Friston Forest Mountain Bike Trails

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3.6 (17)
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9 reviews with 4 stars

17 reviews

 
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(10)
 
(2)
 
(1)
 
(2)
Overall rating 
 
3.6
Grin Factor 
 
4.1  (16)
Trail Variety 
 
3.7  (16)
Skills Development 
 
3.5  (17)
Trail Quality  
 
3.7  (16)
Facilities 
 
2.7  (15)
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Ratings
Grin Factor
Level of fun had, or to be had
Trail Variety
Variety of specific trail or overall trail centre. Mix of obstacles, berms, jumps, drops, shore etc.
Skills Development
Did it develop or push your skills and leave you with more to come back and learn
Trail Quality
Are the trails well built /maintained using sustainable techniques?
Facilities
From cafe post ride grub to bike wash. Did it meet your expectations?
User Review
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9 results - showing 1 - 9
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great natural riding, proper fun. sticky when wet
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
Facilities 
 
4.0
Please respect other trail users. It's a public area for walkers / dogs/ horses. Let's live in peace together. Say Hi. Have a chat, enjoy the day out.

User Review

Good Points
Great single track in a beautiful setting. No uplifts of course, no massive berms or drops, just great natural riding with some sensitively built additions. It's "self assisted" to the top each time, so it's a workout. Downhills are short but fun and can be testing - it's speed dependent. Friston is brilliant both up and down, flying between (and sometimes into) the trees, testing nerves on the bomb-holes. Plenty of flow and some very nice berms.
The Saltmarsh café by the carpark is good, delicious coffee and salads / cakes. Take a lock, though, as bikes are not allowed in the yard. It gets very busy on a nice weekend too.
Best to park on the official carpark. The Forestry Commission Discovery pass is good value for frequent visitors - it allows all year parking for one fee and saves messing with the machines every visit (otherwise take at least 4 pound coins for the picky machines). Pay by phone is easier but reception is poor to nonexistent in the carpark.
Useful map here, I prefer the "realistic" one: http://www.sxmtbstmaps.co.uk/rmap.html
Bad Points
Natural surface trails so its clay South Downs mud and very claggy when its been wet. Dealing with the wet roots takes some learning.
Most tracks are not marked but the "red" is and it leads to many other trails.
Those new to the area could miss much of it - so explore, enjoy. After 18 months exploration I am still discovering trails.
Would you recommend?
Yes
NB
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Brilliant forest fun
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
1.0
I love this place

User Review

Good Points
Great single track in a beautiful setting. No uplifts, no jcb crafted berms, just nature at its best. It's a workout. It's not a heroic downhill trip, but it's brilliant up and down, tree swerving, bombhole blasting peice of heaven.
Bad Points
No facilities. Most tracks not marked. Us locals have a blast but visitors could miss much of it or just get lost. Find some locals to guide you.
Would you recommend?
Yes
GM
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Great trails but can get sticky when wet
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.0
Skills Development 
 
3.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
4.0
Love it.

User Review

Good Points
Nice flowing trails with varying degrees of speed attainable. Nothing steep and long but some fun short "DH" runs off the Southern bank. Takes some time to explore and find the trails. The marked red route is a good way to recce the area if a little easy going. Youll pass a lot of singletrack entrances to the woods from that trail. Try them out. Good maps available on t'internet! Google Firston mtb trails. There's a friendly Facebook group too.
Parking is easy at the visitor centre carpark just North of the coast road, ticket machines can be a pain and mobile signal poor to pay by phone. Take £4.00 in coins and maybe a spare or two in case they get rejected.
Good cafe, The Salrmarsh, great coffee and I love their salads post ride - it gets incredibly busy on sunny wekends (cant take bikes into garden so carry a lock or leave in car).
Bad Points
Currently (early 2017) the area to the North of the valley access track is pretty cut up by forestry work. The tree clearance will eventually mena better trails and a healthier forest but bear that in mind. Some trails are virtually obliterated in parts.
It can get very muddy.
Carpark pay machines can swallow your cash and fail to issue a ticket, or refuse coins. If younlose your cash, try find the ranger, he'll issue a hand written ticket for that day (only) to compensate. Theres no number to call about problems.
Parking on passing point at the side of the road towards the village is not great for locals. So, really its paid parking, some of the fee goes towards maintenance so it's not all bad.
Would you recommend?
Yes
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Lots of flow, natural feeling trails.
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
4.0
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
4.5
I often come away from Friston feeling as if I've been reminded why I love riding offroad.

User Review

Good Points
Wonderful, flowing, natural singletrack in stunning woodland. What more do you want ?
Bad Points
Doesn't ride that well when wet, many of the better trails are off the waymarked red route & hard to find without guidance.
Would you recommend?
Yes
JS
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spoilt for choice
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
2.5
Trail Quality  
 
5.0
Facilities 
 
2.5
In the rain or dry, day or night Fristion is an amazing place to ride! We are all very lucky to have such a awesome place to pretend we are Danny Hart

User Review

Good Points
Loads of trails new and old still seeking them out. DH to gentle riding. Some great climbs and excellent bomb holes to play in.
Bad Points
toilet facilities are only sited at the main car pack
Would you recommend?
Yes
L
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Overall rating 
 
4.2
Grin Factor 
 
5.0
Trail Variety 
 
5.0
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
3.5
Facilities 
 
2.0

User Review

Good Points
Massive variety of trails and good for every rider
Would you recommend?
Yes
J
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Trails for all levels
Overall rating 
 
3.6
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
3.5
Skills Development 
 
4.0
Trail Quality  
 
3.5
Facilities 
 
1.5
Trying not to repeat what other's have said -

Trail variety is not too bad.
DH - There are a number of DH routes on the A259 side of the forest, some with some seriously big drops.
Pump & Jump - There's a very small pump track hidden at the bottom of the DH runs, along with half a dozen fair-sized some dirt jumps - all in a line, so it's short-lived until you ride back to the start.
XC - The singletrack has been unofficially developed by a number of trail fairy gangs, and there's a lot to ride now. A map or local guide is a must, as you need to know where to look. Especially in the autumn when the trails all but disappear. https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/201201229992950/
It used to be that you had to ride to the top for a decent run, but now there are trails starting much lower down, which is great for introducing newbies to the sport.

Skills development - There are a number of local clubs in the area (Cycle Seahaven, Friston MTB, Sussex Muddy Arse, Lewes HighRollers) who can give you guidance, including the on-site bike-hire place that offers coaching and leader training. http://www.cuckmere-cycle.co.uk/ Also check out semb.co who are getting great reviews for their training in and around Friston Forest http://southeastmountainbiking.co.uk/

Trail Quality - If you like natural trails then the quality of these is superb. Some of the routes wind through trees and over stumps so you have to keep your wits about you. Others are fast and flowy, and some are tight and twisty. If you prefer crushed stone, managed drainage and all-weather surfaceing then you're going to disapointed.

Facilities - there's a water tap and toilets hidden in the middle of the visitor centre complex (you gotta walk 50 yards), and the local Tea Rooms charge like a wounded rhino. All qite a way from the main trails. Oh for a bacon van and mug of tea at the trail head. The local bike/hire shop charge far too much to use their jet wash (£2 a pop!! It should be a quid for one or two bikes), and 2hrs in the carpark are £3.50. It's a very small carpark, so you may not even get in during bank holidays. There's another carpark at Buthcers Hole - zero facilites (except a pay and display machine).

The trails are under constant (unoffical) development, and this is a hidden gem of a place. Get a local to show you round and you WILL be back for more.

User Review

Good Points
Damned tricky in the wet in places, so good for skills.
Lots of love given by locals to keep the trails running sweetly.
Loads of trails of varying difficulty. Many suitable for novices.
Bad Points
Damned tricky in the wet in places, so bad for novices
Most trails unnofical, so watch out for sabotage by non-cyclists, e.g. logs on trails and branches across the trail at various heights.
Trail crossings not thought out, so watch for walkers and horses.
All loam and chalk, so no rock gardens.
Very few alpine switchbacks
Very badly signposted. To be expected, though - all the best routes are unoffical.
No planned progression for jumps, ie. nothing to learn on. Could do with some beginners tabletops in a didicated area.
Would you recommend?
Yes
H
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Overall rating 
 
4.1
Grin Factor 
 
4.5
Trail Variety 
 
3.5
Skills Development 
 
4.5
Trail Quality  
 
4.0
Facilities 
 
3.5
A great mix of natural singletrack with obstacles (usually bomb craters) of varying difficulty. There are four or five main trails between 0.8 and 2 miles in length with many detours on each so they can be ridden differently each time. There are some downhill runs on the steep side of the forest near the A259. Toilets can be found at the Forestry Commision run car parks. A café provides great lunches, coffees etc at the barn along with bike hire at the shop next to it.

User Review

Good Points
Great trails well maintained by local volunteers.
Friendly locals.
Trails great for beginners through to experienced riders. (most obstacles have 'chicken runs')
No climbs are too steep so everything is ridable.
Bad Points
Very muddy after prolonged rainy spells.
Not sign posted (some of the craters suddenly appear on the other side of bushes!).
Horse riders and walkers use the forest as well so caution must be shown.
Would you recommend?
Yes
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Friston trails
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Grin Factor 
 
4.0
Trail Variety 
 
3.0
Skills Development 
 
5.0
Trail Quality  
 
3.0
Facilities 
 
3.0
Friston has a lot to offer with regards to trail riding, with new trails being built over the last three years which has joined up many of the best best parts of the forest. These new trail have allowed the local riders to improve their riding along with local trainers South East Mountain Biking. The grin factor has gone up by ten fold and the number of riders has gone up to match.

User Review

Good Points
Varied natural trails, challenging, fast when dry and even more challenging when wet.
Bad Points
Only one marked trail.
Would you recommend?
Yes
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9 results - showing 1 - 9