enjoy the views that span across the Highlands. Cycling is a fun way to get around town and see everything that Inverness has to offer, and with cycle shops available in the city, you can easily rent a bike for the day. If you’re looking for a Scottish adventure on two wheels, cycling in Inverness is something you need to do!

You can take on the challenge of The Great Glen Way, cycle around the beautiful Ness Islands just outside the city, or go back in time cycling through the battlefield at Culloden on your journey to Nairn! 

Inverness: A Cyclist's Paradise

Cycling Routes
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    The table above lists all the best cycling routes in and around Inverness. Click on each name to be taken straight to the part of the blog post for that route.

    Ride the best trails in the North of Scotland by checking out all the routes we've listed in this post! Have a look below at the cycle routes listed on the interactive map and click on the buttons below the map for each route, for further information before you travel. The purple shop icons are local bike hire places.

    Caledonian Canal

    If you're looking for an easy way to explore the Scottish Highlands, a cycle along the Caledonian Canal will be perfect. The flat towpath makes it a comfortable ride along this scenic route! The Caledonian Canal which stretches from Inverness to Loch Dochfour, gives you a taste of the beautiful surroundings of the area and is a well-known track used by locals and tourists alike.

    Ness Islands

    The pretty Ness Islands are located on the River Ness, just outside of the city. This is a popular spot for cyclists, who enjoy the peaceful quietness of the area alongside scenic views on the 3-mile circuit. The Ness Islands path joins links with the Caledonian Canal mentioned above. Check out the link via the button below for information on the route.

    Inverness to Cromarty

    Heading up north from Inverness, the National Cycle Route 1 takes you through the Black Isle and across Moray Firth on the way to Cromarty. From there you can take the ferry across the Cromarty Firth if you'd like to travel further up the north coast.

    Inverness to Nairn

    There are few places to cycle in Great Britain as dramatically beautiful and historic than on this part of the National Cycle Route 1 from Inverness to Nairn. The route takes you past the location of the great battle of Culloden, where the Jacobites were defeated by the British forces. Also on the way to the small town of Nairn, you'll take in the 4000-year-old, Bronze Age site of Clava Cairns! There are not many routes in the country that take in so much history on such a short ride of just under 20 miles.

    inverness mountain bike trails

    Calvine to Dalwhinnie

    This cycle route that heads north is full of surprises. You'll find long sections that are on the off-road cycle path and some other sections that are on minor roads carrying only occasional local traffic; it’s the ultimate way to get your adrenaline pumping! The stunning views start in Calvine as you begin the climb and after you've reached the top, you'll have a scenic 5-mile stretch going downhill (to give your legs some well-needed rest!). If you don't mind some stretches on the road, this is a rewarding bike ride that you'll not want to miss.

    Aviemore to Boat of Garten

    This beautiful, peaceful route is an excellent way to forget about the stress of everyday life and enjoy some time outdoors. The scenery changes constantly as you ride through heather moorland with hills covered in pine forests on either side before arriving at lichen-rich birch woods that lead up towards the village of Boat of Garten. Start off the route with a bite to eat or a coffee at one of the many cafes in Aviemore to kick off your day cycling!

    Inverness bike trails

    MTB: The Great Glen Way

    The Great Glen Way is a cyclist's or walker’s paradise. The 79-mile route from Fort William to Inverness follows the western shoreline of Loch Ness (in the last sections) and passes through many scenic areas along the mammoth journey. The trail winds its way through the beautiful Scottish Highlands with the challenge of completing it from start to finish, taken on by thousands of people each year!

    MTB: Learnie Red Rocks

    These purpose-built mountain bike trails at Learnie Red Rocks are fantastic fun for all levels, but especially good with novice and intermediate riders. You can mix the different graded trails and dirt jump areas to keep you entertained all day. Take your camera with you for some great views on offer here and some excellent pictures to take home!


    In this blog post, we have shared some of the best cycle routes around Inverness. To find out more about things to do in this area, click on the links below:


    Inverness Blogs


    Free Things to do in Inverness


    Forest Walks near Inverness


    Local Delicacies and Souvenirs from Inverness

    Please note...

    All outdoor activities including cycling involve a degree of risk. The routes are recommended due to the well known features of each route but this may change over time and further research is required before undertaking any activity. The weather can also impact the surface and general conditions of each route so please keep yourself updated with the weather forecast before setting off to enjoy your cycle!

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    Crown Copyright, courtesy Forestry and Land Scotland (16/08/22) licensed under the Open Government License.