The North Face Trail is our dedicated single-track mountain bike route. It is graded as a red route and to ride it requires hiring a premium bike. It is made up of 9 sections forming an amazing 10-mile circuit, interwoven with the gravel tracks. As a guide a red graded route is described by British Cycling as, “being suitable for fit and technically proficient mountain bikers. Expect a reasonably significant amount of climbing, plenty of single-track and, depending on the terrain, some fast and technically challenging descending. Trail surfaces will be rough with exposed roots and rocks. Trail features such as jumps, berms, drop-offs and boardwalk sections should also be expected although generally, on red grade trails, most of these should be rollable.” This is a good and accurate description of the North face trail with all sections being rollable. The first section in particular forms an interesting 1.3mile technical climb through the trees. This section requires a higher degree of skill on a mountain bike than the other sections and for beginners is worth skirting around using the gravel trails. The last section however, is a lovely downhill single track and is worth a go for most people confident on a bike.
To attempt this trail you will need a PREMIUM Bike, fat bike or a full suspension mountain bike. These bikes are better designed for the rigors of a rocky technical terrain, and are all equipped with Rockshox air sprung forks, XT rear derailleur (or similar), Deore front derailleur (or similar), and hydraulic disc brakes.
If you’re an experienced rider you may want to check out ‘The Black’. But be warned its only for the very experienced!