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Mountain Bike Routes
Dalby Forest, near the Ryedale Market Town of Pickering, is one of Britain’s best and largest mountain biking centres, featuring over 45 miles of cycling routes extending across an epic 8000 acres, including the World Cup Trail, and a dedicated Bike Park with a skills course, dirt jumps and pump track. There are routes to suit every level of cycling ability, including a 14.5 mile circular ‘Explorer’ ride perfect for beginners. There is also an impressive range of facilities at Dalby Bike Barn, including expert tuition and regular workshops – from a Gruffalo kids trail, to Biker Girls & Bikers Boys sessions - alongside bike hire, sales and service. And if your family and friends don’t share your passion, there’s also plenty of alternative entertainment, from adventure play areas to creative paper-making.
Dalby Forest is also connected to the magnificent 150-mile Moors to Sea cycle network: along this route you can journey just a few more miles to the coast through more enchanting woodland cycle trails. Close to Dalby, there are also miles of forest trails at Cropton and Keldy near Pickering (along with luxury woodland cabins where guests can hire mountain bikes), and at Guisborough on the northern edge of the North York Moors National Park.
The great advantage of so much forest cycling, is that it’s all-weather (or as ‘all-weather’ as the British outdoors gets!): sheltered from the hottest sun and passing rainstorms, you can find purpose-built trails and gravelled forest drives that don’t turn into bog in winter.
North York Moors National Park
From Ryedale’s Market Towns of Helmsley or Kirkbymoorside, you can explore the North York Moors National Park, which boasts some of the Britain’s best ‘wild’ and year-round trail-riding, according to the Good Mountain Biking Guide, including the country’s finest ridge riding along Rudland Rigg, and also some of the best moorland downhill singletrack. Other favourite off-road starting points include Danby, Westerdale, Goathland, Rosedale Abbey and the Hole of Horcum – the north’s Grand Canyon. You will definitely need a map, as this is off the beaten track riding. Many first-time riders take an expert guide to help them get the best adventure – and there are a wide range of providers who can provide top tips on the best routes, and if needed, some great advice on how to ride them.
Mountain Bike Routes
We have put together eight maps previously published as single sheet route maps in the Ryedale Mountain Bike Route series. We hope the information in this section will appeal both to the cyclist who has come to North Yorkshire on holiday and to those who live more locally but who ride regularly in the area.
All the routes are contained wholly within North Yorkshire and thus they show what a great variety of scenery the area has to offer. Although many off-road cyclists associate mountain biking solely with moorland and forest, there are within the North Yorkshire large areas of open countryside which are well served by tracks and bridleways and which provide a wonderful day's ride to both the seasoned mountain biker and the rather less ambitious family group. Whilst those who relish a wonderful ride over a desolate moor are well served by some of the rides in this section, so too are those whose idea of a good day out is a more gentle ride with a good pub lunch in a pretty village half way round.
With the exception of Route 5, which is served feeder routes from Malton, Kirkbymoorside, Helmsley and Pickering, all the routes are circular and start from either Malton (Route 3), Pickering (Route 6) or Helmsley (Route 1). These start points have beat chosen for their convenience as easily identifiable focal points which have a number of amenites and good car parking facilities. However, the fact that all the routes are circular means that they can be started at any point along the route.
For those who are staying somewhere along a route, or who can transport their bikes on cars, the use of alternative start points may not only shortern the route but can also increase the ratio of off-road to on-road cycling.
Although the route maps have beat designed insufficient detail for each route to be followed using only the route map it can be helpful and more enjoyable to use them in conjunction with an Ordnance Survey map, either from the 1 :50,000 Landranger series or the 1 :25,000 Outdoor Leisure series.
Finally, whoever you are and whatever pleasures you seek from these routes, it is hoped that you find that they are easy to follow and that they add to your enjoyment of cycling in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.
Mountain Bike Routes - Helmsley
Mountain Bike Routes - Helmsley to Bransdale
Mountain Bike Routes - Malton
Mountain Bike Routes - Malton - Howardian Hills
Mountain Bike Routes - Malton - Wharram Percy
Mountain Bike Routes - Pickering
Mountain Bike Routes - Pickering - Rosedale
Mountain Bike Routes - Vale of Pickering
Mountain bikers also have an opportunity to explore the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on a variety of guided routes. North Yorkshire County Council have produced two leaflets with routes centred on Appleton-le-Street and Hovingham.
As part of the Howardian Hills Rides and Rambles series of rides, two off road routes have been published for you to explore the very best the area has to offer.
Castle Howard is an ideal start point for mountain biking with plenty of parking, toilets and refreshment facilities for after your ride. The Castle Howard suggested route is 14.5km long but there are options to shorten the ride using the bridleway network if required.
The 14km Biking the Banks Coneysthorpe route gives views to the north across the Vale of Pickering to the North York Moors National Park. Refreshments are available at the Cresswell Arms in Appleton-le-Street or at Castle Howard (approximately a mile to the south of the start/end point). Additional parking is also available at Castle Howard.