Mountain Biking on Cannock Chase

A Guide to Mountain Biking at Cannock Chase

The West Midlands is full of woodland and countryside presenting the ideal opportunity to get out and about on two feet or two wheels. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys getting out on your bike at any opportunity, getting the adrenaline pumping and experiencing all kinds of different tracks and trails then mountain biking on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire is definitely for you.

This area of the West Midlands has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty but it’s not just comprised of rolling countryside, wildlife and woodland – it’s an outstanding place to test your mountain biking skills to the limit, or to give it a try for the first time.

Before You Arrive

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been hurtling down the mountain biking trails on Cannock Chase for years or if it’s your very first time; it’s vital that you go prepared. While there are items that you can borrow or hire for the day, it’s always best to have the essentials with you and we’ve compiled this handy checklist to help you:

  • Safety Equipment – it almost goes without saying how important it is to be safe, but you’d be amazed how many people aren’t prepared for what can go wrong. Be sure to pack every piece of safety equipment you have just in case; including helmet, knee and elbow pads and your gloves. Some trails highly recommend full-face helmets and body armour.
  • Puncture Repair Kit – the loose terrain can play havoc with your tyres so don’t find your adrenaline-fuelled day on Cannock Chase cut short by a puncture. Get yourself one of our puncture repair kits so that you can patch your tyre and get back to the trail centre.
  • Waterproof Clothing – the weather can take a turn at any point. Even the brightest of mornings can turn cold, grey and wet so be prepared. Pack your waterproof clothing to look after your cycling gear and to stay dry. You won’t enjoy riding if you’re cold and wet through!
  • Mobile Phone – if you are involved in an accident (or find yourself hopelessly lost) then a mobile phone
  • GPS Tracker / Map – a lot of riders have GPS devices fixed to their handlebars in order to help them to find their way around the trails and woodland. It can definitely come to your rescue if you find yourself in unknown territory, and a traditional map may also be of benefit to help guide you back to the trail centre.
  • Nutrition – it’s important to keep your energy up while you’re out riding so be sure to pack plenty of high-energy foods to keep you going. It’s amazing how many calories you can burn while mountain biking and you need to restore your energy levels. Don’t forget to take plenty of water either.
  • Protection & Medication – it’s easy to forget to prepare for hot, sunny days so be sure to pack sunglasses and sun cream (just in case!) It’s also vital to remember any medication that you need to be taking.

Mountain Bike Trails at Cannock Chase

Beginner Mountain Bike Trails on Cannock Chase

Name: The Fair Oak Pools Trail

Distance: 4km (2.5 miles)

Terrain: Ideal for beginners and families, and home to many different species of wildlife, this circular trail is the perfect place to experience off-road cycling and joins up with the more advanced Sherbrook Valley Trail.

Download the trail map here


Name: Sherbrook Valley Trail

Distance: 12km – 20km (7.5 miles – 12.5 miles)

Terrain: There are two different loops available on the picturesque Sherbrook Valley Trail – the shorter Pepper Slade Loop and the longer Abraham’s Valley loop giving you the chance to push your endurance as well as your ability.

Download the short trail map here or the long trail map here


Advanced Mountain Bike Trails on Cannock Chase

Name: Follow The Dog

Distance: 10.7km (6.7 miles)

Terrain: Aimed at competent riders, Follow The Dog was the first mountain bike trail to be opened in the Midlands. There are fast and flowing sections followed by some tight and twisty areas that will really test your skill. There’s only one uphill section so you can go flat out in large sections of the 6.7-mile trail.

Download the trail map here


Name: The Monkey Trail

Distance: 12km (7.5 miles) or 22km (14 miles) including Follow the Dog

Terrain: A more technically-challenging trail, The Monkey Trail begins half way round the Follow The Dog trail enabling you to push yourself over the full 14-miles. With some big climbs you’ll feel your legs burning before having to battle the various twists and black-graded sections.

Download the trail map here


Expert Mountain Bike Trails on Cannock Chase

Name: Stile Cop Downhill Trail – Red Course

Distance: 65 metres

Terrain: The starting-point for all downhill trails at Cannock Chase. It is a smooth, fast-flowing course with a number of drops and jumps all the way down before ending on loose terrain which means you’ll have to stay focused until you come to a stop.


Name: Stile Cop Downhill Trail – Snakes ‘n’ Ladders

Distance: 65 metres

Terrain: Follow the Red Course round to the right and you’ll find the Snakes ‘n’ Ladders trail. As the name suggests it is a fast and flowing section with one dominant ladder drop and a snaking series of twists and turns.

Find out more about the Stile Cop Downhill trails at Cannock Chase here.


Cannock Chase Mountain Bike Events in 2018

There are numerous MTB events taking place throughout the year especially at a popular location like Cannock Chase.

One or two events are recurring endurance races such as the Run & Ride Cannock Chase MTB Series which takes place from February to October next year.

This series tests the skills of all adventurous mountain bikers from newbie right through to experienced downhill riders. It’s a great day out for the whole family as the kids can get involved and take part in the action.

Remember to keep an eye on the events page over at More Dirt for more event announcements throughout 2018!

Check out the full range of the very latest mountain bikes, clothing and equipment at GO Outdoors today.