How to Find Hidden Trails

During lockdown lots of riders have found joy in their local trails that they perhaps overlooked when they had unlimited choice of riding spots. The other half of us have realised that we don’t in fact have any local trails. But maybe we do…

Mountain bikers often find a spot and decide that we want to keep it to ourselves, maybe it was built under some sketchy conditions or it’s simply a hidden gem that we don’t want to be ruined by mass footfall. Sometimes you just haven’t been involved with the people in the know.

Thanks to technology and the internet it’s becoming easier to find spots to ride locally. As long as you’re respectful of the privacy and don’t show up and start trashing the place there’s no reason why you can’t get in on the action. So how do we find them?

Word of mouth

Before anything you should be getting involved with local clubs, bike shops and ride crews If they exist. This is the purest form of finding local trails and you may even snag a riding buddy or two out of the whole deal. Winner

Trailforks

The Trailforks app is the ideal tool for finding trails, it’s maps the entire trail from start to finish including the grading.

Each trail you find on Trailforks will include the distance, climbing and descending in meters, trail type and trail features.

Trailforks is a subscription based app if you want access to more than just your local area but it’s a worthwhile one time purchase.

Komoot

Primarily you would use Komoot for planning those longer rides and for discovering ways to loop trails together.

Often you’ll find routes that have been put together by users that will include some hidden local gems. Have a look through local routes that riders have strung together and chances are you’ll discover something you didn’t know existed.

Strava (heatmaps)

For those of you that use Strava maybe it’s worth the upgrade to the premium subscription. This is the one I personally use the most and have found the most success with. Strava has a huge user base and each of these users are constantly providing valuable data based on where they ride. Strava display this information in the form of heat maps, highlighting high traffic areas. Using this it’s really easy to spot local spots that are being revisited over and over!

Good old fashioned exploring

If none of the above are working for you, why not just get in the saddle and purposefully go and get yourself nice and lost. Even if you don’t find an ‘trails’ as such, it’s a good excuse to work those core skills and really use your imagination to make some unsuspecting features into a spot to get those bunny hops or manuals up to scratch.

Do you have any other tips for finding those hidden trails? Let us know or get in touch, we love talking about all things MTB!

Happy Trails – Ben

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