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Cannock Chase

AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
edited January 2008 in MTB rides
im off to cannock chase tommorrow, anyone know much about it? how long are the trails, how steep are the climbs? im just dong xc type stuff.



  • Follow the Dog XC starting at the Visitor Centre is around 5/6 miles long with a couple of longer climbs about 500 metres long though neither are particularly steep nor technical, easy if slightly painful middle ring stuff. There are a couple of small climbs (about 3 metres in height) with 'interestingly' located roots which can be a censored to clear if wet, and you are tired. Other than that, FTD is well signed and an easy to ride course that you can make tougher just by adding speed.

    Only problem I had is finding the start which has been diverted due to some forestry work. Ignore the large Start / Finish area, and head out of Birches Valley visitor centre onto road and turn left, along the road for about 80 meters to wide track on left. Continue on this to a fork where you bear left through a stream, around a metal gate thing by a house, and then watch for a signed right turn which starts the course proper - Can someone please confirm these directions?

    There is another cross country course being built, but I can't comment on that.
  • Watch out for sketchy sections where its a mix of really hard packed dirt with apple sized pebbles pounded in, sketchy when dry/ scary when wet.

    Best section is after a muddy plough along a fire road about 3/4 of the way around (fire road goes UP/Down a little) then near to its end you will see the road up ahead with Metal gate, just before the gate the trail begins off to the right. This is the best section with a few really well place berms to maintain your speed through.

    Parking at the birches valley centre £2 I think, ignore signs for forest visitor centre as this is a different place and not what your looking for.

    Bike shop with wash on site and there used to be a sarni shop which did awesome saus/egg butties, BUT I'm sure I read about 6 months ago that it was closed, But it may have opened back up?

    Should take around 1 hour or so (more if your unfit, less if very fit) so easy to do a second loop if your travelling up from somewhere OR if your from oop north you could always do a lap of F.T.D then skip over to Macc forest and do a blast around there!

    Sore ribs.................I must start walking the trail 1st before steep descents into the unknown!
  • You'd best ask some locals to be shown the good stuff at the north end of the chase, there's miles of hidden single track which is much better than FtD IMHO. There's some on the way to the downhill area as well if you know where to look
  • Agreed, a mate showed me some of the trailings including one called 'monkey run' or something like that. They are better than FtD but without signs, you do need a fair bit of local knowledge or local mates. I was a new one that seems to finish half way down Abraham's Valley - have you seen this one?
  • a new one that seems to finish half way down Abraham's Valley - have you seen this one?

    500m before the one your talking about starts at a big fire road junction is the end of the best section on the whole chase, but I'll have to find the start of this unofficial route as it rides best one way with this being at the end of it.
  • Might be Cannocking tomorrow, so will reckie the area.
  • lm_treklm_trek Posts: 1,470
    Im heading there tomorrow morning, i have some local knowledge if anyone fancies a ride?? will be at birches valley riding a Trek 6500, oh i drive a blue citreon with anyone turns up looking for me!!
  • Was over there this morning, but had a slight mechanical (snapped bolt in front mech) and had to limp back to the car earlier than expected :(
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    well, cheers for the advice, i went for the ride with a mate and a few of his pals and had an absolute blast, i dont know how the trail compares to the rest of the country's trail centres but i thought it was the biz.

    i have only ridden thetford, chicksands and a bit of the SDW and cannock was by far the best day out ive had, i cant wait to get back up there.

    we did the ftd route then went down the dh route (verry gingerly i might add!!) then came back including part of the route used for the race series which takes place there (i think)

    next time i go back up, if there are any local riders available, i'd appreciate some route guidance. (be aware though, i'm a right big baby)
  • Probably best to post nearer the time. Someone is bound to be available!!
  • lm_treklm_trek Posts: 1,470
    I ride most sundays from BV at 8.30am, with a few other guys from another forum linky so check us out, and come and join, we generally have a good laugh and there is always places to ride, some weekends we ride other places but 2 out of 4 weekends on the chase
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