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Blue Mountain Bike (MTB) Trail
(Average user rating: 2 unrated 1.5/5)

Trail details

Grade of Trail:

  • Moderate

Length of trail:

9 miles

Trail is currently open


Trail description

Family cycling on the Grove Link Trail. Hamsterley Forest. North East England





This trail provides you with the ideal opportunity to explore the forest at a leisurely pace. The first stretch to Grove House is on a wide, purpose built cycle trail, before joining the Forest Drive to Blackling Hole. This stretch and the return through the forest to the Grove, is all on loose surfaced forest road. Please exercise caution when cycling on forest roads as this is shared with other users, including timber lorries. The last two miles is on the tarmac section of the Forest Drive.

Download a trail map.

What do other visitors say?

2 Stars 2 Stars

A nice enough ride but overgraded, defiantly not a blue. Even the green at glentress has more interesting features on it. The skills loop is properly graded as a blue with harder features.

Tom, 1/Apr/2018
1 Star 1 Star

Today we travelled 50 mile (round trip) and paid 5 for car parking (waste of money) to spend just 15 minutes trying to cycle on the blue cycle route (before getting so frustrated that we decided to leave. It seemed like everyone in the North East had decided to descend on the forest at the same time. Although it is great that so many people want to enjoy the outdoors it is very bad planning on the Forestry Commission side to route a cycle way where there are likely to be 100's of walkers wishing to stroll. Not only is it very frustrating to the cyclist it is also very dangerous for the pedestrian, families (taking up the whole width of the single track) with dogs on extending leads and little children on bikes with stabilisers. This left us with such a bad impression we gave up after only 15 minutes and left the forest in disgust.

I suggest avoiding the first part of the blue route and stick to the road for the first mile or so, alternatively avoid visit the forest to cycle at weekends and school holidays altogether.

Won't return, 22/Jan/2017

Sorry to hear you did not enjoy your visit to the forest. As you correctly point out, the Blue Cycle trail does follow the forest drive to avoid the busiest areas around the play trail. Walkers are using the first dedicated cycle trail section (known as the 'Grove Link') so cyclists will have to cycle with care on this section. However, the number of walkers quickly thins out even on the busiest of days. Perseverance an patience in escaping through the busy main visitor area will be well rewarded in the wider forest!

Forestry Commission Response

Traveled 40 miles to do this route yesterday but it is currently shortened to 3 miles due to a bridge replacement which is taking 12 weeks! That's ok, but why does it say above "Trail is currently open" with no mention of the closure?

Matt, 5/Aug/2016

Sorry you were not provided the correct information prior to your trip. We display temporary closures/diversions via a 'latest news' banner. Unfortunately this expired and was not renewed. This has now been added to the top of this page.

Forestry Commission Response

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What's Here?

  • Cycling Hire
  • Mountain biking
  • Cycle wash
  • Gradient (moderate)


OS Grid ref: NZ092312
Postcode: DL13 3NL

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Hamsterley Forest

01388 488312

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England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.