A short spin up the road from Ashton Court and 50 Acre Wood, Ashton Hill Plantation (or Belmont to the locals) is a Forestry Commission woodland which contains a few informal XC trails and an area set aside for downhill riding. The woods are also heavily used by equestrians and walkers, which has led to some previous concerns over use by mountain bikes, so be polite to other users and expect the unexpected.
The main XC trail starts from the middle of the wood (accessed via the fire road along the top) and runs West, crossing three steep-sided valleys. None of the trails are surfaced and there are plenty of rocks, roots and awkward off-camber sections to keep things interesting.
The downhill area is on the right hand side of the fire road, as viewed from the car park, and contains a number of short tracks with some larger jumps, drops, rock gardens and a 15-foot road gap. Most features are now rollable, but not all, so walk a track before attempting it.
The DH tracks are currently being improved and expanded by the Belmont Riders Association. For more information about the different tracks and how to get involved with dig days there, head to http://belmontriders.wix.com/belmont-riders
Length: 1 mile (for the main XC trail)
Grade: Ungraded, but challenging (for the XC trails). DH area ungraded, but includes large jumps, gaps and doubles.
Surfacing: None – muddy when wet.
Direction: Main XC trail is best ridden clockwise from the car park.
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