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.
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 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 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.
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.
An exciting new event comes to Devon for the first time later this year when Hospiscare hosts Wild Tri, and its big brother, Wild Tri Extreme.
This will be a wild take on a triathlon, and promises to be an exhilarating experience that will challenge hard-core extreme event enthusiasts, as well as novices and those who like their events just a tad less challenging. The event will take place near Okehampton on 14 September, allowing plenty of time for preparation.
Routes for both Wild Tri and Wild Tri Extreme will take participants across the bleak and stunning landscapes of Dartmoor by bike and on foot, and each will include a section that will see them scrambling through pools. They will be in the capable hands of Climb South West, who have a strong track record of leading ultra sports throughout the South West and Wales.
Wild Tri Extreme consists of a 30k off-road cycle on a route that skirts Meldon Reservoir and then climbs, with some steep ascents, more than a quarter of a mile to the windswept heights of the moor, before dropping down again. The route of the 13k cross-country run will also challenge the fittest runners, taking them up to the highest Tors on Dartmoor, High Willhays and Yes Tor, across rocky terrain, bog and water course. If that doesn’t satisfy those who like their sport muddy and wet, the gorge scramble through rocky pools should keep them happy!
Wild Tri’s shorter routes are tailored to those who prefer their sports a little less extreme, but it is no easy option. The 16k off-road cycle ride climbs more than 250 metres in height onto the moor and includes some sharp and challenging ascents. Part of the 8k run hugs the eastern side of Meldon Reservoir and also includes sections that will test the fittest. The gorge scramble lies in wait for Wild Tri runners, too.
Event organiser, Becky Botfield, said: “We’re very excited to bring Wild Tri to Devon for the first time. We’re offering two levels of challenge to cater for different levels of fitness and experience, but each will take participants across some stunningly beautiful parts of Dartmoor. Its wild, rugged and sometimes unforgiving landscape is the perfect location for our event and should make for a thrilling experience.”
The event is sponsored by Kitsons Solicitors and partner Cameron Caverhill explained “We are excited to be sponsoring and taking part in this new event, as well as raising money for a fantastic charity. Personally, I am looking forward to the challenge!’’
For more information or to sign up go to www.hospiscare.co.uk/events or phone 01392 688020.
Hospiscare provides outstanding specialist care for adults with terminal illnesses, and support for their carers and families in Exeter, Mid and East Devon. A gift to Hospiscare in your Will helps to ensure the future of the charity for generations to come.