Cycling in the New Forest
Explore the New Forest on two wheels!
We have more than 100 miles of waymarked family-friendly cycle routes, much of it off the public highway and traffic-free. There are plenty of places to hire bikes.
Off-road cycling is only permitted on certain routes in the New Forest. Download the cycle map (located in the activity information box on this page) before you visit.
For more adventurous cyclists, there are purpose-built mountain bike circuits at Moors Valley Country Park, Ringwood.
Follow the New Forest Cycle Code
The New Forest is a working forest, with forestry, farming and equestrian activity on its narrow roads and tracks. Ponies, cattle and other animals are free to roam the forest and most of its roads. Please follow both the Highway Code and the New Forest Cycling Code:
- Ride positively and well clear of uneven road edges but with consideration for other road-users. To allow vehicles to overtake safely, leave gaps for them to pull into and move into single file when necessary and safe to do so. Never ride more than two abreast.
- Off road, cycle only on the waymarked network of tracks, bridleways, byways, restricted byways and designated routes.
- Use a map to plan your route and try to be off Forest tracks by sunset
- Be polite to others.
- When passing people and animals, use your bell or call out a warning and allow them plenty of room. Be prepared to stop if necessary.
- Do not drop litter or feed the animals; human food and litter are a danger to them.
- Close gates behind you so the animals don’t stray.
- Respect the quiet of the Forest.
- Pass animals slowly and to one side if possible.
- Take extra care near horse riders; a kick or fall from a horse could be fatal. Be prepared to stop. Use your bell or call out a friendly warning well in advance. When it is safe, pass wide and at walking pace, to one side only. Look out for any reaction from the horse.
- Keep to a safe speed, on and off road, particularly on narrow lanes, steep hills and bends. Look out for pot holes, poor surfaces and cattle grids.
- Look out for and obey safety signs. Do not pass large vehicles and trailers until you know it is safe to do so.
- Ensure you are visible by wearing bright or reflective clothing. Use lights after dark and in poor daytime visibility.
- Avoid the use of earphones.
As with any type of cycling, an electrically assisted pedal cycle (EAPC), electric bike or e-bike is only allowed on designated cycle routes. We urge people to behave responsibly and considerably, respecting other users as well as the New Forest Code. All e-bikes ridden on cycle tracks in the New Forest have to be fully EAPC compliant.
An EAPC must have pedals that can be used to propel it and the electric motor must only have a maximum power output of 250 watts and should not be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph. Find out more about EAPC legislation: https://www.gov.uk/electric-bike-rules
Organised events require permission from Forestry England.
If you are taking part in an organised event, follow the additional instructions to minimise your impact. Help us to protect this special place.