Forest of Dean Mountain Biking Trails, England

Forest of Dean Mountain Biking Trails, England

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Trail, Centre or Base
Address
Gl16 7eh
Directions
Situated on the B4234 New Road.OS Grid Reference: SO 624 114
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The Forest of Dean MTB trails (FOD) is based in Gloucestershire. Base yourself at the Cannop Cycle Centre where you will find the Pedalabikeaway cafe/shop/workshop and bike hire.

There is the Verderers Blue mountain bike trail (with optional red sections), the Freeminer Red trail with recent extension, a green family cycle trail, a skills area, a pump track, a kid-friendly skills loop, an all ability downhill mountain bike trail designed for 4 wheels as well as 2 known as Launchpad, the Orange graded Sallowvallets Downhill area with 10+ runs to choose from and lots of natural trails. 

In April 2017 they opened a new skills area, a pump track and extended Launchpad so now the 4 wheel gravity bikes can start at the top of the hill where all the 2 wheel bikes do. 

Cycle Centre

  • Here you will find Pedalabikeaway www.pedalabikeaway.co.uk who have a cafe/shop/workshop and bike hire facility. There are toilets and showers and plenty of parking.

Family Cycle Trail - Green

  • This 11 miles of (18km) trail consists of eleven miles of waymarked, surfaced tracks, most of which are on former railway lines.

Verderers - Blue

  • 7 miles (11km) of rollable trails suitable for beginners. Fast flowing out corners, big berms and rollovers. It's graded blue with some optional red descents. Great descent on the dragon's tail. It's built by Rowan Sorrell and his Back on Track team and rides well even in the wet.

Freeminer - Red

  • The Freeminer 6.5km trail had a 2.5km extension (used to be 4km) in 2014, and a further 4 km's in September 2015. It is natural singletrack the whole way. It has rooty technical climbs, steep rooty sections to descend down, small drops, hairpin bends, rock sections and switchbacks. The new extension includes two tough climbs, three descents, berms, switchbacks, narrow natural singletrack, timber north shore and jumps.
  • In April 2015 a new section of Northshore opened.

Launchpad

  • An all ability downhill trail built as much for 4 wheels as 2. 
    • The Launch Pad trail was funded by The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust and the Forestry Commission. Built by Architrail and supported by Pedalabikeaway and the DTV.

Sallowvallets Downhill

  • The downhill section has also had a lot of work and has a number of marked short runs (about 15 mins to push up max) catering for many downhill skills. 
  • Ski Run - Drops in through big rocky and rooted sections with fade drops. Into a fast set of turns, a hip jump, the popular tabletop, berms and road gap. For 2017 they modified the bottom of Ski Run with 2 new berms and an extra tabletop. A bit later in 2017 we should see a new top section to Ski Run so it begins at the start mound.
  • Sheepskull - Through the top 'bus stop', then jumping into and out of a bombhole, over some roots onto the middle fire road. Flying on down from there, loads of challenging roots tempt you into breaking, then anchors off into the final fast 'motorway' section. 
  • Corkscrew - Jumpy top section leads into a fast rooty bottom section, then swooping through a valley and over the finishing hip jump. Please note: The bottom hip jump has been reshaped and moved back from the fire road after a number of recent accidents - take it easy on your first run through! In 2017 they have finished a top section to corkscrew also corkscrew has been modified to run into bottleopener
  • The Good the Bad and The Ugly - Drop off's, step ups and fast flowing jumps. For 2017 GBU has an alternate line that avoids the drops called "Drop Dodger"
  • Flatland - A separate top section, Flatland is ideal to lead into the bottom section of Sheepskull. Rooty corners darting past tree stumps lead into a sharp drop onto the middle fire road.
  • Endo - Endo darts down from the middle fire road level, through tight rooty switchbacks and into a fast open bottom section with a tabletop and a small step down drop. 
  • Cougar Root - The Cougar Root delivers the Forest's fair share of loam, with long, drifty corners and roots. Plans are afoot to do work to finish off this track from top to bottom. 
  • Corkscrew 2 - A jumpy alternative to Corkscrew's top section, berms and jumps are in season here. 
  • Mr Rooty - As the name suggests.
  • The OC - OC is currently overgrown and no longer rideable. 

Four New Downhill tracks were built in 2014

  • Two of the new trails are mainly natural, with very minimal amounts of actual building, with a line marked out, catch berms made where needed and let the rest cut itself in! The other two trails have some bigger manmade features like drops and jumps but built in a way that makes them a challenge to even the best riders. A mix of long low jumps, lips that kick you to the sky and some very awkward transitions should really sort the better riders out from the bunch. Berm to berm jumps and berms ending early with meter-high drops will be in there. Also, 2 of the 4 have a steep rock roll in, while the other two start on trails that already exist but aren’t currently accessible with the uplift.

Uplift

  • Fly Up are the only official MTB uplift service at the Cannop Cycle Centre.  

Skills Area

  • New for 2017 a Skills Area has been introduced with 2 lines. One line is for drops and the other one is for jumps.

Pump Track

  • New for 2017 they introduced a progressive pump track for all ages.

Kids Skills area

  • As the name suggests a great place to hone those early skills for kids and beginners alike.

Local Natural Trails

  • Don't forget aside from the trails are 42 square miles of natural single track, well worth a visit alone.

Cycling Groups and Clubs

  • Dean Trail Volunteers are the local trail building group who work in partnership with the Forestry Commission. They have been pivotal in taking the development of these trails forward. Most of the tracks (FC are responsible for Family Trail and Verderers) at the FoD are built and maintained by this handful of volunteers who also finance all the materials (relying on donations) and with 250,000 riders a year hitting the trails keeping the ever-growing trails in good condition is an ever-growing logistical challenge so why not get involved and lend a hand.
  • BigFoot MBCRoyal Dean Forest Cycling Club for rides etc.

Other Stuff

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  • If you have ridden these mountain bike trails at the Forest of Dean then why not share your experiences with us and write a short review, favourite the trail or add some pictures and videos to the listing.

Resources

Photos

Forest of Dean Mountain Biking Trails, England
Forest of Dean - Start of the Verderers Trail

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User reviews

65 reviews

 
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Overall rating 
 
4.62
 
4.75  (65)
 
4.64  (65)
 
4.39  (65)
 
4.65  (65)
 
4.74  (64)
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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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Overall rating 
 
4.43
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
4.00
Skills Development 
 
3.50
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

Very good, but that parking charge is excessive...

As above, I would recommend FOD highly, however you might want to consider remortgaging to cover the cost of the parking...

User Review

Good Points
Number of Trails
Variation of skill levels within trails
We'll Maintained
Nice Cafe
Good general facilities
Bad Points
Parking Cost... I've been using FOD for around 10 years now, and to see the parking price rocket compared to other trail centres where you can park for £1, it's just blatant daylight robbery.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.00
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

Love this place

Awesome place
Great for progression for beginners and seasoned riders.
Would pay a day pass to ride here!!!

User Review

Good Points
This place is awesome, something for everyone.
XC to DH FoD has it all.
Great cafe for food and beverages
Very friendly staff
Excellent mechanics
On site suspension specialists
Coaching
Uplift
Events
Great for practicing your DH skills or a family day out.
Bad Points
Cafe can be very busy at peak times but this is only testament of how good this place is.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.00
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

Excellent all round!

A great place that you can return to over and over

User Review

Good Points
All weather trails
Great skills area
Good progression levels
Great cafe
Great shop
Decent amount of parking
Bad Points
None
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.00
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

Pedalabikeaway cannop forest of dean

Superb place to ride and a centre point to also go exploring the rest of the forest, a beautiful place with plenty of tourist spots. Pedalabikeaway is a rush for adrenalin junkies but also a place to go on a adventure, superb all types of skill trails they have certainly catered for everyone.

User Review

Good Points
Brilliant place and there is something for all skill types, there is also loads of cycle ways leading from the cycle centre to some lovely tourist spots, the centre it self is well run with cycle hire and cafe and wash off facility. Plenty of events cater for all including the little fodders, they work very hard in keeping the trails up together and introducing more great sections has made it even better,love it.
Bad Points
Parking a little expensive but not the cycle centres fault.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.00
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

Awesome Variety

More parking would be great, and would be great to see the FC invest some more into the trails and the centre.

User Review

Good Points
Great new skills area and pump track - so much fun.
Love sessioning the downhill lines and the fact that is so progressive - my kids love riding the skills, launchpad and are now moving on to the more techy stuff
So many good hidden spots to explore as well.
Volunteers do an amazing job with the trails!
Bad Points
Can be busy on the weekends and bank holidays at the centre, but you don't notice it when you are out of the trails!
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.00
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

FoD

One site for all

User Review

Good Points
Great venue. New skills section invaluable. Loads of hidden trails. Cafe serves great food.
Bad Points
Cafe can get crowded at busy times
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.00
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

Top notch

Get down there!

User Review

Good Points
Good selection of trails for all standards. Awesome staff in cafe and shop, always helpful. Plenty of parking. Uplifts a good un too. Whole day of fun.
Bad Points
Huh?
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.00
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

Great trails, big up the DTV

all thanks to the volunteers

User Review

Good Points
All abilities, great variety and access. Excellent
Bad Points
The forestry commission should support the DTV more.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.00
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
5.00
Skills Development 
 
5.00
Trail Quality  
 
5.00
Facilities 
 
5.00

No better

Best riding for all

User Review

Good Points
Trails for all levels. A good place to get ya teeth in to the downhill sphere it a nice place to bring the family for abit of excitement.
Bad Points
Bad phone signal (split in hairs, sometimes a blessing)
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.62
Grin Factor 
 
5.00
Trail Variety 
 
4.50
Skills Development 
 
4.50
Trail Quality  
 
4.50
Facilities 
 
4.50

Small but perfectly formed

Cannop Cycle Centre in the Forest of Dean may not be the largest trail centre, but it's all here! There's a fantastic range of downhill and cross country tracks, a great little café, shop, bike hire and workshop.

There's a complete range of trails - Blue and Red circular routes, and downhill tracks for all abilities; novice right through to extreme. All the trails are in fantastic condition and are looked after by a dedicated group of volunteers going by the name DTV (Dean Trail Volunteers). Say hello if you see them :)

User Review

Good Points
Range and variety of trails to suit all abilities.
Great little café.
Excellent facilities available on-site.
Trails well maintained.
New trails always under development.
Bad Points
Car park gets rather busy when there's a race on, so it might be worth timing your visit to avoid race-days.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
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