North Face Trail, Grizedale – most disappointing trail ever?

Home Forum Bike Forum North Face Trail, Grizedale – most disappointing trail ever?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 74 total)
  • North Face Trail, Grizedale – most disappointing trail ever?
  • Premier Icon postierich
    Subscriber

    I think you might have got lost a great xc trail which is steadily getting more natural as there is very limited trail maintainace.
    You have to work on it but has some good sections and when linked with the other trails makes it a good blast.
    Would be a bit peeved if I had drove there in my Audi and paid the parking f
    ee πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    I’ve done it once a few years ago. It wasn’t the greatest trail for sure. Technical difficulty seemed to be generated by making the boardwalk sections out of the shiniest wood they could find and having some of the corners off camber. And it did have a lot of fire road

    Cyflym Coch at CYB was pretty uninspiring. Lovely trail centre overall though

    peterfile
    Member

    Would be a bit peeved if I had drove there in my Audi and paid the parking fee

    I did feel for the 4 guys who headed to start the route as I finished (a mojo, two 5s and an SB66) since there were quite a few puddles on the trail, I wonder if they turned back? πŸ™‚

    Coffee from the wee cafe was nice and the waitress was pretty, probably the most enjoyable part of the 90 minute “adventure”.

    samcamsdad
    Member

    Have to agree with the op here, I feel it’s a great opportunity missed. TNF could be a great trail centre trail, but its been very badly designed IMO.
    I only use sections of the trail to link the good bridleways together, missing out the fire roads.

    tomj
    Member

    Well is certainally less dull than not going for a ride IMHO

    I quite like it really, although its not up there with some of the others for best man made trails. Maybe its because its the first proper MTB ride I ever did?

    Good points – the views are stunning, and the fireroad bits allow you to look at them, the first climb is quite interesting and better than a fireroad slog, and last descent is quite fun. Its not Glentress of CyB and I don’t think its a ‘destination’ trail, ie one I’d drive a long way just to ride. But if you add in the other stuff in the Forest it can make for a very fun day out.
    One suggestion is the first two sections up TNF, then the Parkamoor Descent to High Nibberthwaite, back into the forest, upto and the down Breasty Haws and back up to Moor Top, then stay on the top to The River or the new black, back along the forest road and the last descent of TNF.
    Or as I did a few months ago, along TNF all the way to Moor Top, then did the short Grizedale route in the Vertebrate Graphics book (The River, down to Satterthwaite, upto and down Breasty Haws and back to Moor Top) and then finished the last two sections of TNF. A good day was had.

    I did notice one section of TNF was temporarily shut, and the diversion was up and down a fireroad

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    I also agree with the OP, except I can’t even remember the views being that great! We’d done Whinlatter the day before which was on a different level, one of the best TCs I’ve ridden, just great fun. Grizedale was a huge disappointment as I was hoping for more Whinlatter-y fun.

    johnellison
    Member

    Definitely not the greatest, but it has it’s uses.

    I get the impression that when it was built it kind of missed the point – why put a mediocre man-made trail in an area where there’s so much outstanding natural riding? It’s like the Chewbacca Defense – it just doesn’t make sense.

    That said, I find the first climb useful as a bit of a warm-up and to gain some height quickly if I’m going to do the Parkamoor routes, plus you can use bits of it to link other stuff together and I suppose it gives noobs/less confident riders the chance to get out and about.

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Wasn’t overly impressed by the fire-roady bits round the back. Maybe we missed a section?
    Last bit from top carpark back to the centre was OK. Did that again, mainly cos we went and tried some of the other coloured easy trails. First bit was alright too.
    Ideally we’d have used bits of the red to link up with bridle paths and Parkamoor or somewhere, but the day we rode it was a kind of last minute thing with no maps and no local knowledge.

    wilko1999
    Member

    Contenders for most disappointing trails? By far the most disappointing for me was Cannock Chase. After everything I’d read and heard about it I was properly looking forward to it, but I couldn’t have been less impressed if I’d tried. No offence to the trail builders and the hard work that people have put in, but I didn’t enjoy it at all for some reason.

    Ecky-Thump
    Member

    He was warned you know, but still he did it. πŸ™„
    So much good stuff in the area and none of it on the NFT

    elliptic
    Member

    Personally I quite like the NFT for blatting round full gas on a hardtail (and I was riding the natural Grizedale trails long before it was built). It’s also great for adventurous newbies to trundle round and do some “proper” riding that isn’t groomed to death like most trailcentre Blues.

    I can see how the six-inch-skill-compensator [*] brigade might be a little disappointed though. Horses for courses.

    *Yes, I do own one of those myself as well as the hardtail…

    loddrik
    Member

    I like the NFT, some great sections, need to ride it twice though as its a bit out the way and not the longest. Maybe I’m just too easy to please, I just like riding my bike.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    Apparently there’s some great trails coming off the route, which is great to know now

    Nice to know you actually read the thread you started last week…you know, the one where half the contributors were telling you about natural Grizedale riding…

    We often stay in the area so its convenient for a quick hour blast. If I’m doing a bigger ride around there then I’ll use bits of it – the first climb (as climbs go) is great – more trail centres should have climbs like that instead of using fire-roads. I’ll then usually head off up towards Parkamoor Farm on the BW and then descend down to Satterthwaite etc. Coming from the other direction I’ll sometimes come up from Hawkshead and then pick up the last few sections from Moor Top towards the visitor centre. Its a shame that the bits between the top of the first climb and after the car park on the Coniston>Hawkshead road rubbish – like peterfile says, loads and loads (and loads and loads and loads) of dull fire-road slog with the odd bit of fairly uninspiring off-road.

    Again though, and its a comment which comes up time and time again in Grizedale discussions, the natural riding around the Grizedale/Satterthwaite/Sawrey/Claife/Hawkshead area is outstanding… Need to get over there again ASAP.

    Premier Icon christhetall
    Subscriber

    I don’t think it’s too bad – good but not too difficult singletrack at the start and throughout the second half, but too much fire road in the middle.

    As everyone points out, if you get hold of the map you’ll find there is a network of excellent and challenging bridleways with several of the best descents in the Lake district. The only problem is that some bits are getting overgrown because not enough people are riding them.

    patriotpro
    Member

    Any other contenders for most disappointing route?

    Dalby Forest ‘red’. I would rather scoop out my eyes with a rusty trowel than ride it again.

    What’s the ‘black-section’ at Grizedale like?

    peterfile
    Member

    Had a couple of hours to kill in the Lakes on Saturday morning and after spending ages trying to fix a frustrating mechanical, decided to have a quick blast round The North Face Trail at Grizedale forest.

    Graded red (Difficult), the route description suggested:

    The trail is for experienced mountain bikers and has a RED (Difficult) grade. It is suitable for proficient mountain bikers with good off-road riding skills and fitness. The trail has challenging climbs, tricky descents and technical features such as drop offs and large rocks.

    I honestly thought I was lost. Spent 75% of my time mincing around fire roads, which occasionally popped into the edge of the forest for a brief moment to present “technical features” such as 30m sections of metre wide board walk, or a few stones thrown into an otherwise boggy section which needed to be crossed.

    It was quite surprising that someone had managed to pack absolutely nothing of interest into a 10 mile route, other than being able to view nice forest on either side of the road I was cycling along. Even more surprising was continually climbing for long sections (which is fine, obviously) and then descending back down more fire road. Seriously??? Why on earth would you gain all that elevation, only to fly back down a road when there’s miles of forest on either side?

    Apparently there’s some great trails coming off the route, which is great to know now πŸ™‚

    Considering boycotting TNF πŸ˜‰

    Any other contenders for most disappointing route?

    Jeeeeeesus wept!!!!

    You are a fool.

    Message ends.

    You were warned…

    Grizedale NF was actually good fun when I was there at Easter in the snow. Cutting fresh tracks onto the boardwalk – from about 10 seconds in on this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHu8X7imv-A

    tomj
    Member

    I rode the black section last time I went there. I enjoyed it, but its very different from the rest of the Grizedale stuff. Its a lot more obviously man-made, with jumps, table tops etc. I’m not really upto most black runs, so I think this one is a bit easier, although one corner was very steep and intimidating (too me).
    It is very short, and quite hard to fit in with a TNF loop. I think I actually preferred the adjacent bridleway (The River Bed), which I hope doesn’t become too busy with people pushing or riding up.

    For info it was one of the first in England and was a bit of an experiment (with mixed results). It’s a bit naff by todays standards but you can use it to stick other bits together.

    Most disappointing route? Easedale [shivers].

    I’ll still never forgive you, though.

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
    Subscriber

    That is my o/h, over halfway around TNF trail, 4 months pregnant and successfully still under the illusion that we’re just out for a gentle pootle. It’s that dull.

    +1 for Dalby Forest’s Red, aka “No Reward Hill”, attached to “Flinking blip, that’s an expensive car park”

    peterfile
    Member

    Nice to know you actually read the thread you started last week…you know, the one where half the contributors were telling you about natural Grizedale riding…

    To be honest, most of the replies conflicted each other and pretty much none of it made sense to someone with no local knowledge.

    What I took out of that was Grizedale = great. So I headed to Grizedale with the limited time I had and the route I did was shite. Nothing in the thread said “Don’t do the TNF Trail”.

    uwe-r
    Member

    I also found it a bit dull, I rode up to it from the south of windermere on the bridleways, they were ok but nothing great. The NF was as described, lots of bits stuck together none that particularly impressed. I am a big fan of the Marin in North Wales which gets accused of the same but the difference is the Marin has a very natural feel and is more like a genuine old trail through a forest (with the odd bit of fire road). That might be the age of it. The NF is all very managed and doesn’t feel particularly well thought out.

    tomj
    Member

    If they took the better bits from Dalby and made them into a, say, 20km red route it would be a fun half day out. But padding it out to 35km makes for a lot of dull bits and a lot of effort for not much fun

    tomj
    Member

    Don’t right off Grizedale after one ride on TNF. If not a local get hold of the Vertebrate ‘Lake District Mountain Biking’ book which has a few rides in Grizedale on the natural stuff. All very easy to follow with the book, and the signposts on the ground. If you download the forest map from the web you can easily see how TNF, the forest roads and bridleways link up and can mix and match.

    I agree that if you don’t know the forest then some of the suggestions can be hard to follow

    peterfile
    Member

    Don’t right off Grizedale after one ride on TNF.

    Nah, don’t worry, the area looked awesome, my issue was just with that particular trail. There just seemed to be so much around, yet the route just took me on a fire road around it all πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon timidwheeler
    Subscriber

    I thought it had the best cake of any trail centre we have been to. Chocolate biscuits with mint icing ftw.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    Nothing in the thread said “Don’t do the TNF Trail”.

    Well, I did, honest..and if we’d have suspected that you were considering TNF regardless, we’d have driven home the point. Too busy telling you not to bother with Walna Scar, I guess, and arguing over the relative merits of Grizedale and Dunnerdale. I blame that stabiliser dude. πŸ™‚

    You can comfort yourself that as you plodded around endless fire road and boring boardwalk, the forest gems, were lying just a few hundred yards away. And will still be there next time you pop down.

    TNF is still better than Dalby though (this is me advising you not to bother with Dalby, BTW).

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    +1 for Dalby Forest’s Red, aka “No Reward Hill”, attached to “Flinking blip, that’s an expensive car park”

    I don’t think they charge for parking?

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    I don’t think they charge for parking?

    That’s good to know. I’m now wondering who were the buggers who took Β£7 off me when I went?

    B.A.Nana
    Member

    That’s to use the forest drive which every motorist pays, parking or not. It’s free if you cycle in tho! πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    I was knackered enough after 24 rather dull Dalby miles. Can’t imagine how I would have felt after cycling there and back from Skipton. πŸ™‚

    I would certainly be looking for alternative parking if I ever suffered amnesia and headed back there.

    d45yth
    Member

    πŸ™„ at this whole thread. πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    at this whole thread.

    It’s your fault too. Don’t think you can roll your eyes and pretend you didn’t tell the OP to ‘do some trails in Grizedale..’. πŸ™‚

    d45yth
    Member

    Who? Me? I said ‘around’! πŸ˜†

    badllama
    Member

    Well I enjoy it it’s funny when you leave a trail a while then go back and see how your fitness has improved.

    We were up the other week did the NFT, then to visitors centre for ice cream πŸ˜€ Then all the way up to High Parkamoor then the run down to Satterthwaite loved it.

    They could do a lot more don’t get me wrong but there is plenty thee for a good day out.
    First half of Winlatter’s North Red trail leaves me cold TBH but each to there own πŸ™‚

    GaVgAs
    Member

    I usually stay away from Whinnlater and the nft ,as the natural trails are so much better, the only bit of the nftt i thought was pretty good was the last descent back to the car park, but even that has lost its flow and needs some serious repairs to make it fun,There was quite a few riders walking down it saying it was too rough a couple of weeks back,this is really bad for cycling as trail centres are a good starting point to getting newcomers into our sport,at the moment its putting people off.. πŸ˜₯

    Junkyard
    Member

    Agree with Gav to drive to the lakes to do that would be a bit pointless though some of the BW are nice and its ok as part of a loop on to the natural stuff

    Whinlatter was better but its right at the other end of the lakes and I need to drive past Skiddaw to get there so i will never ever do that again

    Premier Icon Trekster
    Subscriber

    Junkyard – lazarus
    Agree with Gav to drive to the lakes to do that would be a bit pointless though some of the BW are nice and its ok as part of a loop on to the natural stuff

    Does all this ” there are better trails in Grizdale” not all depend on the “visitors” skill level, experience, map reading skills etc ?
    I remember just after it opened the same criticism and more was levelled at the build quality. However when you took into consideration how relatively new mtbing was to the area and who the “customer base” actually was then it was probably pitched near enough OK at that time. There are always and hopefully always will be new people coming into our “sport” / hobby/ pastime whatever you care to tag it with.
    The experienced riders on here are as witnessed by all the negativity posted on here and other forums never going to get much out of it but there are many more riders out there who do not frequent forums who will.
    Like all trail centres they are not built for us locals but to attract visitors to the areas they are in, granted if they are crap then people won’t return but that is the same for any attraction.

    BW loop in the planning stage for Aug/Sept πŸ˜€

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 74 total)

The topic ‘North Face Trail, Grizedale – most disappointing trail ever?’ is closed to new replies.