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Cannock
#1
Couldn't see a post/review of Cannock anywhere so I thought I'd start a new thread.

I drove to Cannock and back on Saturday, it's a looooong slog from Hastings, but it was worth it.  The red route there has two options, Follow the Dog and Follow the Monkey.  The Monkey is basically an optional extra few KM that extends the Dog, they both start and finish over the same few km of trails, but I found all the best bits to be on the Monkey extension.

Lots of twisting and turning tight through the trees, in places it's very tight through the trees, my bars are 700mm and in a couple of places I really didn't think I was going to get through.  Would imagine a downhill rig with 800mm bars would just get wedged between the trees while you sailed over the handlebars...  Lots of switchback climbs and swoopy fast descents, you also have to cross a railway line and an A road as part of the loop, interesting to say the least... Was really impressed with all the little manmade features thrown into the trail, rock gardens, bits of north shore, nice big berms, all ride really well and make an interesting change from the natural, twisty bits through the woods.

Given that we rode there after months of heavy rain and snow (There were still a few patches of snow on the ground at the higher points this weekend) the trails were in very good condition.  As it's a trail centre there are the inevitable breaking  bumps cut into the trail ahead of a lot of the corners/rock gardens but generally the trail was riding very well.  Can only imagine it's even better after some dry, warm weather.

It's worth looking at as something to add onto a North Wales trip if you've never been, it's not that far from Coed Y brenin or Llandegla and on the way home (ish) think the full loop was just under 18km so similar to one of the shorter trails at Afan.
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#2
Yer I went there before on a road trip round the UK. Bit the other side of the road was best as you mention, I repeated the final descent that side by going straight back up the fireroad.
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#3
I would have loved to repeat that Lower Cliff descent down to the road, but halfway down I got really bad cramp in my thigh  :'(
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#4
Found my old thread, Cannock was the first one I mentioned, photo links dead atm, I did the xc in the morning then went to the nearby downhill area for the afternoon

http://www.sketchymtb.co.uk/Blah.pl?m-1285016342/
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#5
I regularly ride at Cannock when I am up nearby for work.

The trails are hardpacked so stay good all year round - though the grit will get your shorts and brake pads when it is raining.

I love the final section of the Monkey Trail, lower cliff.  Once you get to the bottom you can just ride back up the fire road and ride it again if you want.

As i normally go after work (and the car park shuts at dusk) there are two free parking areas you can use.

First is Marquis Drive - lots of people park here (dog walkers etc) the road runs parallel with the fireroad section running to the last sections of Follow the Dog.  If you are going at night then i would regard this as the safest place to leave your car at dusk due to people being around


52.738287, -1.997796

52.738287, -1.997796

The alternative which is better for the Monkey Trail is here.  Its normally empty between 3 and 6pm, after that the groups of night riders start arriving - as it is so quiet I have heard there have been break ins (and it seems like you are abandoning your car to me here!)


52.733571, -1.965620

52.733571, -1.965620
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