A mountain bike ride is a wonderful way to explore the New Forest. The Forest is not the best place in the world to explore the extreme limits of man or machine though. Cyclists share the New Forest with walkers, horse riders, dogs and of course the livestock that roam freely. Not ideal, or recommended for fast and furious bike riding! Great for sightseeing and wonderfully relaxing, yes. But not if you want to get your adrenaline pumping.
If you do want to push yourself and your mountain bike a little harder. I can highly recommend Moors Valley Country Park and Forest. Ok, maybe the Moors Valley cycle trails are not hardcore enough for some. But for intermediate riders, the Moors Valley “Through the Forest” single track cycle trail is a very enjoyable way to pass an hour or two.
A 4.4 mile long circular, waymarked course, which twists and turns through the pine forest. Follow the blue markers and you will be fine. The route is lined with rocks to keep you on course and in many parts the trail is very narrow, with barely enough room to squeeze your handlebars through. So not for young kids and tag-a-longs. Moors Valley does have some other wider tracks more suitable for younger cyclists though.
Cycle hire is available too, so even if you forget your bike you can still have a go. Moors Valley is free to enter, and is situated just outside of the New Forest near Ringwood and Ashley Heath.
I highly recommend the “Through the Forest” trail. It’s a chance to ride sportily through a beautiful forest. There are other forest users about, so it is not a race track. But it is so refreshing to ride in a place where cyclists are encouraged to do so. If you want to have a little sport in the forest on your mountain bike, try Moors Valley.