The Badger Divide is a 321km off-road route from Inverness to Glasgow that offers big adventure bang for your time away from the office/family buck.
Taking in some of the finest scenery Scotland has to offer but requiring nothing like the level of commitment and planning required by other well-known, somewhat burlier undertakings such as the Highland Trail 550 and the Cairngorms Loop, The Badger Divide is an ideal long weekend adventure with the exact duration determined by rider motivation and VO2 Max.
Created by Stu Allen, the Badger is a clever little beastie that weaves its way north to south (or the other way round if you prefer) through the middle of Scotland, linking well trodden Rights of Way, Heritage Paths, estate tracks, singletrack delights alongside the odd section of bum-relieving tarmac.
A spectacular and varied journey, it hits the spot if you’re short on time but looking for a legitimate taste of remote Scottish wilderness with regular forays back to civilisation for a well-earned scone/beer/comfy bed.
In terms of how long it will take – that’s really up to you – the official route website suggests anything from 2-5 days. If you’re motivated by mega adventure Insta cred or only have limited time to play with then by all means grab your lightweight bivvy bag and go for it in a single push. Be warned though – this will hurt. A lot.
“We reached the bothy just before 7.30pm and were delighted to find it not only way bigger than described but also totally empty, midge free and equipped with firewood. Total result!”
If, however, you’re more into looking around, stopping on the way to ‘meet folk’ (bikepacker code for eating as many scones as humanly possible) and fancy the idea of resting your weary limbs in a bothy/hostel/B&B/hotel at the end of a hard day in the saddle, then four days is probably about right.
We opted for this ‘Type 1’ approach to the Badger, leaving Inverness on Thursday morning and aimed to arrive in Glasgow on Sunday afternoon, 200 miles later.
Here’s how it went down.