The Badger Divide

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  • There’s a fair bit of chat on here about The Badger Divide so thought it would be good to give it its own thread.

    For those that don’t know, it’s a 210 mile bikepacking route from Inverness to Glasgow.

  • Anyone on here planning on joining the group start on May 7th?

    Strava info here.

    @Cupcakes and I plan on doing it with another friend over a leisurely three days.

  • How do TBD and the Great North Trail differ, aside from the diversion to Inverness of TBD?

  • Can’t say I’ve ever looked at the GNT in much detail (or anything else similar like An Turas Mor for that matter) but having done The Badger a couple of times in both directions I’d highly recommended it.

  • Always thought this route missed out a nice little bit of the cairngorms, instead of the relative slog along ness

  • The Great North Trail is the recent brainchild of national cycling charity CyclingUK, announced in 2019


    So the difference is that the Badger came first...

  • Both GNT(pink) and TBD(red) in Google Earth, they are very similar to Fort Augustus (Edit: An Turas Mor looks like it also follows the route):

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  • Interesting overlay. They both essentially link up existing well known tracks, walking routes, estate roads etc. so not really sure what the point you’re making is?

    Not that it matters but as @Cupcakes said, TBD was conceived a fair bit before TGNT and ATM.

    Either way, they all go through some spectacular country and they’re all a good excuse to go ride your bike, whichever route you choose.

  • My only point is that I'm probably going to do (at least some of) this soon and I thought they were different routes so decided to stop being lazy and see in Google Earth 😀

    I guess GNT nicked the TBD route to form part of its longer trail. It would be interesting to see how ATM came about and the general history of the route. When I read about TBD on here I always thought it was a LFGSS-devised thing.

    Will probably have some badger-related questions for you at some stage!

  • Gotcha! 😉

    To add to the confusion I think The Racing Collective follow the same bits on one of their bikepacking routes. It’s probably widely used because it’s real good!

    The route was put together by someone not “on here.”

  • Been thinking of giving this a go in April. Just waiting to see what's happening with work (hopefully a lack of...).

  • I lost my soul going down via Corrieyairack Pass. Probably I will do TBD other way round next time.

  • I have this on my to do list for this year, probably in June.

  • Haha, going north to south?

    Doing the Corrieyairack south to north is considered the easier way because there’s less climbing. But then you have to go up the switchbacks.

    I’ve done a Badger ‘Lite’ version which works nice: get the first train from Edinburgh to Dunblane and join the route at Callander heading north. Granted you miss some nice bits around Aberfoyle, but if you do it over two days (and don’t stop too much) you can be in Inverness in time for the last train back to Edinburgh.

  • I'm pretty sure I looked at this by overlaying both in RWGPS

    GNT uses the ATM route for that bit. Also be careful which ATM route you use - the single file one has the harder HT550 section in the north whereas their Day 1 Day 2 etc files have the easier option without the hike a bike up the river

  • hike a bike up the river

    Actually sounds fun! Thinking to go at a very easy pace, so I'd hopefully have time for a paddle.

  • @giofox said "An Turas Mor looks like a great route, takes in most of the BD, and a good part of it is also on the HT550 and GB duro. I did a good part of it and it's nice, but would only follow it to the point where it turns left onto Glen Golly River and avoid that. You can instead follow the GB Duro route there and either go straight for the north coast (I hear Kearvaig Bothy is ace) or follow the route to JOG."


    the day-by-day route that doesn't use Glen Golly:­75/?offset=650#comment16158858

    Ah, in fact I was generous enough to post the RWGPS comparison I did...­

    giofox again: "The path up to Glen Golly River is somewhat rideable if your stubborn, although the climb up to Creag Staonsaid is steep/loose and will require a bit of hiking. The route then goes down to Loch Dionard, but I could not see any way around the Loch from routes/satellite/heatmaps, so I avoided and chose to follow the HT550. What followed was 4/5h hike a bike, both up and down, not pleasant.

    I'd stick to the magenta option."

  • Yeah, as you say in your blog, that Dionard direction seems to be the 'harder' option. I don't see a path around that Loch either (looks stunning though), but a few walking sites claim there is one. I'm going to read your full write up now! (Only got to part 3 before.)

  • I mean, you could ford the Loch upper portion probably.. Strava heatmaps would suggest there is a way people have logged as bike ride going west of the Loch and there is a clear track leading down to it and continuing North.­81204/58.39556/hot/ride

  • I nearly died of exposure on the Corrieyairack until basically falling/riding down in the dark til I stumbled across the bothy. One log left so burnt a broken chair and a book trying to dry my soaking clothes. Good times.

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  • I saw someone vaguely familiar on the path earlier that day, turns out pop punks resident ufo nut had been there the night before.

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  • Didn't think to check heat map. Good point.

  • I mean, looking at how much the line scatters at either end of the loch, I stand by my assumption of lack of a rideable way. But then again, the HT550 way I went with was a 5h hike a bike (with my setup), so..

  • I had a busy night in that bothy once, a few different families with kids turned up so there were about 17 people plus a few dogs.

    When were you there? I'd heard this bothy got locked due to people abusing the place.

  • Have read your full write up, very useful. Thinking to mix this Badger/An Turas with National Cycle route 7 and make some kind of loop. Like the idea of flat pedals and trainers.

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The Badger Divide

Posted by Avatar for hollow__legs @hollow__legs