Hopton Woods Mountain Biking stumpy_dan Hot

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hopton woods 1st descent on red route
Hopton Woods Pearce Cycles trail XC loop MTB mountain Biking shropshie Ludlow singletrack
Jacob Gibbins - MTB Mike Spence Bio 2012
Hopton 17 Jan 13
Hopton Woods mountain bike base is based in Hopton Wood, near Castle Hopton in Shropshire in England. There is a short warm up loop, a 4km blue, a 12.6km red trail and a set of three downhill trails (with an established Downhill community). There are limited facilities so please come prepared. 

Warm-up Loop

  • The Warm up Loop at Hopton is a short 1km run of moderate ability. You can also use it to extend the distance of the main route.  

Hopton Blue (Blue Grade)

  • The Hopton Blue moderate trail is for beginner riders with some off road experience. It starts from the Bedstone Hill car park and offers around 4km of wide tracks to develop your skills. You can add the warm up loop onto this also to increase the distance. 

Pearce XC Trail (Red Trail) 

  • The Pearce XC red trail is 18km and recently re opened after a 3 year break. It's classified as a difficult trail so it is suitable for proficient mountain bikers with good off-road skills. The sweeping descents, challenging climbs and rocky, rooty downhill sections have had a significant refurb recently.

Downhill Trails

  • There are three downhill trails here for the experienced downhill rider. 

Trail Map 

Nearest Bike Shop 

Groups and Clubs 

History 

  • The refurbished red was driven by Dave Pearce of Pearce Cycles working with the Forestry Commission.This trail has been built in partnership with Pearce Cycles of Ludlow.
  • The trail was made possible with the Forestry Commission working with the local community.

Share

  • If you have ridden the trails here at Hopton Woods then please share your experience and write a short review. Big thanks.

Trails

Type of Centre/Base
Website
Trail Grades
  • Blue (Moderate)
  • Red (Difficult)
  • Orange (Extreme)
Type of Trail(s)
  • Cross Country (XC )
  • Downhill
Facilities
Car Park
Trail Distance(s)

Location

Country
England
County/State
Shropshire
Trail, Centre or Base
Address
Hopton Castle, Shropshire, SY7
Directions
Hopton Wood is situated eight miles west of Craven Arms, off the B4385 to Clun adjacent to the village of Hopton Castle.
Map Co-ordinates
Sat Nav Co-ordinates
SO 355
Swap Start/End

User reviews

Average user rating from: 6 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
4.8  (6)
Trail Variety 
 
4.3  (6)
Skills Development 
 
4.5  (6)
Trail Quality  
 
4.1  (6)
Facilities 
 
2.7  (6)
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Ratings (the higher the better)
  • Grin Factor
    Level of fun had, or to be had
  • Trail Variety
    Variety of specific trail or overall trail centre. Mix of obstacles, berms, jumps, drops, shore etc.
  • Skills Development
    Did it develop or push your skills and leave you with more to come back and learn
  • Trail Quality
    Are the trails well built /maintained using sustainable techniques?
  • Facilities
    From cafe post ride grub to bike wash. Did it meet your expectations?
User Review
Comments
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after driving down some very windy country roads we found the car park and made our way onto the red route at daves start which is a cracking 1st descent that gets you right into the mood, we managed to ride after 3 days of torrential rain so were expecting mud..... we got it. the trails rode generally quite well even though they were saturated but some areas were just like a bog! some of the descents were slippy in places which slowed us down a bit which was a shame as i imagine at full pelt they would have been fantastic. after the 1st couple of sections you start climbing and it just seems to go on forever. the descent at the top of the hill is cracking and well worth the grueling climb. one section shares briefly with the downhill trails so you can imagine what thats like. you do get the idea that some of the descents here were built with downhill riders in mind as a lot of very fun sections. will definitely be coming back when hopefully a bit dryer.
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
3.5
Facilities 
 
1.5
beardedbiggs Reviewed by beardedbiggs April 08, 2014
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (18)

hopton woods, pearce xc (red)

after driving down some very windy country roads we found the car park and made our way onto the red route at daves start which is a cracking 1st descent that gets you right into the mood, we managed to ride after 3 days of torrential rain so were expecting mud..... we got it. the trails rode generally quite well even though they were saturated but some areas were just like a bog! some of the descents were slippy in places which slowed us down a bit which was a shame as i imagine at full pelt they would have been fantastic. after the 1st couple of sections you start climbing and it just seems to go on forever. the descent at the top of the hill is cracking and well worth the grueling climb. one section shares briefly with the downhill trails so you can imagine what thats like. you do get the idea that some of the descents here were built with downhill riders in mind as a lot of very fun sections. will definitely be coming back when hopefully a bit dryer.

User Review

Good Points
proper red route, keeps you on your toes
physically demanding
Bad Points
no facilities
felt like more up than down
few more single track sections needed
Would you recommend?
Yes
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Was this review helpful to you? 
Pearce Cycles have done a great job on the trails here at Hopton.
There is a 1Km warm up loop which gives you an idea of what you are about to face and has a little bit of everything for you to test your skills.
The main red trail is a fairly short but quite technical blast through the forest.
Several sections are strewn with roots and rocks making it a tricky route (especially in the wet).
I linked it up with other riding in the area (Eastridge etc) as I think there is probably not enough at Hopton to keep you occupied for a full day ,unless you spent time on the dedicated DH tracks.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
3.0
Bigmick Reviewed by Bigmick December 18, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (21)

Hopton woods

Pearce Cycles have done a great job on the trails here at Hopton.
There is a 1Km warm up loop which gives you an idea of what you are about to face and has a little bit of everything for you to test your skills.
The main red trail is a fairly short but quite technical blast through the forest.
Several sections are strewn with roots and rocks making it a tricky route (especially in the wet).
I linked it up with other riding in the area (Eastridge etc) as I think there is probably not enough at Hopton to keep you occupied for a full day ,unless you spent time on the dedicated DH tracks.

User Review

Good Points
Great variety of trails within a fairly compact area.
Nice and quiet
Bad Points
Only the lack of facilities
Would you recommend?
Yes
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Great trail, mixture of trail surfaces, root section, jumps, fast singletrack and interesting features and even that killer climb
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
4.0
elliom1 Reviewed by elliom1 June 22, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Amazing

Great trail, mixture of trail surfaces, root section, jumps, fast singletrack and interesting features and even that killer climb

User Review

Good Points
Fun, fast and not busy like most trail centres
Bad Points
maybe the odd berm and a small amount of patching up but still an amazing ride
Would you recommend?
Yes
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During early February this year I decided that it was time to deviate from the road and search for a new thrill on the less 'cycled' path. I scraped together every last penny id saved up from my summer job and managed to buy a middle of the road mountain bike, perfect!

Luckily I still had a friend who was keen on doing some XC mountain biking so we got together and headed to Hopton Woods, which is only a short 20 minute drive from Ludlow. The perfect place to have an introduction to the sport! It was a cool Saturday morning, the floor was damp and a fresh wooded smell lingered in the air, I felt apprehensive about what lay ahead on the 'Pearce Cycles Red Route'. It had been a good few years since I had last plunged down a rooty wood and I was unsure if my bike handling skills and second hand bike were up to the task.

Before embarking on the long 12.6km red route, we decided it would be best to warm up with the short red loop. The short red loop is roughly 1 mile in length (1.6km) and it is a perfectly crafted trail with roots, drops, short uphill's and technical bits to get you ready for what's to come. I now felt much more relaxed and was fired up to get round the real thing!

The long red xc loop starts with a fast flowing downhill. You descend through swooping bends, rocky downhill's and hairpin turns, this quickly comes to an end at a small stream where you negotiate a small flat technical section before being launched down the fire road towards the bottom of the wood. By this point in the ride my confidence was growing but I knew that the red route wasn't all downhill and I sensed that a long climb was rapidly approaching.

The route takes a detour off the fire road up a short sharp hill that can catch you out if you're not ready. I wasn't ready and failed to change gear in time. Fortunately it was only a few metres to the top before another short descent which enabled me to gather speed and get back on track, this moment reminded me that such quick changes in pace do not happen in other sports!

Another short rocky sections follows before you are back on the fire road and 'the trig point' climb starts. This climb starts on the fire road with a few bends, continues through some single track with hairpin bends and eventually leads back up to the top of the woods. The climb is technical and very tough! By the time you get to the top you deserve a rest. Me and my friend at this point were breathing hard and worn out from the Category 3 climb that reaches a max gradient of 20%! Fortunately though, the climb was well made and there was no excuse to get off and push. Nice job, Dave Pearce!

After a short rest, we started to descend down the steep rooty woods of the 'black route' which is fun, well made and completely natural. The winter had made the roots slippy and hard work! The downhill is only short and you are back on a fire road for a short period before winding your way back up through the woods and towards, what I believe, is the best bit of the route.

It is important to mention that the route is well sign-posted throughout and there is an option of cutting the route short; making it just 7.5km. We didn't turn off at this point and instead carried on up the fire road for a few more hundred metres before taking a left turning and descending quickly to the open section of the woods.

The open section of the woods is spectacular. It is fast, well made and offers a great view across the whole of Hopton and the surrounding area. Unfortunately, this section comes to an end after roughly 0.5km and then you take a hairpin turn that takes you back across the top of the common and towards the final short climb.

This final climb is tough and requires the right tyres. It was quite slippery on this day and my tyres didn't manage to grip the surface which meant a final push to the top. After reaching the end of the climb you spend 100m or so on the fire road before you dive into a very fun and quick downhill section that tests your skills one last time. Finally, you find yourself on a fire road which you follow for 150m or so before arriving right back where you started. THE FINISH!

I felt a good sense of achievement at the end which i'm sure you will all be familiar with! The route literally has everything you can ask for aswell as providing a much more natural and peaceful feel than a trail centre like cannock.

My confidence was brimming by the end and although I felt tired I had the urge to do more. The loop had instantly got me hooked!

I grabbed my bike and pedalled off down the first section. C'mon, just one more lap !

Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
2.5
Reviewed by Jack Stanton-Warren May 28, 2013

The Thrill Seeker

During early February this year I decided that it was time to deviate from the road and search for a new thrill on the less 'cycled' path. I scraped together every last penny id saved up from my summer job and managed to buy a middle of the road mountain bike, perfect!

Luckily I still had a friend who was keen on doing some XC mountain biking so we got together and headed to Hopton Woods, which is only a short 20 minute drive from Ludlow. The perfect place to have an introduction to the sport! It was a cool Saturday morning, the floor was damp and a fresh wooded smell lingered in the air, I felt apprehensive about what lay ahead on the 'Pearce Cycles Red Route'. It had been a good few years since I had last plunged down a rooty wood and I was unsure if my bike handling skills and second hand bike were up to the task.

Before embarking on the long 12.6km red route, we decided it would be best to warm up with the short red loop. The short red loop is roughly 1 mile in length (1.6km) and it is a perfectly crafted trail with roots, drops, short uphill's and technical bits to get you ready for what's to come. I now felt much more relaxed and was fired up to get round the real thing!

The long red xc loop starts with a fast flowing downhill. You descend through swooping bends, rocky downhill's and hairpin turns, this quickly comes to an end at a small stream where you negotiate a small flat technical section before being launched down the fire road towards the bottom of the wood. By this point in the ride my confidence was growing but I knew that the red route wasn't all downhill and I sensed that a long climb was rapidly approaching.

The route takes a detour off the fire road up a short sharp hill that can catch you out if you're not ready. I wasn't ready and failed to change gear in time. Fortunately it was only a few metres to the top before another short descent which enabled me to gather speed and get back on track, this moment reminded me that such quick changes in pace do not happen in other sports!

Another short rocky sections follows before you are back on the fire road and 'the trig point' climb starts. This climb starts on the fire road with a few bends, continues through some single track with hairpin bends and eventually leads back up to the top of the woods. The climb is technical and very tough! By the time you get to the top you deserve a rest. Me and my friend at this point were breathing hard and worn out from the Category 3 climb that reaches a max gradient of 20%! Fortunately though, the climb was well made and there was no excuse to get off and push. Nice job, Dave Pearce!

After a short rest, we started to descend down the steep rooty woods of the 'black route' which is fun, well made and completely natural. The winter had made the roots slippy and hard work! The downhill is only short and you are back on a fire road for a short period before winding your way back up through the woods and towards, what I believe, is the best bit of the route.

It is important to mention that the route is well sign-posted throughout and there is an option of cutting the route short; making it just 7.5km. We didn't turn off at this point and instead carried on up the fire road for a few more hundred metres before taking a left turning and descending quickly to the open section of the woods.

The open section of the woods is spectacular. It is fast, well made and offers a great view across the whole of Hopton and the surrounding area. Unfortunately, this section comes to an end after roughly 0.5km and then you take a hairpin turn that takes you back across the top of the common and towards the final short climb.

This final climb is tough and requires the right tyres. It was quite slippery on this day and my tyres didn't manage to grip the surface which meant a final push to the top. After reaching the end of the climb you spend 100m or so on the fire road before you dive into a very fun and quick downhill section that tests your skills one last time. Finally, you find yourself on a fire road which you follow for 150m or so before arriving right back where you started. THE FINISH!

I felt a good sense of achievement at the end which i'm sure you will all be familiar with! The route literally has everything you can ask for aswell as providing a much more natural and peaceful feel than a trail centre like cannock.

My confidence was brimming by the end and although I felt tired I had the urge to do more. The loop had instantly got me hooked!

I grabbed my bike and pedalled off down the first section. C'mon, just one more lap !

User Review

Good Points
- Great variation of terrain
- Well sign-posted throughout
- Easily accessible
- Never to busy
- Provides a short warm up loop
Bad Points
- No bad points but maybe a Cafe will be needed one day!
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Hopton is a brilliant introduction to downhill, the trails are easy to find, and vary in difficulty, making them excellent for the budding youngster and veteran alike.
The cross country loop is one of the best natural loops i have ever ridden. If you are looking for a true natural ride hopton is the place for it, the unsurfaced track proves a good challenge in the wet and provides endless fun in the dry with high rolling speed and endless grip. It is definitely worth a look if you are confident about your riding ability and don't mind a few roots.
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
2.0
Reviewed by Matt May 28, 2013

Quality Trails, Endless fun

Hopton is a brilliant introduction to downhill, the trails are easy to find, and vary in difficulty, making them excellent for the budding youngster and veteran alike.
The cross country loop is one of the best natural loops i have ever ridden. If you are looking for a true natural ride hopton is the place for it, the unsurfaced track proves a good challenge in the wet and provides endless fun in the dry with high rolling speed and endless grip. It is definitely worth a look if you are confident about your riding ability and don't mind a few roots.

User Review

Good Points
Natural terrain and lines
Flowing trails
Line choice
Good challenge
Fun
Bad Points
No facilities nearby.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Pearce Cycles have done an excellent job over the years developing the downhill tracks in the wood and now there's the excellent red trail.
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
3.0
shropshiremtb Reviewed by shropshiremtb April 24, 2013
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (8)

Shropshire Class

Pearce Cycles have done an excellent job over the years developing the downhill tracks in the wood and now there's the excellent red trail.

User Review

Good Points
Red XC trails
The downhill tracks
Bad Points
Can be messy after prolonged rain. There's no facilities other than the car park, not an issue but something to bear in mind.
Would you recommend?
Yes
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