Cannock Chase

Home Forum Bike Forum Cannock Chase

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Cannock Chase
  • steve17
    Member

    Have a week off and wanted to try something new.

    Live in the south and have tried Swinley , Surrey Hills , Afan , Cwm carn etc.

    Is Cannock worth it? Are the trails in good condition? Trees down etc?

    It’s just it is a 150 mile drive.

    Thanks everyone

    tinybits
    Member

    I really wouldn’t drive 150 miles to get to Cannock, not if Afan was the same kind of distance!

    jeffm
    Member

    IMO it’s OK, ridden most of the trails round the forest with a mate of mine who lives locally. I think there’s better places to ride but it’s worth a visit to tick off the fact that you’ve done it.
    Last time I was there the main trial (FTD) was pretty cut up with stutter bumps everywhere, not sure if they’ve resurfaced this (someone else can tell you on here). I’d avoid the main trials for that reason, there is loads more on the rest of the chase though (does require a bit of local knowledge though).

    Was up there on Sunday, did some off piste stuff and then the trail after the road crossing nice 30k outing, everything is riding fine, lots of puddles,.. obviously.

    I would suggest it’s better hooking up with someone who can show you more than just the main trail if your making that much effort.

    I’m working all week unfortunately.

    ichi
    Member

    I was there on Sunday. Trails were fairly wet, to be expected suppose but Cannock dries up fairly quickly if it gets a few days without rain but I’d imagine it will rain in Staffs this week. Trails are still very rideable though, even when wet. If I was going to travel 150 miles to get here I’d be looking at making it worth my while so would want to get a full loop of both Reds, dog and monkey and I’d probably head up to stile cop after your Lower Cliff run for some fun on the DH trails before continuing and completing the loop by finishing the dog.

    hora
    Member

    I’ve ridden Cannock whilst visiting Birmingham but no one way I’d drive 150 to it. NO OFFENCE MEANT – its earth/trees/aggregate so don’t get your knickers in a twist.

    If I had 150miles to ‘spend’ I’d stretch it abit and try something (anything) else.

    Premier Icon frogstomp
    Subscriber

    Hi Steve, I’m local to you (Whitchurch) and think Cannock is worth an occasional day trip to get a few laps in.

    I’m not sure whether I would rate it as better than Afan or not but it has a very different feel to it which I think merits a trip. You also have the Stile Cop downhill runs on pretty much the same site..

    The Forest Of Dean is also worth a visit and is a bit closer..

    Premier Icon bullroar
    Subscriber

    Cannock is fine there is not much wrong with the main trails and there is plenty of scope for some off piste. Biggest “problem” last weekend was large puddles in places.

    I doubt I’d drive 150 miles to only go there. With a week off you could stop there on the way to or from some other venue like North Wales, The Peak or The Lakes.

    steve17
    Member

    Thanks everyone.

    Yes have done FOD and Afan and the Bike Park. Was thinking doing both the Monkey and Follow the Dog. If my legs are up to it on top of the drive may explore some off piste stuff. As for off Piste stuff is it better to explore within Follow the Dog area or is the Monkey area best?

    steve17
    Member

    Thanks everyone.

    Yes have done FOD and Afan and the Bike Park. Was thinking doing both the Monkey and Follow the Dog. If my legs are up to it on top of the drive may explore some off piste stuff. As for off Piste stuff is it better to explore within Follow the Dog area or is the Monkey area best?

    All the off piste stuff we do is over the other side of the Penkridge bank road, no where near the main trails far from the madding crowds.

    jekkyl
    Member

    Just head up any of the fireroads that you’ll pass for some riding off the main routes. For some of the off-piste trails, when you come back over the road&railway from doing the monkey you’ll go up a killer hill called Kitbag Hill, when you get to the top of there you’re supposed to go right to get back on the dog but don’t, go straight on and look for tracks heading off that track after a little bit.

    BUT there is loads to the chase that is not on the way marked routes, loads of bridelways and fire roads just to explore, you can get lost easily so keep your bearings and a mobile phone. Another way to make things a bit longer is to do the blue route. Roundabout the campsite you’ll see some signs for the blue, which is a mostly flat route out over some of the chase, you could do the 11 mile route and the loop back to finish the dog with the tackeroo.

    Why don’t you stay a night and ride somewhere else as well? Macc Forest perhaps?

    st
    Member

    I’m a Cannock local and one of the co-founders of the man made trails but I wouldn’t necessarily travel that kind of distance solely to ride our trails.

    Remember that the Chase is a tiny forest (26 square miles) and I reckon with the non marked and way marked stuff we have a great range of riding, in it’s context.

    It definately worth a trip if you;re in the region, or if you’re passing through.

    matther01
    Member

    Dont forget Brocton either for some off piste and bits off nice singletrack. Really to figure my way around there as i can never remember to link it all up and get hopelessly lost for hours! Great fun…until my biscuits run out! 😀

    jekkyl
    Member

    @ st. I’m thinking of going up on monday, I see from the chase trails fb page that twist & shout was all dug up last week, is it back up running or when will it be? thanks.

    emac65
    Member

    I wouldn’t travel that sort of distance to ride there & I live next to it….

    number18
    Member

    We drove for about 1hr 45mins to get to Cannock on Saturday and I really enjoyed it (monkey then dog), even though it’s far from my favourite trail centre.

    The actual terrain was ok despite quite a few puddles (some very deep!) but not to cause an issue.

    You do get large groups riding at Cannock, and a few numpties without helmets too!

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    ST knows the score.

    Premier Icon Graham_Clark
    Subscriber

    To be honest… Better sticking on the motorway for a little longer and going to the Peak 😉

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Depends what you want out of a trail centre. I’ve driven a couple of hours to other trail centres in England and so far not found one significantly better than Cannock, most not as good. I appreciate the Welsh and Scottish centres are a different league. But a 300 mile round trip just for Cannock (or any trail centre) is keen if you’re not incorporating it into a weekend or unless you just happen to be in the area.

    Cannock has a couple of decent downhills that you can session a good few times easily and some challenging features for the vast majority of recreational riders. There is also Style Cop if you want something a bit more jumpy and droppy. A bit of something for everyone I’d say.

    scu98rkr
    Member

    Im from Staffordshire originally so I might be a bit bias. Currently live near Reading.

    I like foresty trails like Swinely, Chase, FOD.

    I’d say the Chase is much much better than FOD (at least way marked route not Downhills).

    Its also much better than Swinley being both bigger +longer, and feels much more like a “real” MTB trail.

    Personally I’d rate it more fun than CwmCarn (except for climb which is good at CwmCarn).

    I’d say u should go and see what its like. The best thing about it is the way marked trails are long + continuous. I dunno if the black monkey is open but that section in terms of difficulty + enjoyability blows the XC trails at Swinley+FOD+Cwmcarn away (not including the DH trails.

    the Downhill trails arent too far from the Monkey and as an XC rider I really like the Red (or I did like it seems to be quite changeable). In the dry at least its hugely fun with out being difficult for an XC rider plenty of drops.

    number18
    Member

    I really like the Red (or I did like it seems to be quite changeable). In the dry at least its hugely fun with out being difficult for an XC rider plenty of drops.

    For the benefit of the OP, all the drops on the red trails are rollable.

    wolfrider
    Member

    Cannock is my local and I enjoy it. It def makes the most of the lack of elevation in the area with good switchback climbs and hardly any fireroad.however it will only take you 2 hours to do dog and monkey so if you could get somebody to show you round some off piste stuff it would be better.most of the good off piste is over the blue route side of the forest.

    mrchrispy
    Member

    Little advice from the locals needed.

    I’m going to be down that way on Friday for the day (dropping my car at a garage in Burntwood). I’m planning on cycling over to the Chase Visitors Centre and taking it from there so what the must do loop(s)?

    I want to keep the navigation simple and will also need somewhere for lunch.

    I am at the mercy of the hive mind

    jekkyl
    Member

    The ‘must do’ is the monkey. There really is only 2 loops. The dog starts it off and the monkey sides off at about 65% through the dog at a big split you cannot miss. You do the monkey then finish off the rest of the dog. The whole thing is properly waymarked and you won’t have any problems. Look out for the grey shortcuts if you’re short of time. I always prefer not to ride the rock gardens for a nice quick fast shoot down the fireroad.

    For lunch there is a cafe at birches valley and some smaller cafe’s dotted about the chase.

    fr0sty125
    Member

    You should definitely do the Monkey Trail. Highlights include ‘Pot of Gold’, ‘Upper Cliff’, ‘Lower Cliff’ and the section from ‘Tackeroo’ to Birches Valley Centre all of those sections were in great condition on Saturday. Apart from that If you like a bit of DH action then there is Stile Cop as well.

    scruff
    Member

    From Burntwood you could ride through Hazelslade to Beaudesert Golf Club (not the area by Castle Ring) and pick up the Upper Cliff section of the Monkey, ride Upper & Lower cliff, up to Marquis visitor’s centre on the Dog or keep going on the Dog to Birches Valley, then head back via rest of the Dog / Monkey. If you want to explore head to Castle Ring and head through the Chase to the golf club and pick up Upper Cliff.

    mrchrispy
    Member

    Cheers guys, appreciate it.

    Plan is to load the stumpy into the motor, get changed at the garage, scare the girl on the desk with my tights and spend the day having a mooch around the chase. Pile back to the Garage for closing and head on back to Manc….might cross country it as the M6 will be horrible on a Firday tea time!

    Looking forward to a day getting muddy, tend to spend most of the time on the road these days.

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)

The topic ‘Cannock Chase’ is closed to new replies.