Talk to me about Cannock Chase

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  • Talk to me about Cannock Chase
  • tacopowell

    I hear there’s lots of Dogging?

    Is it true?!

    Also, How long does it take to get round the whole of Follow the dog and The Monkey Trail?

    What sort of Climbing is involved?

    Is it muddier than Sherwood Pines?

    Think I might head over this Wednesday.

    b r

    Its fun. Just go and enjoy.


    Dogging – Yes,but it’s off the beaten track
    Time -That depends on you & your fitness
    Climbs – Some,that sort that go upwards
    Mud – No,built trails are bone dry & riding fast

    Premier Icon letmetalktomark

    I’ve ridden there once.

    Full day.


    It was very wet.

    No real mud more grinding paste.

    Bike was left considerably less shiny after exposure to said paste.

    Great fun.

    Look forward to going back.

    Excuse the grinning idiot …… :mrgreen:


    Its not as muddy as the Pines, but has lots more puddles.

    Should be able to do both well under 3 hours even if you are a bloater like me and like to stop for breaks and a natter.

    Under 2 if your a bit of whippet.

    If you are a pines rider, be prepared that this is alot harder and alot more climbs.

    Not really flowy, but has lots of good features not present at SP to hone your skills on.


    You can’t move for doggers. They’re everywhere. If you haven’t had a sexual experience within ten minutes of arrival then you’re probably not at Cannock Chase.

    ‘Follow the Dog’ is called that just to throw you off-scent, so to speak.

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    I’ve been riding bikes there for about 50 years. I tend to go 2 or 3 times a week. The riding is great and the place is drying out well.

    However I can’t answer your questions about the dog & monkey as I don’t tend to use them.

    And I can’t answer your question about dogging because Mrs BigJohn uses this PC.


    BigJohn – Member
    I’ve been riding bikes there for about 50 150 years


    Dog and Monkey are both Bone dry and riding well. No puddles or mud to speak of!


    there is a fair but of climbing to be fair, but there’s also a lot of downhill too. I find though all the climbs end just at the point where you’re thinking ‘oh god I’ve had enough of this’ – that said they aren’t epic climbs like you get in the lakes for eg. My favourite climb is on the monkey just after crossing the road, after going through the fence you’re in the granny ring from the start, if you can go from there to the top without putting a foot down you’re doing pretty well.


    Was there on Sunday.

    Not sure where the others replying here normally ride, but I thought it was all fairly flat, sure there were climbs and descents, but the overall elevation is pretty small compared to stuff in Wales/Scotland – lots of undulating sections which try to make the best of the height (which it does well).

    Very dry at the moment, actually had dust on my bike on Saturday which made a nice change.

    Lots of tight trees, which make wide bars interesting.

    Huge braking bumps.

    Fun overall, but nothing particuarly spectactular. Interested in what the Stile Cop DHs are like.


    Duane, 10 minute push up so not huge elevation but
    the Cop is nice and varied, some decent sized gaps & drops and plenty of easier stuff.


    Stile Cop is ‘one’ of the biggest hills on the Chase and even the. Has a height drop of under 70 metres so don’t expect any of the Chase to be very hilly, you should assume though that it is undulating.

    Very rideable on one of those one speed bikes if you’re that way inclined, there are also a growing number of people riding with their wants hanging out on those tractor tyred bikes that it seems fashionable to have in the shed at the moment.

    Premier Icon mattjg

    Much like Swinley?

    (Despite lack of big climbs, Swinley’s hard work if have a real go at it as you’re forever up, on the pedals, then down for just a few moments then back on the climb again. There’s no let off. IMO it’s as hard work as riding somewhere proper hilly).


    I went a year or so back, took my Giant XTC, reasonably fit from commuting to work but was a bit rusty off road as hadn’t ridden for a while.

    Did it in about 3 hours, but I met up with some local riders and they took me off the beaten track, plus we stopped to chat here and there.

    Climbs on the Monkey were a challenge but never felt too much. Nothing on the trail gave me the ‘oh my god they’re trying to kill me’ feeling, but at the same time I found it a resounding challenge and had to concentrate on my riding. Nevel felt underbiked, even with the relativly XC steep geometry of my Giant.

    Some of the Monkey descents were hard work due to braking bumps. Optional black sections if you’re so inclined, I wimped out on a couple but as I passed them they actually didn’t look that bad.

    All in all I had a great time and will return when I can.


    Sandy/gritty rather than muddy, you get wet but not particularly dirty if the braking bumps are full of water.

    It makes the most of the available terrain, and sits nicely between ‘Pines and Welsh trail centres challenge-wise.


    This is where I first got into dogging, unfortunatly the mountain bikers somewhat ruin it.

    I was waiting for some action once and thought I was being flashed over…. turned out it was someone on a nightride with knackered rebound on their forks!


    It’s a great place to ride, part of the Monkey is off limits at the minute but diversions are in place. The monkey splits off of the dog and is a lot better. 1hr40 is a fairly quick lap. 3 Hours is a heffa pace.



    there’s loads of wierdos over there on strange looking bikes,big fat wheels an that,some of ’em can only afford one gear,LOLZ.
    best to ignore them,they aint right.


    Look out for Cannock’s signature obstacles:
    180° off-camber switchback on the descents
    Ankle/crank destroying tree stump in the corners
    The Jump To Nothing
    The Uphill Jump

    There were some super-lairy skidmarks over the weekend where people had overcooked it hope no one got busted up too bad

    Ned Flanders

    Nice and dry at the mo, stay away from the dog and monkey head off and get lost for a hour or two over near the stepping stones. If you see a hill climb it as there is normally a bit of single speed down it, Enjoy

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    I think Ned is being a bit mischievous there. You won’t find anything rideable on the stepping stones side. Best to keep on the other side of the road.


    Well I finally manged to get over and ride both Follow the Dog and Monkey trails, dry and sunny…ish, I’ve gotta say I really enjoyed myself, particularly the Monkey trail, some great climb switchbacks and great decents, not quite Wales but a damned sight better than Sherwood pines!

    All done in under 2 hours,
    As I had to be at work in Nottingham by 3, I missed out the black sections, no doubt I’ll be back!
    Worth a go?


    Oh! And enough with the tree stumps everywhere!


    I think Ned is being a bit mischievous there. You won’t find anything rideable on the stepping stones side. Best to keep on the other side of the road.

    Er, I think you may be the mischievous one. If its where I think (over seven springs side) there’s plenty of good singletrack.


    The black sections aren’t very long tbh. 2 consist of short steep rock gardens, but the longer black section off the monkey is fun with some steep techy stuff (nothing super gnar and all easily rollable)

    I’m not actually sure how much time they would add to a lap, because i have never done the red options……. 😉


    Glad you enjoyed yourself!

    I ride Cannock with a few mates every couple of months. It’s good fun, although not very challenging technically (the Red, that is).

    We tend to average around 1:50 for the complete loop; i’d describe my fitness levels as “average”, so 3 hours will give you plenty of time for snacks / breaks / enjoying the scenery.

    The next time i go, i fancy taking that bike with none of those gear-y things…

    Edit – anyone else who fancies going there, get used to riding on cobblestones!

    Premier Icon mattbee

    Busy as hell nowadays. Perfect for singlespeed as the waymarked trails don’t have any massive climbs.
    Some good ‘off piste’ stuff, much quieter. Love going back up there from Pompey and riding stuff I used to ride when I lived in Walsall 15 years ago. Only use the waymarked stuff for a bit of a blast before heading off the beaten track but it’s fun if a little busy whenever I’ve been there.

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    Oh! And enough with the tree stumps everywhere!

    Specialized make a specific bike for them. I’can’t remember it’s name though; I think it’s called a Rockhopper or something.

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