Buy the OS Route Map and instructions for this route

Dartmoor invariably throws up routes that are a lot tougher than they look on paper, and this one, a short, sweet and very hilly loop around Lustleigh Cleave and the Bovey Valley, is no exception. For starters it clambers up an impressive 730m of ascent in just 18km of riding, but that’s only a small part of the picture: much of the going is technical and committing, and average speeds are unlikely to be high.
The opening lane has improved of late, and is now the well-surfaced warm-up required before the long pull up onto Hunter’s Tor. The climb itself is a mixed bag: with a few frustratingly chopped up sections, but also some really nice singletrack that is begging to be ridden. It all makes sense at the summit, and the ridge-top trail rewards the climb with easy spinning, great views, and the anticipation of some of Dartmoor’s finest riding just a few minutes further on.
Then it plummets, mainly singletrack, mostly twisty, and frequently technical, all the way down to the road. Following that there’s a technical crossing of a packhorse bridge — easy on the way up, but a different matter altogether on the other side — watch for the huge post perfectly placed to catch you when you fall. Then it’s the biggest climb of the day, through Houndtor Wood to Water. There’s really no easy way to do this one, and it always seems just a little too steep and rough to clean all the way.
The final climb and drop, around Easdon Tor, is a mixture of all that’s good and bad about Dartmoor mtb’ing. It’s a bit vague and boggy to start with, but the good bits are really sweet with some fine singletrack.