On Wednesday we had a group ride to the fine Loch Einich with Robin and Debbie to celebrate her birthday, happy birthday Debbie!
This was a fantastic mountain bike tour up the glacially formed Glen Einich. We started by following our trail through the picturesque scots pine woodland of Rothiemurchus estate to the Am Beanaidh river, continuing to the head of the glen where we stood at the feet of the Cairngorm giants Sgor Gaoith (1118m, peak of wind), and Braeriach (1296m).
It was nice to see the hills in transition between seasons; large snow patches surviving thanks to the prolonged winter snow fall along with the plant life colours representing the start of summer.
To add a bit more excitement to the ride, there are numerous river fords to cycle through which presented us with lots of laughter and wet feet. But fear not, it’s possible to stay fairly dry if you’re good at rock hopping!
We saw lots of geese and ducks lower down, evidence of grouse higher up and hundreds of tadpoles. Sadly we never caught sight of the glens resident eagles or the forests capercaillies, but there’s always next time!
Trees and plant life encountered consisted of scots pine, silver birch, juniper, blaeberry and the ever abundant heather. Thanks to the Rothiemurchus Estate who manage the land, we were able to see the heather in different stages of growth due to recent muirburn management. Muirburn is a way of managing the moorland to create patches of heather at all different stages of growth – essential to maintaining a healthy and abundant grouse population.