Kielder forest has a huge amount of high quality mountain bike trails. There is something for all levels of ability with skills sections, blue/red/black graded trails and some entertaining off piste riding. One of the original sections of trail is near the Border Stane, a huge rock that sits on the English/Scottish border and acts as a marker point for the cross border trails that link Newcastleton and Kielder.
The section that leads from the Border Stane to the main Bloodybush trail on the English side has had a huge amount of resurfacing done by recreational manager Alex Maclennan of Foretry England. The logistics of getting the raw materials up to this remote setting must be a headache in itself but then specialist machinery is used to put it in place. After a lot of hard work there is now a new surface ready to be ridden that can last another few years.
I went up yesterday to check it out and it reminded me just how good this section is. It’s pretty much all up hill and it’s known as a rocky and rough ride that requires skill and brute force. With the new surface a lot of the rough stuff has been smoothed out although a bit of rain will have it all bedded in nicely. We must find a way of putting this section in to the Deadwater 100 next year, it’s just a shame that the board walk that follows can’t really be used due to the risk of it being wet. Luckily there is a forest road to cross that can link in to other parts of the forest.
So if you’re taking some quality recreation in a chance to get outdoors then you can do a lot worse than visit the vast expanse of Kielder forest and get those legs spinning. Even the popular trails are hardly popular by Hammsterley Forest standards and if you seek out gems like the Bloodybush trails then you’re pretty much guaranteed to have the place to yourself. Enjoy.