Aviemore Sled Dog Rally, Glenmore Forest Park, by Aviemore
Take the ski road from Aviemore, at Coylum Bridge continue straight on at ‘T’ junction. DO NOT TURN towards Nethybridge. After three miles, approximately, Loch Morlich will be on your right. Continue past the Loch and turn right into the HERONSFIELD CAR PARK. Large teams to the left car park until full, then with all other teams to the right. If you want to stake out your dogs, then please use the larger, lower car park.
Course One Description:
The Forest Enterprise aquired the Glenmore in 1923 from the Duke of Richmond and Gordon. The whole area is 3,580 acres. As this was once a sporting estate, it still contains a wide variety of birds and animals. Red Deer roam the hills overlooking Loch Morlich and there is an abundance of Roe Deer on the lower hills, joined more recently by a herd of Reindeers. Badgers, Otters, Wild Cats and Foxes can be seen and this area is a refuge for Red Squirrels and the Blue Hare. the trail runs along the left bank of Loch Morlich giving an attractive view across the Loch to the Shepherd’s Hill Peak at 2,700 ft. It is entirely on Forestry Plantation and if you have time to look up, you may be lucky enough to see Golden Eagles which breed in the hills around the edges of the Forest. This is the proposed competition course and is described as ‘an easy walk’ in the Forest Enterprise’s brochure. The start lies a short distance from the Car Park and Finish Point. The trail is a designated cross-country ski course and is clearly defined. The Start lies just over the wooden bridge from the car park and runs parallel to the ski road for a short distance before entering the forest. The first part of the trail is quite demanding, but then runs along the lochside for a third of its distances and is very clearly defined with the last 500 yards to the Finish slightly downhill and straight. Note: Without snow, the trail can be tough on dogs’ feet and care should be taken at all times, even when training and only 50 yards from the Car Park!
Course Two Description:
This is also Forest Enterprise land situated on the South of the Loch an Eilein and forms part of the vast forests at the foot of the Cairngorms. A wealth of birds and animals can be found here as well as numerous plants and fungi in season. The trail runs parallel to the B970 Inverdruie to Kingussie road in a figure of eight through Forest Enterprise plantation affording wonderful views across to the Cairngorm mountains in the distance. This is a lower course than Glenmore, and is therefore, the proposed ‘practice’ trail. The start and finish points lie a short distance from the Glen Feshie Road, enabling some off-road parking. The ‘D’ Class trail offers no great problems, being on the usual Forestry Commission trails with no undue hazards. The longer ‘C’ and ‘B’ Class trail does create more of a challange from both team and musher. Care must be taken on the short distance of trail where teams cross head on and please bear in mind parts of these trails are relatively course.