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Trail magic in the Midlands — Cannock Chase and Stile Cop MTB

Katherine Moore

Trail magic in the Midlands — Cannock Chase and Stile Cop MTB

Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore

5

Tours

03:51 h

26.3 mi

2,075 ft

Cannock Chase is a well-known and very popular trail centre to the north of Birmingham, and for good reason. There really is something for everyone here, with family-friendly green trails around the ponds right the way up to gnarly black-rated sections for advanced riders, and everything in between including red and blue routes.

Perry’s Trail, Follow The Dog and The Monkey Trail are all well signposted with named trail segments along the way that will either make you chuckle or fill you with dread (I’m thinking of Insidious Incline and The Lung Buster)!

While the red-rated Follow The Dog and The Monkey Trail are somewhat classics of the mountain biking world, the blue Perry’s Trail was only built in 2021, in preparation for hosting the Commonwealth Games. This immaculate, smooth and flowing trail is a real favourite for riders of all levels, being easy enough for beginners and a lot of fun at speed for more advanced skillsets too.

The Birches Valley trail centre is a great hub for riding out in Cannock Chase, with plentiful parking; a fantastic cafe; Grounds, with both indoor and outside seating; toilets; and a bike shop and hire centre at Cannock Chase Cycle Centre.

For the more adrenaline-seeking, experienced riders in search of something even more challenging, there’s an array of downhill tracks at Stile Cop, a short ride or drive from the main trail centre. These range from reds to blacks and jump lines. Originally dug by local volunteers at Chase Trails, these are now maintained by the Racers Guild. As per usual with more technical riding, full face helmets and body protection are recommended if you choose to ride at Stile Cop.

While the Cannock Chase Forest trail centre is most regularly accessed by car, the local train station at Rugeley Town is only 2.6 miles (4.3 km) away, and an easy ride thanks to the traffic-free Heritage Trail cycleway. The trails at Cannock Chase are free to ride, though you’ll need to pay for parking if you arrive by car or van.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Fairoak trail (green) — Cannock Chase and Stile Cop MTB Trails

    Easy
    00:22
    2.70 mi
    7.3 mph
    150 ft
    150 ft
    Easy mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Suitable for all skill levels.

    A gentle warm-up, a family-friendly lap of the pools with small children or the perfect picnic ride: the green-rated Fairoak trail at Cannock Chase is an easy 2.7 mile (4.36 km) ride for everyone.

    

    Starting from the trailhead with maps on show, the whole route follows wide gravel roads, with the exception

    by Katherine Moore

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  • Intermediate
    00:19
    2.62 mi
    8.4 mph
    125 ft
    150 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Built in 2021 to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the blue-rated Perry's Trail is a new addition to Cannock Chase Forest.

    

    For the most part, the trail is smooth and well surfaced, though there are a few rock slab features to navigate along the way. A hardtail or full suspension mountain bike would be

    by Katherine Moore

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  • Intermediate
    00:55
    6.26 mi
    6.8 mph
    450 ft
    450 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Follow The Dog might just be the most popular trail at Cannock Chase: a red-rated loop that measures 6.3 miles (10.2km) long from the trail centre.

    

    Rock gardens, drops and roots await along this brilliant loop, with plenty to challenge intermediate-level mountain bikers.

    

    The very first section heads out

    by Katherine Moore

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  • Intermediate
    01:57
    13.0 mi
    6.7 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    For a grand day out from Birches Valley, tack on the 6.8-mile (11-km) Monkey Trail loop to the Follow The Dog for an even greater singletrack challenge. As it essentially doubles the length of a single red loop on Follow The Dog, I’d really recommend taking snacks for a mid-ride fuel here.

    

    While both

    by Katherine Moore

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  • Intermediate
    00:18
    1.70 mi
    5.6 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The Stile Cop trails may be just a stone's throw from the main Cannock Chase Forest trails, but they have a very different flavour indeed.

    

    Named after the hillside they're built on, these trails are lovingly built and cared for by the Racers Guild, who work in partnership with Forestry England.

    

    The Stile

    by Katherine Moore

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    26.3 mi
  • Duration
    03:51 h
  • Elevation
    2,075 ft

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