There are over two dozen serious and amazing mountain bike trails in South West pulsating with natural beauty, set up with amenities, and ready for riders from all over. World class trails with well-laid singletrack and expert-ready downhills are there for the choosing. There are leisurely rides and adventurous, high-octane, high-adrenaline, scary, and crazy rides that can leave you wanting to just be going slow again. The South West has several different types of trails that can accommodate all riders that have different tastes in scenery and turf, texture, and environs that they would like to ride across. You can be picky and choosy when it comes to mountain bike trails in the South West.
The 26 trails are as follows. Be sure to keep them in mind the next time you’re in the South West, and save this handy compendium for future use in case you need to switch trails, need a change of environment, or want to try something new.
If you like granite tors, strams, valleys, and grassy moors, then the Dartmoor routes are for you. There is Granite Way & Meldon Reservoir, Peter Tavy & the Merrivale Range, Bellever & the Stepping Stones, Postbridge & Challacombe Down, Grimspound & Hound Tor, North Bovey & Foxworthy Route, Princetown to Burrator Route, Avon Dam & Scorrition Route, Lydford & Mary Tavy Route, and Two Bridges, Princetown & Hexworthy.
If you want something smaller and more complex, then go with the Exmoor routes. They offer soaring views over the coasts as well as a beautiful network of byways and bridleways that criss-cross the moor. There is even something designated as the rollercoaster stone stream beds for their up and down orientation that can give mountain bikers a run for their money and test their skills in new, challenging, and thrilling ways. Some of the trails in this section are the Lynton & the Valley of the Rocks, Porlock Weir & County Gate, Withypool & Sportsman’s Inn, Oareford & Larkbarrow, Horner Wood Route, Selworthy Beacon Route, Winsford & Exford, Winsford & Wheddon Cross, Dulverton & Winsford Route, Wimbleball Reservoir Route, Carhampton & Croydon Hill, and Monksilver & Brompton Ralph.
There are also the Quantocks routes for those who are not happy with the Dartmoor or Exmoor routes. There is well over a hundred miles of trails on expertly drained tracks that go through the environments of gorse, heather, and woodland from wide and easy ridge trail to the scary testing and twisting singletrack. Some trails in this neighborhood include the Quantocks Ridge Route, Holford & the Great Road, Aisholt & the Southern Combes, and Enmore & Cothelstone Hill.
Finally, there are the Mendips routes that is composed of carboniferous limestone that stretches from east to west and beyond with the Cheddar Gorge appearing as a famous landmark along the way.
A good summary of the Cheddar Challenge, a bonus route appearing along the Mendips routes, is a beautiful singletrack composed of Black Down and Beacon Batch with a medium difficulty grade of 29km.