Cycling in the New Forest

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. 

New Forest Cycling Guide

The New Forest is a working forest, with forestry, farming and equestrian activity on its narrow roads and tracks all year round.  Ponies, cattle and other animals are free to roam the forest and most of its roads.  Please follow our useful New Forest Cycling Guide to stay safe:

Know where to go

  • Use a map to check and plan your route.
  • Stay on the waymarked network marked with wooden posts.
  • Avoid the smaller, narrow pathways made by animals – using these can cause real damage to wildlife and nature.

Be aware and be safe

  • Be prepared to stop quickly – other cyclists, walkers, horse-riders and free roaming animals can be on the tracks at any time.
  • Obey all safety and diversion signs – some tracks may be temporarily closed for safety reasons.
  • Keep to a safe speed – look out for potholes, uneven surfaces, and cattle grids. 
  • Take care at underpasses – make sure they are clear and safe before entering.
  • Watch out for large forestry and farm vehicles on the tracks.

Look out and look after

  • Pass forest animals and horse-riders wide and slow.
  • Use your bell or call out a warning when passing other people – allow them plenty of room.
  • Take litter home.
  • Close gates behind you.
  • Respect the tranquillity of the Forest.

Electric bikes

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:


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.

Activity information

The network is easily accessible from railway stations at Ashurst, Brockenhurst and Sway and links the main new Forest Villages.