Cycling and mountain biking in the Forest of Dean

From just starting out, to pro rider, there is something for everyone. Here are some top tips to ensure you have a great visit:

Updated 22nd February 2024

Check where you can ride

The varied terrain and scenery in the Forest of Dean make it an ideal place to cycle. The Forest of Dean Cycle Centre is the hub of cycling in the Forest of Dean and provides a range of progressive single track trails to demanding downhill runs, and it also provides a link to the family cycle trail which is the perfect way to explore the wider forest.

Help us protect the nation's forests by cycling on stone-surfaced forest roads, formal waymarked cycle trails and bridleways. 


Be prepared

Understand the skill level required to ride the trail, walk through sections if needed. Use our progressive skills areas to build skill level and confidence, make sure you are prepared for your ride make sure you have well-fitting protective equipment, a first aid kit, charged mobile phone and water.  

Familiarise yourself with the area you are riding make sure you know where you are in relation to nearby landmarks such as emergency marker posts, should you or others need emergency assistance.


Be respectful

The forest is shared and for everyone's enjoyment, slow down, give way and be kind. Our waymarked trails are designed and built by riders just like you, to make sure they are fun and safe for all Forest users, they are regularly inspected and maintained. In the wider forest there may be children, dogs, and horses so give way, make space and be kind.  It is Our Shared Forest.

Creating your own trails or features is illegal. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 provides legal protection for the natural environment including making it an offence to interfere with badger setts and disturb protected species (many species of birds for example). The Forestry Commission also has a set of byelaws which makes it a specific offence to build trails without the landowners consent. Digging, cutting and constructing disrupts soil, changes watercourses, and disturbs wildlife. The forest is home to many special and rare species, that you may not always see or hear please be mindful and respect that the forest is their home too.


Clean bikes, healthy trails

Tree disease is becoming increasingly common and is putting our forest at risk. Some diseases have no cure, and so we have to cut down trees which are infected. This changes the landscape of the forest, and can affect our trails. Washing the mud from your bike between rides can help limit the spread of these diseases. Find out more here.


Don't be a rubbish visitor
Take home your litter and dispose or recycle responsibly, litter can cause animals to get entangled, stuck or injured. It can also be ingested which creates health problems for the animals including depleting their nutrients and blocking their stomachs. Plastics and toxins can also enter water sources which are consumed by animals and humans!


Get involved and give back
Forestry England continue to support cycling and work together with the mountain bike community via groups such as the Dean Trail Volunteers (DTV) to improve and maintain the trail network.  You can report unauthorised trails, dangerous features or trail issues to our team by contact us on