Is cannock chase worth a 4 hr round trip ?

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  • Is cannock chase worth a 4 hr round trip ?
  • Jamie
    Member

    Having done just this, in the past, I am going to say maybe….but that was just the main trails, no off-piste stuff as it was last minute and didn’t arrange to meet with any locals for a tour.

    Peak District, which is a similar distance for me, was always more enjoyable.

    postierich
    Member

    are you cycling there?

    For just the dog and monkey…….maybe
    If you can find a local to show you it properly…….definately

    rocketman
    Member

    4 hours? probably not imho

    I practically live there and I think it’s pretty good but 4 hours? hmmmmmmmmmm

    Where do you live?

    Premier Icon ac282
    Subscriber

    Depends what is between you and Cannock.
    Coming from East Anglia makes far more sense than heading over from Wales….

    toby1
    Member

    Depends where you live – 2 hours from mine there is very little apart from the likes of Cannock Chase, so for me – yeah from time to time it is.

    scruff
    Member

    Its was never ever intended to be an MTB destination, just something for local riders to use but plenty of folk drive over from the east and south east (in Audi’s) so where they live must be really really bad for biking…

    Premier Icon jairaj
    Subscriber

    Depends where you live and what is available within a similar distance.

    I’m in Hertfordshire and Cannock is the nearest trail centre to me so I’ve gone up for a day trip a couple times. Spend more time driving than riding but the hills are much bigger than local riding so for me its justified.

    Wales is a 6+ hour round trip for me so not practical for a day trip. We regularly do weekend trips to Wales but not day trips.

    peasant
    Member

    Cannock is on my list of places to ride this year is it worth the 4 hr round trip ,i will be going mid week

    GolfChick
    Member

    Depends where you live I guess… But no for me it’s barely worth the half hour to an hour drive so I wouldn’t drive for four hours.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    As others have said, it depends from where you’re coming. I have friends who live a 3 hour round trip from Cannock and I wouldn’t try and persuade them to go there when they could get to the Lakes in similar time.

    Conversely if there’s nowt much of interest local to you, Cannock is a pretty good trail. Bear in mind there are only two “official” trails and they share a lot of similar trail. The Monkey Trail can be knocked on the head under 2 hours quite easily; and that includes breaks. Follow The Dog is easier but is mostly on the same trails, so you’re not getting a particularly “new” experience.

    There is of course some downhill nearby at Stile Cop, but I’ve not played there.

    Premier Icon somouk
    Subscriber

    Cannock is pretty good really. As mentioned above, having a local show you some off piste stuff and making a day of doing the marked trails and off piste would be worth it.

    Bring plenty of money for cake and coffee.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    I’d say most places are worth riding once – new trails are always interesting. Monkey trail at Cannock is decent, so with appropriate expectations the 4 hr trip would be OK. Doubt you’d repeat the trip, but would be fun as a one-off.

    If you’re sticking to just the trail you can do the whole dog and monkey in 2hrs if you’re of reasonable fitness. Whether or not if it’s worth it depends on what you’re after. If you’re after white knuckle knarly trails then no. But if you’re after a decent trail centre with some nice parts then yes. I’ve not done many trail centers, I tend to do natural stuff and use Cannock as an option if the weather isn’t great or I’m on my ow or if I just fancy a blast round Cannock. I did Gisburn last year and though there is more to do at Gisburn and it feels a bit bigger, though the mileage count it wasn’t much bigger, I think Cannock easily compares, it’s maybe less technical than Gisburn, but more flow-ey. I’m sure when I get round to doing the Welsh trail centers it will re-datum me.

    Depending upon which direction you’re coming from you could do Cannock in the morning and some stuff around Ambergate/Derbyshire in the afternoon if you want to make a full day out of it.

    ryan91
    Member

    I wouldn’t travel that far personally, but living half an hour away it’s a regular. Maybe use it as inspiration for your own local trails, as a lot of gradient change has been extracted from not massively hilly terrain.

    It’s worth noting that there are currently 5 or 6 sections closed for trail maintenance; Chase Trails’ Facebook page will have the latest info.

    stilltortoise – Member
    Bear in mind there are only two “official” trails and they share a lot of similar trail. The Monkey Trail can be knocked on the head under 2 hours quite easily; and that includes breaks. Follow The Dog is easier but is mostly on the same trails, so you’re not getting a particularly “new” experience.

    You must have got lost! Follow The Dog is the original trail and The Monkey is an option off that trail…if you take the Monkey option then you will eventually rejoin The Dog having missed 1 twisty mellow singletrack climb and replaced it with the perplexingly hellish Kitbag Hill fire road climb. Neither shares any trail.

    Here’s a map

    tymbian
    Member

    No!

    IMHO the downs, although good…ish, aren’t worth doing the ups for. ( Monkey ).

    wrightyson
    Member

    You could always do sherwood pines 😐

    Rob Hilton
    Member

    IMHO the downs, although good…ish, aren’t worth doing the ups for

    Now, if you had your forks sensibly wound in you wouldn’t struggle so much with easy climbs 😉

    [/stalker]

    peasant
    Member

    Thanks for all the replies i will probably head to cannock on the way up to the lakes

    tymbian
    Member
    jekkyl
    Member

    Yes Cannock is worth a 4hr drive, on a nice week day when the sun’s out & without any traffic jams pissing you off. I believe the climbs are easily worth the downs, and the flats are worth the flats to get to them.

    Premier Icon budgierider67
    Subscriber

    I would only consider that journey to ride on a weekday without the crowds. Seriously, if you think Cannock is hilly you need to have a word with yourself.

    wrightyson
    Member

    According to my STRAVAAAA from when I was last there the standard ftd and monkey with black bits was 12.5 mile and 1347 ft of climb. However that was 7 months ago so don’t know if there’s been any add ons since then?

    gears_suck
    Member

    tymbian – Member
    No!

    IMHO the downs, although good…ish, aren’t worth doing the ups for. ( Monkey ).
    This must be the guy on the full susser who was resting at the top of a climb and quickly jumped ahead of me onto a decent as I came up.
    Then fell off.

    fr0sty125
    Member

    I would say it is worth doing it at least once.. But to get the most fun out of it you have to have the perfect conditions… Which is to have a few drys day it then rains the night before you ride and then you ride on a hot day. When it is like this I’ve noticed there is so much grip and the trails are very fast.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Save it till your actually driving past and have a couple of hours spare.

    Looks ok to me

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDsVsf3NfhY[/video]

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    You must have got lost!

    Nope. Even the map you linked to backs up my point. The Monkey Trail is not just the bit you pick up near the railway line; it includes Follow the Dog. If you do the full Monkey Trail you’ve done 95% of Follow the Dog

    …or at least that’s how I’ve always interpreted it. I did wonder how people got round the Monkey Trail so damn quickly! 😳

    fr0sty125
    Member

    If you are fairly competent and fit you are definitely getting around under a 1:50 with a couple of breaks.

    But you can just do a couple of laps.

    I have found the dog is about 40 mins with fresh legs

    Nope. Even the map you linked to backs up my point. The Monkey Trail is not just the bit you pick up near the railway line; it includes Follow the Dog. If you do the full Monkey Trail you’ve done 95% of Follow the Dog

    No it doesn’t! No wonder you got lost 😛

    From the Chase Trails website:

    Cannock Chase is home to two dedicated, waymarked, mountain bike trails. The Midlands’ first dedicated mountain bike trail. Follow the Dog is a red graded 6 mile intermediate mountain bike trail aimed at competent mountain bikers. Opened in 2005, the trail was completely designed and built by Chase Trails…Opened in April 2010, the Monkey Trail is an optional extension to Follow the Dog…The Monkey Trail can be ridden by starting Follow the Dog until the “High Voltage” section. Within High Voltage, the trail splits in two – take the one marked “The Monkey Trail”. You’ll descend down to a railway/road crossing – once you cross these, you’ll be on The Monkey. When finished, you’ll cross the road/railway line again, then simply follow the signs to rejoin Follow the Dog.

    giantx4
    Member

    Well we had a great day including a few stacks here & there! (Myself included!) well worth the 5 hour haul from lincoln area for a days riding with friends!!

    Mrs Toast
    Member

    I’m biased, but there’s some really nice stuff there (particularly if you live somewhere that’s particularly drab for mountain biking, say… Leamington). There are a few sections closed at the moment, though (marked in green – the Stegosaurus is also closed at the moment for repairs):

    Rusty is correct – there are two seperate, but connected loops – FtD and The Monkey. However only FtD is instantly accessible from Birches Valley Visitor Centre – to get to the Monkey, you either have to do FtD and split off at the decision point, take a fire road route, or park at the Pumping Station at the start of the Monkey (which is sometimes a bit of a crime hotspot and doesn’t contribute any parking fees to the trails).

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Whilst Rusty and I have an internet disagreement over whether Cannock has 2 separate official trails or not 🙂 ,the fact of the matter is that if you ride the Monkey Trail from the official start at Birches Valley (outside the bike shop), you will end up doing 95% of Follow the Dog to get there and back.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    did exactly this yesterday, yes, it was worth it.

    the local trails (Sheffield), are still very wet, and either too hard, or too boring for my wife.

    so, we took a day off, and went to Cannock for dusty trails, it was ace!

    how they get so much ‘down’ out of so little ‘up’ is a constant mystery, them trail fairies are very clever.

    wrightyson
    Member

    Should never have closed tackeroo(?) I loved that section in the original follow ya dad!

    Premier Icon Fantombiker
    Subscriber

    In answer to the OP, IMHO, No. I live about 1 hour from Cannock. It’s OK but on weekends is too busy and it is not really challenging enough from a distance or technical point of view. It gets quite crowded and slower riders in busy times will clog the climbs. It is really a route through a forest, so not much to see either. Café at Birch Valley is good although you need to pay for parking.

    We prefer XC in the peaks which isn’t much further.

    Mrs Toast
    Member

    Should never have closed tackeroo(?) I loved that section in the original follow ya dad!

    I think you’re talking about sections 13 (the original Chainslapper), 14, 15 and 16? The stuff over the road that replaced it in 2010 is the Tackaroo stuff. I loved those sections too, but sadly it was determined to cause too much user conflict (especially with people flying out of section 13 and screaming down the fire road, scaring the walkers, and the route back from section 16 to BV also being shared use) and I think there were some wildlife concerns too?

    Scamper
    Member

    In terms of the trails not being technically challenging, the short black sections hold their own compared to many a welsh trail centre?

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    What I love about Cannock is that there is ALWAYS room for improvement for me. There are always berms I can and should ride faster, there are always jumpy, pumpy sections that I’m still a long way from riding as well as I’d like. Compare that to a lot of point-and-shoot Peak District trails – where going any faster needs bottle in as big a measure as skill – and Cannock definitely offers me something a bit different.

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