Forestry England Reveal Their Top Five Northern Family Bike Rides To Inspire The Next Generation Of Off-road Cyclists!

This summer, the Commonwealth Games Mountain biking competition will be coming to Forestry England’s Cannock Chase Forest, and to help encourage the next generation of off-road cyclists, Forestry England has developed a new Forest Rider Pack.

Cycling is an excellent way to experience the outdoors and is a fantastic activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family. With 1,300km of off-road trails, Forestry England has worked hard over the years to provide fun and practical ways for people of all abilities and experience to feel confident to hit the trails allowing them to enjoy nature and benefit from being active outdoors.

As well as keeping children physically fit, research has shown that cycling can bring about a feeling of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.

Launching today, the Forest Rider pack has been designed to challenge children to complete a series of off-road rides, to help build their confidence and to enjoy the fantastic network of trails the nation’s forest have to offer. Aimed at children aged 7-12, the Forest Rider pack will encourage children to get out and about on their bikes in the forest and be safe and responsible forest riders!

To further encourage cycling in the forest, Forestry England has highlighted their top five family routes on offer in the nation’s forest across the north of the country. Why not try one of these to enjoy a great family day out, whilst honing your off-road bike skills!

  1. The Borderline Trail, Kielder Forest, Northumberland - This flat and easy to ride trail runs along a former railway line and is perfect for families looking to build confidence on off-road trails.
  2. Bottoms Beck Trail, Gisburn Forest, Lancashire - Blue graded trail but with sections of green, this is perfect for a family ride. Drop down the causeway over Stocks Reservoir and bounce along Eggberry Road. A mellow section of green trail follows an old railway line beside Bottoms Beck before you flow along the funky blue singletrack of Park Wood and swoop down from the top of Cocklet Hill.
  3. Goosey Foot Tarn Trail, Grizedale Forest, Cumbria – The shortest of Grizedale’s waymarked cycle trails, but there are still small hills involved so be warned! The trail takes you past both Goosey Foot and Juniper Tarns, two of the twenty or so man-made tarns in the forest.
  4. Blue Trail, Hamsterley Forest, County Durham – If you are stepping up a notch from beginner’s cycling, this is the perfect trail to get to grips with off-road cycling at a safe and leisurely pace. You will be riding some purpose-built single-track trail and much wider forest roads.
  5. Quercas Trail, Whinlatter, Cumbria – Named after the Latin for oak, this fantastic blue grade route is a gem waiting to be discovered for more advanced riders. Expect flowing single track with gentle berms, rolling jumps, wide gradual climbs with technical features for more adventurous riders.

With some of the best off-road cycling in the country, you will find easy to moderate trails to suit the whole family, for more information visit

FAmily cycling in the forest.  credit Forestry England/Crown copyright
Photo credit Forestry England/Crown copyrigh