**Where to Ride

Bikemagic Trail Guide: Cannock Chase, West Midlands

Destination: Cannock Chase, Rugeley, West Midlands

Smack in the middle of the country and next to some big conurbations, Cannock sees an awful lot of riders and the trails do take a bit of a hammering. However, thanks to the work of the volunteers at Chase Trails, there’s a steady amount of maintenance, the trails take the abuse well and, especially if you can go during the week, it’s well worth a visit.

The Follow the Dog and Monkey Trail routes are a blast

How to get there

In Rugeley, pick up the A51 from the roundabout where it joins the A460 and head north towards Wolseley Bridge. At the first set of traffic lights, turn left onto Hagley Road and follow this out of town. After a mile or so, turn left by the large Birches Valley sign, and then left again into the car park.

Sat Nav: WS15 2UA


Trails start at the Birches Valley Forest Centre, which has toilets, a cafe, bike wash facilities and an adventure playground.

Download the full size trail map from http://www.chasetrails.co.uk/images/maps/ftd_cc_map.pdf


Like most Forestry Commission centres, you’ve got a couple of family friendly green graded trails but you’ll be wanting something a bit tastier. Follow the Dog is the much-loved original 11km trail. It’s constantly evolving and improving and with highlights such as the Stegosaurus Rock Garden, The Boardwalk and Tackeroo Blast is a great bit of XC.

At the end of the Dog is the Monkey Trail, giving a combined distance of 24km. It’s technically tougher than the Dog with several black-graded options but, if you’re used to northern or Welsh trail centres, it’s nothing too taxing. It’s fun to ride and the final Lower Cliff descent will certainly put a grin on your face.

If you’re more into downhill, jumps and drops, the Stile Cop Bike Park is worth a visit.

Nearest bike shop

Swinnerton Cycles (on-site) www.swinnertoncycles.co.uk

Other info

Parking is £3.00 for the day

Useful links

Chase Trails

Bike Chase

Forestry Commission

Visit Cannock Chase

Location Map:

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