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

Location

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User reviews

58 reviews

 
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Overall rating 
 
4.6
 
4.7  (58)
 
4.6  (58)
 
4.3  (58)
 
4.6  (58)
 
4.7  (57)
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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 
 
5.0
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

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 
 
5.0
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

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 
 
4.6
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.5
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
4.5

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? 
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
3.5
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

The best overall trail centre.

I can't get enough of this place I have a job to go elsewhere even though it's a 1 1/2 drive each way every weekend.

User Review

Good Points
Great Facilities,car parks,shop,cafe,showers,bike wash etc
Good variety of trails and distance.
From Family trail to full on Downhill trails and everything in between.
Bad Points
Just needs the planned pump track & revised skills area to put the icing on the cake.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
3.5
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
3.5
Facilities 
 
4.5

Love it

A go to mountain bike destination with some good trails ands facility's. The trail builders do an excellent job.

User Review

Good Points
Good parking, Good cafe, Good trails. Helpful staff.
Bad Points
Always busy in cafe. A lot of the older trails blown out.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

Best Cycle Centre in the UK

My favourite trail centre by far, and I've been to pretty much all in the UK. The trails are well maintained thanks to a very dedicated team of volunteers and there is a good variety of different downhill trails that can accommodate all skill levels.
The verderers whilst not being the longest trail around packs a lot into it and you can easily ride a couple of laps in a session and it provides plenty of grins, especially the final downhill!
The red is actually my favourite with its extension as it's a little tougher and if ridden after heavy rain some sections can almost turn to black grading which ups the challenge nicely.
There are plenty more hidden trails in there as well, you've just got to go exploring!

User Review

Good Points
Good variety of trails.
Dedicated downhill trails.
The verderers is all weather.
Nice cafe and bike wash.
Loads of parking.
Bad Points
Can get a little busy at weekends, but it only makes it a little hard to park close to the trails.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
3.5
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

Brilliant

Thanks to the small band of volunteer trail builders!!

User Review

Good Points
Amazing variety of trails, great cycle centre with really helpful staff.
I love riding the red trail with the extension, as well as the unmarked Enduro route.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
4.0

FOD trails

great site

User Review

Good Points
Superb cycle area, centered around Sallow Vallets but so much more in the surrounding forest for all the family. Range of trails for all abilities, family trail to explore the wider forest which is mainly level through to the advanced downhill marked and unmarked trails in Sallow Vallets area.

PedalaBikeAway provides the onsite shop, workshop and cafe, the new coffee shack outside has helped to reduce queues in the main cafe which is getting more seating made available with the move of the shop. Folks are always friendly and willing to help and offer advice.
Bad Points
no specific bad points, parking can get busy, but there is more available on the fire road now so even that isn't an issue.
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

Get there and ride!!!!

This has to be one of the best trail areas in the uk to be ridden by all. It facilities are endless for all abilities of riders weither its on 1, 2 or 4 wheels. The trails are reguarly maintained to the highest level, with new trails been added all the time by a team of dedicated and hard working volunteers with a love of digging and riding.
Spend a day here and you will be coming back for more.

User Review

Good Points
Every thing
Bad Points
None
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
3.5
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
5.0

F O D review

Usually visit twice a week.

User Review

Good Points
Great place. Friendly staff. Great fun for all the family.
Bad Points
Can get busy
Would you recommend?
Yes
Was this review helpful to you? 
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