Mountain biking

Our mountain bike trails and information to plan your ride

Coronavirus update

 

We have re-opened the car parks and trails in most of our woodlands and nature reserves to provide more people with access to the places they love.

 

Visitor facilities at some woodlands and nature reserves may be limited for now and some places remain closed – see each place’s web page for more information.

 

Visiting our sites safely

 

We are working hard to provide a safe and welcoming experience as our sites re-open.

 

Please take personal responsibility for your safety, making additional preparations ahead of your visit and abiding by the safety measures in place.

 

See our tips about how to plan for and enjoy a safe visit.

Welcome

Our woodlands and forests are home to some of the most famous mountain bike trails in Britain.

There are trails suitable for beginners to seasoned riders and each one is graded so you can pick a trail that's right for you.

If you want to develop and improve your riding skills head for one of our skills areas or bike parks.

Our visitor centres have facilities ranging from showers and bike washes to cafés and bike hire as well as walking and running trails.

Our mountain bike trails

All our mountain bike trails:

  • start from a car park or visitor centre.
  • have an information panel at the start – please read this before setting off.
  • are waymarked.
  • are free to ride (there is a charge for parking at some of our sites).
  • are open all year round (unless bad weather or forestry operations mean that we have to close or divert them).

Mountain bike trail grades

All our mountain bike trails have been graded for difficulty.

Go to mountain bike trail grades to find out what the grades mean.

Find a mountain bike trail 

Forest road and similar grade mountain bike trails

Green/Easy grade mountain bike trails

Blue/Moderate grade mountain bike trails

Red/Difficult grade mountain bike trails

Black/Severe grade mountain bike trails

Other facilities for mountain bikers

Bike hire

There are privately-run bike hire shops in some of our woodlands.

Bike parks

Community-managed mountain bike trails

These mountain bike trails are located in our woodlands and are looked after by the local community.

Skills areas

Uplift

Visitor centres

Our visitor centres have facilities like showers, bike washes and cafés – check each centre’s web page for details of what’s there.

Tips for newcomers to mountain biking

As with any new sport, building up your skills on a mountain bike goes hand in hand with gaining more experience and more confidence. Although you may have ridden a bike on tarmac, getting used to the feel of riding off-road may take a little while.

  • Mountain bike trails aimed at beginners are graded green and trails for those with basic off road riding skills are graded blue.
  • Some of our woodlands also have a skills area where you can learn riding techniques and bike shops where you can hire a bike or book a lesson.
  • You don’t need to buy a full bike kit to start with but you will need a helmet and some gloves – and make sure you wear comfortable clothing!
  • If you get hooked and want to ride more often, some padded shorts, knee pads and a cycling jersey are worth the investment.
  • Bring water to keep you hydrated and a waterproof in case the weather changes.
  • And, just in case you get a puncture, make sure you know how to fix it and take the kit with you (or be prepared to push your bike back to the car park!).

Forest Cycle Code

Mountain biking is a potentially hazardous activity carrying a significant risk.

It should only be undertaken with a full understanding of all inherent risks.

These guidelines must always be used in conjunction with your own experience, intuition and careful judgement.

Always follow the Forest Cycle Code

Don’t rely on others

  • Can you get home safely?
  • Carry the right equipment and know how to use it.

For your own safety

  • Always wear the right safety clothing, and at least a cycle helmet and gloves.
  • Only cycle within your abilities.
  • Only tackle jumps and other challenges if you are sure you can do them – have a look first!
  • Train properly especially for difficult and technical routes.

On and off road

  • Expect the unexpected – watch out for other visitors.
  • For your own and others’ safety always follow warning signs and any advice you are given.
  • If a vehicle is loading timber stop and wait for the driver to let you pass safely.

Emergency on the trails

  • Phone 999 and ask for the police.
  • Make a note of the trail section – look out for the numbered posts.
  • Mobile phone coverage is patchy throughout the trails.

Videos about mountain biking

Trail etiquette

This video explains some simple rules of etiquette you should follow out on the trails.

It was produced by British Cycling and features some of our mountain bike trails.

Trail techniques

British Cycling has produced a series of mountain bike skills videos to help riders learn trail techniques.

Go to British Cycling’s website to watch these videos.

Preventing the spread of tree disease

Pests and diseases can easily catch a ride in the mud on your boots or wheels of your bike.

Visiting with clean kit will slow down any spread of tree pests and diseases as well as keeping our forests healthier for longer.

Go to Biosecurity in woodlands: Keep it Clean to find out how you can help prevent the spread of tree disease.

Mountain bike trail closures and diversions

Sometimes we need to close or divert trails whilst we undertake maintenance work or forest operations or for other reasons such as bad weather.

We add details about trail closures and diversions to the relevant woodland or visitor centre web page.

We also put signs about closures and any diversions at the start of each trail.

Please follow all diversion signs and instructions from our staff on site for your own safety.

Other mountain bike trails in Wales

A range of other organisations provide mountain bike trails and other facilities such as uplifts and downhills all over Wales.

Go to the MBWales website for details of all mountain bike trails in Wales.