Challenge accepted...


Could you ride more than 450 miles of singletrack this summer? That’s the challenge being laid down by the Forestry, which wants to encourage mountain bikers to cover the distance in any of the 1,500 sites it manages and sample some of the best mountain bike trails in the UK

There’s more though, one rider picked at random will get £500 to spend at Fox Racing UK, £150 towards a Forest Holidays stay, a £100 Go Ape voucher and Forestry England membership and a Forestry England goodie bag. Two runners up get £100 to spend at Fox Racing UK and a Forestry England membership.

Can you clock up 450 miles on Forestry trails in 2024?

Called the Forest 450 Challenge, it’s basically a way of promoting just how many riding spots England has right now. With established names like Wharncliffe Woods and the Forest of Dean it’s hard to ignore this challenge, right? But there are also hundreds of spots I’d never heard of before (to my shame)… the Powerline Trail at Chopwell Wood anyone? It looks great, but somehow it’s passed us by.

That makes the Forestry’s interactive map covering some 2,500km of graded trails a really useful tool for finding out where to ride. Five minutes of scrolling and I already know I’m hitting up Mallards Pike, Symonds Yat, Eastridge Woods, and Hopton Woods on my Welsh road trip this summer.

Forest 450 Challenge details

The Forestry is giving us until the end of October to complete the 450 miles, you can cover the distance any way you want, be that a couple of monster efforts or lots of short rides to chip away at it. You then log your rides on Strava and be in with a chance to win the prize.

Complete the challenge and you’re entitled to buy a finisher’s medal, which is really way of pumping money back into the forests to create more trails, boost access and increase diversity.

Whinlatter's typical trail centre recipe of undulating gradients and hairpin turns was perfect fodder for the Flight Attendant's predictive design

Whinlatter is smack bang in the middle of natural riding country, the Lakes, but it’s still one of the best manmade trail centres around

Where to ride

The Forestry has pulled our some of its favourite and newest routes to try, if you’re stuck for inspiration…

  1. Lakeside Way, Kielder Forest, Northumberland: Kickstart your journey with a picturesque ride along the lakeshore, treating yourself to breathtaking views and encounters with Kielder’s diverse wildlife.
  2. Jubilee Blue Trail, Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire: Immerse yourself in flowing singletrack goodness, boasting stunning valley vistas that are perfect for stacking up those miles.
  3. Beater Trail, High Lodge, Thetford Forest, Norfolk: Navigate through winding forest paths, navigating obstacles like roots and rocks for an added dose of adrenaline.
  4. Robin Hood Adventure Cycle Trail, Sherwood Pines, Nottinghamshire: Test your skills on a fast-paced and dynamic trail crafted to enhance your handling abilities, offering a thrilling seven-mile adventure through Sherwood Pines.
  5. Shipwright’s Way Trail, Alice Holt Forest, Surrey: Extend your journey on this extensive route, meandering through picturesque East Hampshire countryside to rack up those extra miles.
  6. Bodmin Beast Trail, Cardinham Woods, Cornwall: Conquer some of the most exhilarating singletrack sections on this thrilling route, serving as the virtual finish line for the Forest 450 Challenge.
Forest of Dean Adit trail

The Forest of Dean is one of the best Forestry-run sites in the UK, notching up 450 miles here would be a pleasure