Cumbria’s first purpose-built ‘black’ grade mountain bike trail launched at Grizedale Forest

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The first purpose-built ‘black’ grade mountain bike trail in Cumbria has been launched with a special ceremony at the Forestry Commission’s Grizedale Forest.

The downhill trail, which is more than a kilometre long, was built by a small team of passionate and dedicated volunteers who are mountain biking enthusiasts, supported by the Grizedale Mountain Bikes team and the Forestry Commission’s recreation ranger.

The volunteers behind building the trail were presented with an annual car parking pass for Grizedale Forest in appreciation of their work, at the event on Friday, 30th March. There were also speeches at the ceremony which saw the first riders test out the latest addition to Grizedale’s excellent mountain biking infrastructure.

Mountain bike trails are graded by colour in a similar way to ski runs – green, blue, red and black – with black being the most difficult and suited only to experienced riders.

The black trail adds to the existing mountain biking and cycling trail network at Grizedale, which includes the 16km-long red grade North Face Trail, a plethora of exciting bridleways, several way-marked family bike trails on the forest road system, and the Grizedale Mountain Bikes’ bike hire and shop.

Katie Jarvis, Forestry Commission recreation ranger at Grizedale Forest, said: “It is great to be able to launch a new mountain biking trail at Grizedale. We already have a strong reputation within the sport as being a great destination for mountain biking and this trail offers something different to the trails already in the forest.

“We are now able to offer great trails to suit all levels of riders, from families with children on our forest road routes, the cross-country mountain bikers with the North Face Trail and bridleways, and now the more experienced riders and downhill adrenaline-junkies with the new black route.

“We would like to say a huge thanks to all the volunteers who have given up their free time to create this trail and I hope they and other bikers have great fun riding it now and over many years into the future.”

Lee Rayton, of Grizedale Mountain Bikes, led the volunteer trail building. He said: “Everyone has put a tremendous amount of work in over many months into creating the new trail. It is great to see it finally finished and it adds a new dimension to the riding available here at Grizedale Forest and the Lake District.”

One great way to enjoy Grizedale throughout the year is by getting a Discovery Pass which also costs far less than a gym membership. For only £40 a year, this entitles you to free parking within the forest, 10 per cent off items in the visitor centre shop, 20 per cent off Go Ape high wire adventure courses on weekdays during term time and a saving of £24 on adult membership of the CTC (the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation) as well as other benefits.

For more information about Grizedale please visit For more information about Grizedale Mountain Bikes visit