Category Archives: Forest of Dean

Cannop Ponds cycle centre

Whereabouts: Forest of Dean, South West England

Where specifically: On the B4234 somewhere between Coleford and Cinderford.  It’s well signed, and easy enough to find from the A4136.

Trails: Verderers (blue) and Freeminers (red), and also a green graded Family ride.  Lots of other cycleable tracks too, detailed on a downloadable map of the forest.  Downhill lines as well.

Why should I go there? The two main cross country mountain biking routes are excellently designed and great fun though not terribly challenging, and the family ride is well worth doing, although it’s more about cruising through a beautiful forest than it is about thrilling excitement.  The centre is lively and generally busy.  Occasional races and events are held here too.  It’s also been developing the field of four-wheeled mountain biking, and is one of the few places you can hire a four wheeler.

Facilities: Toilets, showers, cafe, and an excellent on site bike shop and workshop that can cater for all sorts of issues.  Last time I was there they sold me a single bolt to fix an issue I was having.  Bike hire too.

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Filed under England, Forest of Dean, Trail centres

Family Trail

Trail centre: Forest of Dean

Grade: Green

Length: 17.5km (11miles)

Start point: Cannop Ponds cycle centre, Forest of Dean.  Head for the mid-point between Coleford and Cinderford and follow signs.  The centre is on the B4234, North of the B4226.

Description: Sweeping and gentle ride round the Forest of Dean.  Surface is entirely on broad tracks and gradient is gentle for the whole ride.  Short apparently blue graded sections flank the trail at times, but rather than being at all challenging they instead just provide a brief respite if you find the gentle smooth tracks monotonous.  Links can also take you into the towns and villages around the route.  Nothing about the route really constitutes mountain biking, although attempting it on a proper road bike may not be wise.

Good stuff: Excellent for families, very gentle ride that feels satisfying due to the amount of the forest seen from it.

Difficult stuff: Nothing.  Some of the short blue sections may require you to pedal.

Verdict: Excellent gentle ride.

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Filed under England, Forest of Dean, Green, Trail centres, Trail grades, Trails

Freeminers Trail

Trail centre: Forest of Dean

Grade: Red

Length: 4.5km (7.25miles)

Start point: Cannop Ponds cycle centre, Forest of Dean.  Head for the mid-point between Coleford and Cinderford and follow signs.  The centre is on the B4234, North of the B4226.

Description: Beautifully designed but short trail.  Makes a great ride when combined with the Verderers trail.

Good stuff: Excellent and beautifully designed singletrack trail.  Very fun and achievable ride.

Difficult stuff: Not much at all, though the initial dropout that takes a moment to stare blankly at when you ride it cold.  Climbs are tiring at times.  Some bits and pieces of tricky surface.

Verdict: Great, fun, rideable and brilliantly designed.

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Filed under England, Forest of Dean, Red, Trail centres, Trail grades, Trails

Verderers Trail

Trail centre: Forest of Dean

Grade: Blue

Length: 11.3km (7miles)

Start point: Cannop Ponds cycle centre, Forest of Dean.  Head for the mid-point between Coleford and Cinderford and follow signs.  The centre is on the B4234, North of the B4226.

Description: Beautifully designed blue trail in the Forest of Dean.  Like the best manmade blue trails, it’s flowing, smooth, fast, and built with a healthy and hearty slice of fun and excellently rideable jumps and berms.  Particularly great ride when combined with the Freeminers trail.

Good stuff: Excellent and beautifully designed singletrack trail.  Very fun and achievable ride.

Difficult stuff: Not much at all.  Climbs are tiring at times.

Verdict: Great, fun, rideable and brilliantly designed.

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Filed under Blue, England, Forest of Dean, Trail centres, Trail grades, Trails