Review 7 Stanes Bike Parks

Dawnrazor

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Patreon
Jun 11, 2018
91
110
313
Somerset
www.samsunlobe.co.uk
Ride
CUBE & KTM
#1
Product Image:
7stanes_01-jpg.5766

7stanes_02-jpg.5767

7stanes_03-jpg.5768

7stanes_04-jpg.5769


Product name: 7 Stanes Bike Parks
Price paid: Parking £2 for 3 hours £3 all day
Score (out of 10): 10

Review: I know this isn’t a product but I thought I’d do a review of the 7Stanes bike parks as some may find it useful. The 7Stanes (7 Stones) are located in South Scotland and are XC bike parks with green, blue, red and black runs. I stayed near Dumfries which gave me access to 4 parks all within 10-25 miles of each other.

They are all well managed with clear signposting, cafes, toilets, ample parking and some have bike hire and bike shops. The signposting is particularly good identifying ascend and descend giving percentage complete and distance in Km back to the car park. The distances given on the Forestry commission website are out by 1-1.5 miles, not that it matters, just useful when planning battery/range usage.

The following is just what I rode as there are other trails available at each park.

Dalbeattie: Blue 10 miles. Red 16 miles. The park is located a mile down the road from the town Dalbeattie. There is a bike shop here called MPG cycles. They are an authorised Bosch centre and were incredibly helpful when I paid them a visit.

I started on the blue as a warm up but apart from the single track at the start and finish, it was mostly forest track and for novice riders. The red however was a different story. There are black features along the route all of which have shortcuts if you’re not feeling it but I felt there were lots of other places on the route that would qualify as black. There were two bits that I didn’t have the skills to ride and many other very tricky sections. The ‘Slab’ I found quite easy (a huge section of steep rock which you can slide down) but I got caught out twice at other places on the trail. Just bruises luckily. Overall I found the track quite a challenge and although some may like this type of route, I prefer the more ‘flowy’ stuff.

Mabie: Red 12 miles. Mabie is 2 miles South of Dumfries and I did this track in the wet. Although it again had a lot of rock, drop offs, high berms etc it was far more rideable and some of the switchbacks were great fun. Parts of the track had recently been resurfaced and made for a fast descent with plenty of opportunity for air if you wanted to. Due to the weeks previous storms there were loads of trees down across the track and I had to climb over at least 20. It did break up the ride but overall did not stop the enjoyment of what is a very good route which has features to suit all riders.

Forest of Ae: Red 16 miles. Ae is 8 miles North of Dumfries. The website says that this route had lots of jumps and whilst I don’t mind a bit of air, I’m not overly comfortable leaving the ground. Having said that the course just inspires you to leave the floor. Again some parts have been resurfaced which makes for a smooth, fast ride but the table tops are well positioned and you soon get the hang of it. There are still some tricky sections with drop offs and rocky climbs but its all rideable and enjoyable. Unfortunately on the day I was visiting they were clearing the downed trees on the lower section so I had to come back via a blue route detour. I would definitely go back and do this again as the final red descent is said to be even better than the first bit.

Killoughtree: Red 12 miles. Black 10 miles. This park is about 2 miles from Newton Stewart and is home to the famous Black Craig trail which includes McMoab. The black trail is accessed half way along the red and I was going to see how I was getting on when I reached that point. The red was again very technical but all rideable, with some steep rock climbs that nearly caught me out. I felt confident I could tackle the black when I reach the junction so hit into it. It thoroughly deserves its black label but I still found I could ride it OK, only having to get off once before I reached McMoab. I had seen a picture of McMoab and thought it was a single giant boulder which you had to ride with a steep drop off. It’s actually nothing like that. It’s a long rock causeway and the trail is marked on the stone with arrows. I rode about 50% of it but to be honest it was above my skill level. It would suit the trial style riding of Mr Macaskill. After smashing my sump guard I decided to walk the last bit. The end drop isn’t that bad. There is then a big climb to the top of the black run where you are rewarded by amazing views of the mountains and valley. It’s worth taking a breather here for the descent to come. Again very tricky but has plenty of flow, and I found myself keeping a good speed all the way down. You have to really concentrate and pick your route as there are plenty of bits waiting to throw you off. It was a relief to my arms and hands when I reached the red, and then again when I finally took the blue back to the car park. I was exhausted but it was a fantastic ride.

The 7Stanes offer amazing riding with so many great parks within a small area. I will definitely be returned to try out the other parks of Glentress, Newcastleton and Innerleithen. There is also a long route around the Galloway Forest at Glentrool. Certainly enough to keep you occupied all week. If you can get here you won’t be disappointed.
 

Gary

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Patreon
Contributor
Mar 29, 2018
3,231
1,764
363
from the internet
Ride
ESommet VR
#2
Just to add, Innerleithen and Glentress (Peebles) are quite different to the Dumfries and Galloway based centres, They still have great beginner/family trails (at GT not inners) but they also have a plethora of easily discovered off piste and non waymarked top level trails. The hills over in the tweed valley are generally larger and steeper but that means mellow flowy blue/red descents go on for longer and there's a lot more steep gnarly stuff in the area if that's your bag.

Newcastleton is possibly the least inspiring of them and sort of in the middle of nowhere. Worth doing but not really worth a long journey IMO.

I've ridden all the main routes and most of the non waymarked trails at all the stanes except for Glentrool. (as I'd heard it was more of a short routes beginner/family centre and there are far better places for me closer)

Also If you're in Dumfries area, Drumlanrigg Castle (also nearby) has a purpose built mtb trail centre and bike shop, it's not part of the Stanes but has just as good quality trails. There's changing facilities and a cafe in the castle. Expensive parking in summer but oddly free in the winter. It's still worth it though. The trails are more natural than the trail stanes and as such weather dependant can be more technical for beginners. Basically if you find Kitrry tecnical drumlanrigg will probably be a bit much for you in the wet. (there's nothing steep/scary but gri level is lower in the wet) I prefer it in winter as a lot of it is more natural root infested stuff and I actually prefer the technicality and unpredictability of endless wet roots to the monotony of linking endless manmade corners,
 
Nov 21, 2018
23
14
13
Hertfordshire
Ride
Levo
#3
Yes I would have to agree if you get a chance to go to Scotland and ride The 7Stanes (7 Stones) well worth a visit we Also stayed in Dumfries and rode Newcastleton 1st which we thought was really good until we rode Dalbeattie on the 2nd day "WOW". And on the 3rd day Mabie but we think we saved the best till the last day Ae is just excellent(y). Looking to go back next year to ride the other 3 :).

Don't forget to get pics with the Stones....

Mabie
scotland-mabie-jpeg.8230
Dalbeattie
scotland-dalbeattie-jpeg.8231
Ae
scotland-ae-jpeg.8232

Newcastleton
scotland-newcastleton-jpeg.8229
 

Simon_t

Active member
Nov 18, 2018
60
29
28
Herne Bay, UK
Ride
Turbo Levo
#4
I had a short visit to Dalbeattie and Kirroughtree in late October - first time in 10 years, and first time with an e-bike. Was great to be riding 7 Stanes again, and Kirroughtree is still my favourite (I went to Ae last time, but not this time as there were some storm closures). Definitely technically challenging. The Reds are a much darker red in Scotland compared to Wales :) . I will be back next year, with my new Levo and hopefully will spend a bit more time there during better weather. Due to weather didn’t get any photos worth showing here, so you’ll have to make do with a few from the previous trip.

Simon

5e106b93-ac77-4712-ab94-cc8cdd0e8135-jpeg.8254


ec3238f1-6892-4ba8-a184-2f4b0fca600b-jpeg.8255


9b6b8563-105a-4db5-8ad6-6626e864821c-jpeg.8256
 

Kernow

E*POWAH Elite
Patreon
Founding Member
Jan 18, 2018
1,103
646
263
Cornwall uk
#5
Good write up , wish you had visited glentress for a final comparison , there’s never enough time is there 😫 it always amazes me how the red /black gradings can vary so much at different trail centres , The main thing I ask if there’s lots of jumps is are they rollable , if they are then you know you take a blind run with most abilities
 

Latest threads

Become a Patron!

Trending