Hamsterley Trail Guides

Blue Cycle Trail

  • Grade of Trail : Moderate
  • Length of trail : 9 miles

This waymarked trail provides you with the ideal opportunity to explore the forest at a leisurely pace. The first stretch to Grove House is on a wide, purpose built cycle trail, before joining the Forest Drive to Blackling Hole. This stretch and the return through the forest to the Grove, is all on loose surfaced forest road. Please exercise caution when cycling on forest roads as this is shared with other users, including timber lorries. The last two miles is on the tarmac section of the Forest Drive.
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Red Cycle Trail

  • Grade of Trail : Difficult
  • Length of trail : 14 miles

A waymarked trail for real adventurers who want to spend the day exploring the further reaches of the forest. The route follows the Blue Trail to the Grove before heading into the wider forest on a mixture of forest road and singletrack. Superb views await at the top of the forest overlooking Eggleston Moor before returning to the Grove via the Euden Beck on breathtaking stretches of singletrack.
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Black Cycle Trail

  • Grade of Trail : Severe
  • Length of trail : 7 miles

This is the most strenuous and technically challenging waymarked trail in Hamsterley forest. It sports steep technical climbs, smooth contouring single track and some superb rooty descents. This character stays with the trail for its entire length and boasts some great natural riding that will challenge even the best cross country bikers. The Black trail starts from the forest drive just beyond the visitor centre. This character stays with the trail for its entire length and boasts some great natural riding that will challenge even the best cross-country bikers.
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The Loop

  • Grade of Trail : Moderate
  • Length of trail : 1 mile

This is a purpose built MTB training loop. It is designed with skill development in mind to push your mountain biking to a new level. The Loop contains a multitude of features and riding options, some built in stone to mimic natural trails and others from timber in the North Shore style. Each feature has a skills tips board containing information to help perfect your technique. When you reach the bottom you can either exit The Loop or go back to the top via the climb trail. The training loop is aimed at anybody confident at riding Blue Grade trail or above, but beware it contains features of all grades from Blue to Black. The trail is not suitable for occasional/family cyclists and all riders are advised to wear suitable personal protective equipment.

  • "The Loop" provides arguably the best skills areas of any in the country and will allow you to really hone your off road skills.
  • "The Loop" winds its way down through the forest providing a range of obstacles and skill sections including drop-offs and jumps. Carefully designed to suit all abilities,
  • "The Loop" is as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.
  • "The Loop" also includes a return route to test your ascending/slow speed skills.

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The Hamsterley Half Century

This is a 50km (31.1 miles) circular route, boasting a lung/leg busting 1300m (4300ft) of climbing (and descending). Dare you take it on?
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Doctors Gate

A circular ride from the forest that takes in the Weardale Way and some moorland roads : 21.8 miles, 2821ft of climbing.
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Eggleston Moors

Another circular ride that starts within the forest but takes you out onto the moors. 19.2 miles, 2325ft of climbing with a punishing grass climb!
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Trail Quest

Trail Quest is orienteering on a bike with control points spread throughout the forest. Collect a control card from the Visitor Centre then navigate your way round the forest to various control points marked in yellow on the map. Stamp your control card and collect point scores as you go. The further away the point the higher the point score.

  Course 1 Course 2
Controls: 1 - 10 1 - 19
Point score: 500 2000
Average time: 2 hours 4 hours
Mileage: 10 22