The Glen Finglas Mell trail is situated in the heart of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, and is a terrific cycle route for the intermediate but reasonably fit rider.
The majority of the trail itself consists of land rover track so the riding is by no means technical, however, a lot of speed can be gained on the descent and there is definitely the potential for accidents, so it’s important to control your speed. The views from start to finish are just spectacular and it’s a very worthwhile day out.
To access the car park, turn right at Brig o’ Turk by the tea room and continue to the end of the road where you will find parking on your left hand side for about 5-6 cars. From here the route begins with a climb up a steep minor road (the right hand side road at the fork – do not head towards the dam) which offers an excellent view of what lies ahead from its high point.
You then start to descend and eventually reach a farm where the minor road becomes a land rover track (after approximately 2km). Follow this hilly track for a further 1.6km and you will reach a fork (just before a bridge). From here we took the left fork towards Glen Finglas and continued around the north side of the reservoir, however, it’s possible to do the circuit in either direction.
3.5km after the junction and many photos later you will eventually reach a ford on the trail. Depending on the water levels it is possible to ride through this – and if you do this will definitely be one of the highlights of your day (remember bigger splashes = bigger grins)! We would advise riding through it slowly at first though before going back for round two … full speed down the hill, off the brakes and ploughing into the water! There is also a bridge for when the water is too high.
The long lung bursting climb then begins! Its 3.6km, but a good chunk of it is a gentle traverse with a steepening at the start and finish. You’re rewarded at the high point of the track (marked by a large cairn) with panoramic views over to the Corbetts: Ben Vane and Ben Ledi and the Munros: Ben Vorlich, Stuc a’Chroin and Ben Lomond…and of course the fast descent that lies ahead!
Without stopping to take in the views you would be back down at the head of Glen Meann within a matter of minutes. It’s definitely worth having a few breaks to spend some time admiring the scenery.
Eventually you will re-join the original track by the reservoir for the return trip to the car.
Height Gain: 860 metres
An alternative start, adding a few more kilometres onto your route would be to park at the Glen Finglas car park 1km east of Brig o’ Turk, just off the A821. Follow a marked path which begins with a steep climb and you will eventually join the minor road. Make a right turn here and follow the road to reach the farm which marks the start of the land rover track and follow the remainder of the route as above.