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Guide to MTB Trails

We have split trails into three groups to help you choose your adventure. The groups are shown below; it’s not an exact science but it will help you focus on getting what you want:

Trail Hubs

We have chosen the term Trail Hub to describe a location where you can visit to enjoy adventurous off-road cycling.  A trail hub will have one or more graded and way-marked off-road cycling trails available, along with useful facilities for the visitor.  These are destinations that you can visit and ride around.  The whole purpose of a trail hub is to give you a guaranteed quality riding experience.

The Trail Hubs across the South West vary in the length and difficulty of trails available, and the facilities available.  Not all Trail Hubs will have cycle hire, and not all with have more than one trail.  By looking at the detailed information we provide on each Hub you can plan your visits with confidence.

The 1 South West Project is currently developing a number of MTB Trail Hubs, with all Hubs scheduled to be open by the middle of 2013.  As these Hubs open their details will appear on the website so do sign up to our newsletter (at the bottom of the page) to keep up with developments.  We are keen to work with others to promote their sites in the region as long as they can meet simple quality standards.

Landscape Rides

The Protected Landscape Areas of the South West encompass some of the most stunning scenery you will find in the whole of Britain including open moorland, deep wooded valleys and the infamous coast.  There are fourteen National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty covering nearly 40% of the whole region, for details visit www.southwestlandscapes.org.uk. These areas are crossed by a network of bridleways and green lanes that afford the off-road cyclist the opportunity to get out and enjoy the very best the region has to offer.

Even if you are a highly competent map reader it is often difficult to plan a cycling day out as what looks like an easy bridleway could turn out to be incredibly rocky or boggy.  1 South West has worked with the Protected Landscape Areas to provide detailed information to help you plan your own landscape rides, in the form of our interactive Adventure Cycle Map.  This interactive map includes grading, route profiles, photographs and the navigational difficulty of each track.  Detail is provided where routes are prone to erosion in wet weather or suffer from very high use at peak time.  We aim to give you the information to help you enjoy and protect these fragile areas.

Printed maps showing all cycling-legal off-road paths in both Exmoor and Dartmoor are available. These maps have been graded using the Trail Grading system so that the user can plan their route knowing how severe the riding ahead will be. Click on Exmoor or Dartmoor to buy the relevant map online. The video below was produced by Dartmoor National Park Authority to give you a flavour of what these landscapes have to offer.

Promoted Routes

These are specific traffic-free routes that the Authorities promote for cycling and have cycle hire and other useful facilities.  They tend to be suitable for absolute beginners but offer a traffic-free experience and a chance to get some off-road miles under your tyres.  Some of these routes will have a tarmac surface in places but in general they will have un-sealed surfaces.  We do not list routes that are predominantly on-road or tarmac, for such routes visit SUSTRANS www.sustrans.org.uk

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