The Justice Trail
Please note as these trails are ‘natural’ and not armoured in their entirety, then depending on the weather, there may well be wet and muddy sections; fair weather trails – as described in a mountain bike article.
The Jeddart Justice Trail is a 40km mountain bikers dream. The trail is largely natural using ancient drovers roads, winding singletrack with lung bursting climbs and long swooping descents. We have taken the best of the natural trails and linked them up using new purpose built singletrack to form a loop resulting in the perfect blend of trail with superb views of the Jed Valley and Oxnam Valley with the Cheviots beyond.
We wind our way through several strips of forestry and open ancient woodland but you will not be faced with a view of the same trees for km after km, no siree not on the Justice Trail, it’s views are stunning all the way from start to finish. To complete the Justice trail will be a great achievment but with 10 or more escape routes back in to Jedburgh the Justice trail can also be cut short making it possible to tailor your ride to your needs with options of 5km 10km 15km 20 km 30 km right up to the full challenge of 40km.
The main town car park is the starting point of the Justice Trail, located below the visitor information centre where maps and information can be picked up. The Justice trail meanders its way down beside the Jed Water to the Auld Brig where you cross the Jed and start climbing gently up Hartrige Drive past the site where Hartrige House once stood, continuing from here to Mount Ulston. It’s on to singletrack now all the way to the Roman road named Dere Street. Now you descend quickly to Jedfoot “choose your line carefully”, the trail at this point steepens with ruts, loose rocks and cobbles. At the bottom it’s left upstream following the Jed to the “Jooglie Brig”.
Cross the A68 and enjoy the hard technical climb up to Lanton Woods following an ancient drovers road past Willies Crook towards Lanton Road. At this point you can ride the family loop, with its built singletrack and rooty section in Lanton Woods, or even visit Timpendean castle before rejoining the Drovers road and towards the golf course where you have a short sharp descent followed by a climb to the Dunion Road – where you follow the road for a few hundred metres before you join a singletrack boardwalked climb along the face of the Dunion Hill all the way to Black Law mast, passing an old rifle range and the original home of Jedburgh Border Games.
Approaching Black Law you will be greeted with a spectacular 360 degree viewpoint and a view of Ruberslaw; the perfect place for a well earned break (remember the camera!!) Now a very fast downhill singletrack with three route choices and a few features to keep you entertained! Wide grins all the way down till you meet the Green road (old drovers toll road) now a grassy track. The trail follows the green road past Swinnie Toll (it’s ok you don’t need to pay the toll anymore, honest!)
Back to singletrack heaven all the way round Swinnie Forest with berms, jumps, classic woodsy trails, be careful though there may be some timber lurking on the trail ready to surprise you. Then steady away as you climb from Swinnie back up to the top of Merlin Dean, remember there’s a choice of routes to choose from so select a different one from the first time around.
After Merlin Dean we take a left and head along on the Green Road following the Borders Abbey Ways and then follow a double track which descends quickly with a sharp turn, a short climb and then onto a steeper, looser descent. Follow the road towards Todlaw farm; from here follow a track which again descends steeply after which you lead up to Galahill and the Castle Jail, the final stopping point before Jeddart Justice was administered.
The Verdict: we never said it’d be easy, but we did say it’d be fun!