Even while the Midlands aren’t exactly famed for their rough mountains, there are still plenty of possibilities for a day or two of two-wheeled exploration. There is a vast range of scenery to explore, from open moorland trails to woodland trail hubs. These five spots to go mountain biking in the Midlands could keep you occupied for a few weekends if you’re new to mountain biking and seeking new places to ride.
The two XC routes, Follow the Dog and the Monkey Trail, as well as the DH section near Stile Cop, is what Cannock Chase is most known for.
The Follow the Dog cross-country path is a red-graded course that is a little under seven miles long. The singletrack is quick, flows wonderfully, and provides for a terrific afternoon of riding even though the forest is a relatively flat region. The path truly makes the most of the minor slopes.
The newest cross-country track at Cannock Chase is The Monkey Trail, which may be combined with Follow the Dog to create a longer (14-mile) circuit. The Monkey Trail is steeper, more complex, and has certain portions that are graded in black in addition to red.
However, if you’re relatively new to mountain biking, these routes will provide you with plenty of obstacles. Even the most seasoned riders will find something they appreciate here. Cannock Chase also features a fantastic blue graded path that travels through some of the most beautiful portions of the woodland if you’re a beginner looking for less of a challenge.
Sherwood Pines was formerly well-known for being the hideout of Robin Hood and his merry men, but nowadays, it’s more notable for its mountain biking trails and forest trail centre. Sherwood Pines is a trailhead inside a Forestry England tract, similar to Cannock Chase. There are several routes to explore, ranging from the Adventure Trail for families to the red-graded Kitchener Trail.
The Kitchener Trail is the most acceptable option if you’re searching for a route with lots of action and fast singletrack. Despite being only 8 miles long, plenty of exercises can get your heart and legs moving. Naturally, if you’re feeling up for it, you’re free to do another lap.
The 6-mile, blue-graded Adventure Trail is a fantastic introduction to mountain biking for people who have never done it before. Although it isn’t as quick or complex as the Kitchener, it still has a tonne of features that will keep you engaged.
At Sherwood Pines, there are also dirt obstacles and a downhill area if you’re feeling bold.
The Long Mynd
The Long Mynd in Shropshire may be the solution if you’re seeking something a little wilder than an artificial trail centre.
Numerous routes exist on the Long Mynd, but nearly all of them require a long ascent up the fire access roads to the plateau and a swift descent back down again.
As soon as you reach the bottom, you’ll want to turn around and climb back up for another try, so you should plan to spend the entire day doing it.
You must at least once travel the renowned Minton Batch path. It is not for the timid and is frequently recognised as one of the top singletrack descents in the nation.
The Malvern Hills
Mountain riding is beautiful in the Malvern Hills. Although they are undoubtedly not the giant hills in the world, they seem to dominate the skyline in a region with a mostly flat topography. After climbing the mountain, you’ll have breathtaking 360-degree views, and you may ride along the crest and take it all in.
Several widely dispersed paths are clearly marked, so you may forego navigation and simply keep an eye out for the next marker.
Three different routes are available, measuring 6k, 9k, or 19k, respectively. All ways will have a significant amount of climbing, but as everything must go down as well as up, you can also look forward to some quick descents.
The Ladybower Loop
The Ladybower Loop, a 28-mile route that passes through some of the loveliest parts of the Peak District, is an excellent example of keeping the best for last.
A decent degree of fitness and some technical skill is required for this challenging ride.
From the Derwent Visitor Center, the trail ascends through the Hope Valley before making a loop into the Edale Valley. Expect some challenging ascents, but the steep, tricky descents will make it all worthwhile.
If you’re athletic enough to ride it, this is mountain biking and one of the Peak District’s most popular paths.