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Wakerley Woods - Northamptonshire

Jan 24, 2015
by Peak Leaders  
There are a fantastic array of riding spots in the UK. From North to South, you're usually never far from a hill to ride down. However, if you happen to live in the Midlands there is a lack of quick access to any decent purpose built trail or natural terrain on a decent gradient. Usually you need at least an hour in the car before you can get your tyres dirty. Yet, tucked away in the not so deep valleys of Northamptonshire is the 'Scar Tree Trail' in Wakerley woods, just off the A47.

Wakerley Woods
January Blues

Wakerley Woods

Redeveloped last year from an old red route that suffered during the wetter months, the new surfaced blue (intermediate difficulty) trail runs well throughout the year. Although not massively lengthy (just over 3.5km), finding any kind of MTB specific singletrack like this in the East Midlands is a rarity. 'Flow' is the central theme at Wakerley, with a plentiful supply of berms and rollers to keep you entertained along the tight wooded singletrack.

Wakerley Woods
Purpose built and free of traffic

Wakerley Woods
Plenty of berms to keep you entertained

Although there there is only a gentle gradient, the uphill switchbacks get the blood flowing, and you are rewarded with tight turns and berms fun enough to leave even more experienced riders with a grin on their face! If you keep an eye out, you can also find the remnants of the old red trail to be found if you look hard enough to provide that extra spice to keep things interesting.

Wakerley Woods

Wakerley Woods
'Off-piste' tech is there if you look hard enough

If you are based in the East Midlands and don't want to spend long in the car, Wakerley is a great option for a blast. Although there aren't many facilities there (other than toilets), you can also find Fineshade woods just across the road, another outdoor centre complete with bike shop and visitors centre. It has a few short blue sections of trail around a fireroad loop, but is much easier so a good option if you find Wakerley too much.

For more info head over to Forestry Commission Website or check out trailforks!


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12 Comments

  • 7 0
 I was one of the contractors who built the trail, it's great to see it in use and vedged up.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/10344454
  • 3 0
 This is also my local spot, its a f*cking travesty what happened to the red route. It gets built, ridden, then disowned by the FC as they didn't want to attract bikers to the area. WHY BUILD IT IN THE FIRST PLACE???
Go there on a weekend and the car park is packed with riders, yet the trail has been reduced down to a 3.5km rolling blue (no offence gandalfsdad)
I wouldn't describe any of it as off-piste tech, even the trail pixie sections or the off piste over the road at Fineshade.
Don't go expecting great things, when its dry (or frozen) its quick, the berms are fun, but its waaaaay too short.
  • 3 0
 Non taken olliethehut everyone cares about there local spot.

I don't know much about the old red graded Scartree trail, but judging from what we saw at the time, I think from todays standards of what constitutes Red or Blue (and the considered view of every other rider) it probably wouldn't be considered red or red enough. So even though we did add rock features here and there, the new trail will encourage new to intermediate riders, whilst giving more experienced riders such as yourself a quick blast after work.

What I can say is having met the local FC team before we started in 2013, is that the proposed new route was in response to rider complaints that for large periods of the year, due to ground conditions, lack of elevation and natural drainage the old Scartree wasn't rideable over several sections, in particular the field edge side. As I understood it the decision to rock armour the trail was to provide a sustainable riding venue all year round, specifically to attract more riders, the design brief thereafter was to build something that was fast and flowing, but more importantly put some fun back in, it genuinely was done with the best intentions. I take your point though, it's not the longest, unfortunately I think that's all they had available to work with due to other constraints.
  • 1 0
 The old red isn't dead yet...

(but yeah, it was never really a red).

And the less said about the current attitude of the FC to Wakerley the better...
  • 4 0
 this is my local spot, pretty good worth a visit if into a cruise and just want have fun
  • 4 0
 Nice. Not far from me. Will check it out. Not everyone can live on the side of 3000m+ mountains
  • 1 0
 I am so upset. The scar tree trail has been closed by Forestry Commission due to insufficient funding and bad conditions. All that hard work that people put into to building the trail gone forever.
  • 2 0
 Six roots equals 'off-piste tech'? Come again!?
  • 4 0
 If you ride in the east midlands it does
  • 2 0
 Explains why there are so many road riders round that way.
  • 1 0
 There's a fair bit more off-piste stuff than that if you know where to look... Admittedly nothing properly 'tech' other than slick roots, but a fair bit of nice twisty wooded singletrack if that floats your boat.
  • 1 0
 Looks like super tech to me





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