Destination: Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
On the Wales/England border and just a stones throw from the M5, the Forest of Dean is rammed with quality mountain biking. Once you’re off the fire roads, don’t expect smooth dry surfaces, even on the way-marked trails. Embrace the mud and roots, explore off the beaten track and you’ll have a blast.
How to get there
Take the B4226 Coleford, Cinderford Road, and at the crossroads with the B4234, turn north and follow the signs to the Cycle Centre. Coleford is the nearest town or village.
Sat nav: GL16 7EH
Cycle hire, cafe, bike wash, showers and toilets.
To kick off there’s the 18km green-graded Family Trail. Mainly on old railway lines, it’s not really ‘mountain biking’ unless you just want to get some mindless miles in.
Next is the blue 11km Verderer’s Trail. Built by Rowan Sorrell’s ‘Back on Track’ team, it’s the perfect blue. Everything is rollable for novices but, hit it at speed, and you’ll find your tyres off the ground and sweeping round the big berms.
Finally is the red grade 4.5km Freeminer Trail, which features some tricky switchback climbs, rooty drops and hairpin bends, making it a short but challenging loop.
Then you’ve got the downhill. With a designated uplift service, the runs are steep, technical and littered with the ever-present FOD roots. Brilliant long travel fun!
Nearest bike shop
Parking is £3.00 for the day. If you head out for a night ride, don’t be surprised if you come face to face with one of the resident wild boar.
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