Devon is a fantastic location for busting out the mountain bike, but where is best to go?
We’ve put together a list of our favourite wild cycling spots – why not take your pick and get in the mood for the Hospiscare Wild Tri?!
Haldon Forest Park
3,000 acres of woodland, Haldon Forest Park has a mix of walking, cycling and horse-riding trails.
It’s probably Devon’s most well-known mountain biking spot, and is the perfect introduction to mountain biking for all levels, with various different trails aimed at different abilities. There’s even a café, toilets, and showers onsite, as well as bike hire, mechanics, bike wash, pump track and skills area.
Woodbury Common may not be as wellknown as other areas, but it’s a great spot for some cross-country cycling. There’s a fun little roller coaster path that skirts the perimeter, and there are some downhill trails with jumps in the forest near Yettington. This awesome heathland is a great location for some cross-country riding without ever having to head too far from the car.
Princetown and Burrator
This intermediate to difficult route goes across Dartmoor, making use of various designated cycle tracks, public roads, byways and bridleways.
There are various mountain bike trails at Abbeyford Woods, Okehampton, suitable for different levels of mountain bike riders.
Oke Freeriders are currently working with the Forestry Commission to develop the trails – new trails are being added all the time.
Stoke Woods offers some loose tracks which are perfect for dry weather. With several small drops, and areas where it’s quite steep and some tight loose turns with little drops through the trees, it’s a great spot not too far off the beaten track.
One for all the family, this route starts and ends in Princetown.
The route follows the old disused railway towards Yelverton, circling King’s Tor, passing Leeden Tor and runs along the bottom of Burrator Reservoir. It continues, climbing gradually, up towards Dartmeet and the West Dart River, though it’s best to skip this part if it’s been raining.
A great route for all of the family, the Princetown loop covers 22.4 miles and shouldn’t take much longer than two and a half hours.
Harpford Woods contains 2 – 3 short downhill trails that are maintained by Harpford Freeriders. The trails are fast and flowy – expect large jumps and road gaps, so take it easy or have a look before you ride!
The Dartmoor Way
The Dartmoor Way is a 95 mile loop which can be done in small chunks and can be joined at any point.
The route can be broken into four almost equal sections: Okehampton to Tavistock (21 miles), Tavistock to Ivybridge (22 miles), Ivybridge to Bovey Tracey (24 miles) and Bovey Tracey back to Okehampton (26 miles). With a mixture of open moorland, country lanes, gorges and rivers, steep gradients, and rough off-road sections, it’s packed full of all the things we love about the great outdoors!
The Granite Way
The Granite Way is a relatively new cycle route which is ideal for families and those looking for a gentle ride with a view. It’s largely-off road, and follows the dismantled cycle track between Okehampton and Lydford – about 11 miles each way.
Exmoor National Park
With all the focus on Dartmoor, we mustn’t forget that Exmoor has some of the most varied mountain biking trails in the UK. There are coastal, wooded and open moorland trails, suitable for all abilities. If you’re looking for big singletrack rides, head to the village of Porlock, or if you’re a beginner, check out the Wimbleball reservoir.
And of course, if you’re into your mountain biking, make sure you check out the Hospiscare Wild Tri!
It’s an exciting new event which will take participants across the bleak and stunning landscapes of Dartmoor by bike and on foot, and an exciting gorge scramble!