The Sherwood Pines Blue Adventure Route is in effect a perimeter trail that skirts around the Sherwood Pines Forest Park in North Nottinghamshire. A national working forest, it is managed by the Forestry Commission.
Parking in the large car park our unofficial route begins at the benches outside the Pines Visitor Centre (PVC).
Facing the PVC we head right, past the cafe and down towards the tree line where we zig zag our way over a couple of fire trails toward the official Blue Route Start point.
You’ll want a low gear for the first 30ft. It’s a steep little kicker into the trees. Following the trail it hops in and out of the forest as we build some speed descending gently toward the western edge of the forest plantation.
A series of steep descents and moderate climbs fill your lungs and legs. There are a few moderately technical sections to be wary of, with tree roots and the odd hop of around 1ft possible. We slow down as we reach the Jump Park exit on our left and dismount as we clamber through two control gates (there for our safety!).
Great time to catch your breath…
Saddled up, rejoining the trail we begin a well-earned, moderate spin through some beautiful mixed woodland.
At Gate 20 we kick left (anticipate this turn, it’s easy to roll past), then rattle through a series of tight burms, across a fire trail and down along a clearing I’ve come to know as the ‘fast windy bit‘. Again, you’re likely to get a few inches of air, skipping over tree roots in these twisties before coming to a dead stop at control gates.
Cross the first gate, turn left then right to a second control. Halfway up this fire trail we get to our next Blue marker which is a right turn back under the canopy. Left at the bottom but be cautious, and chin up! We share a short stretch (approx 50 yds) with occasional oncoming cyclists blatting the Red Kitchener Trail towards us…
Our trail rambles up gradually before merging with the Green Family Trail. There’s a fast winding descent (30mph territory) to an adverse right-hander at the bottom. As this is the ‘Family Trail’ you can expect increased traffic with walkers, runners and children enjoying all kinds of tasseled dream machines, so PLEASE take this leg easy!
One last push climbs you back up and around the edge of the forest before gently rolling back down to the benches at the PVC… why not roll a few more feet into the cafe?… Hey! you deserve a cuppa & a slice of cake.
Fancy another run?
Be cautious if it’s your first time or your inexperienced, especially on the downhill sections in the first half of this trail. Where possible please give way to faster riders and if your slow or pulling up, please step off the trail.
It is wise to treat your first lap as a sighting lap and your second as a run at it. Even if you’re route familiar, a few weeks away from the trail and the surface can change considerably. Besides, your just getting warm after one lap!
Remember to keep your chin up for the possible oncoming cyclists after crossing the two service gates. Finally, the fast descent on the Green Family Route as it tends to be unpredictably shared with horses, wardens, walkers, runners, deer and there’s rumour – someone reports seeing a bear!
Average Pace 6.0mph
Duration Estimate 01h 25m
Total Ascent 538ft
Surface Type Mixed, mostly natural
Surface Condition Seasonally variable
Steepest Ascent +6.7% (at 2.3mi.)
Steepest Descent -8.9% (at 6.2mi.)
Total Uphill 3.5mi. (48%)
Total Downhill 3.2mi. (43%)
Grid Reference SK 61136 63708
Start Latitude 53.166990
Start Longitude -1.0869625
Nearest Post Code NG21 9JL
Sherwood Pines Blue Adventure Route is considered an intermediate trail and that is appropriate in my opinion. The terrain is mixed as are the challenges and obstacles it presents. It’s fun! and when your stabilisers are off, the Blue Route offers a testing tour of the Sherwood Pines Forest Park perimeter.
There’s lots of parking (machine paid or included in the Season Pass available from the PVC or online HERE).
A quality cafe sits next to the PVC and usually has something sweet for those of us who have to avoid gluten. Cafe also has a convenient outdoor service at the rear for solo riders who prefer not leave their wheels alone.
Seating, toilets and picnic areas are available all around the PVC, as are a host of other activities for the whole family to enjoy. Please go explore! Sherwood Pines Forest Park has a lot to offer.
This rating is subjective and out of 100, taking into account a unique set of criteria. Whether it’s a walk or ride I consider; Terrain Condition, Variety, Seclusion, Services/Pub, Exploration, Photography, Wildlife, Points of Interest, Natural Beauty & Wild Camp Potential. I assess difficulty based on distance and elevation profile (above).
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