There have been waymarked cycle routes in Stainburn woods for a quite a few years but it’s only within the past couple of years that the place has blossomed both in amount of trails, visitor numbers and reputation. The trail-building team at SingletrAction deserve huge plaudits for what they have done here.
That aforementioned reputation is that of Stainburn being one of the more technical demanding manmade trail centres – specifically the stuff on the Boulder Trail. A bit like Laggan or Lee Quarry, Stainburn is not a place to swoop around clocking up mileage – it’s a place for “sessioning” sections.
Even the XC trails in the other half of the woodland are challenging – but more in a slippy, rooty, off-cambery and teetery kind of way.
- Red Trail: Only about 1km in length but packed with curves. It’s over open ground and mostly quite smooth in surface but it also contains frequent rocks and roots to hop over.
- Descent Line: Again, only about 1km long but this time it starts under tree cover. Lots of tight corners, a couple of berms, bunch of rocks, a couple of boulders you can jump off (or roll down) and finishes off with a berm or two.
- Norwood Edge: Just over 3km in length, this loop was formed from the old XC routes in the Northern part of the woodland. Not all-weather surfaced by any means (and all the better for it) it’s not a trail you can fly around if it’s wet and muddy. Lots of ducking and diving contouring, plenty of lung-burning sharp climbs. One for the old-skoolers who will ride everything with 1.8in tyres and the saddle at full height, leaving over-biked youngsters flailing and confused in their wake!
- Black Trail (aka Boulder Trail): Roughly 2km in length and jam-packed with nadgery bits. Rocks, slabs, North Shore, drystone wall-esque ridges, a see-saw, a few small rock jumps/drops, tight tricky hairpins – both uphill and downhill. Hardcore hardtail heaven basically.
- Food: bring yer own ‘cos there’s nowt here.
- Parking: Ample car parking at the trail head of the Southern part of the woodland. Clearly signposted.
It’s not the quickest place to get to as it’s a fair distance from a motorway. From the North or West of East it’s better if you approach from the North along the A59 and then down the B6451. From the South approach on the A65 above Leeds/Bradford and then head up the B6451. The car park and trail head is right on the side of the B6451 and clearly signposted.