Winter trails – where to ride when conditions get bad!

Ride Sheffield volunteers have been working hard to prepare the trails for the winter….

Having had a summer California would be proud of, it’s difficult to make the transition to a winter mindset. That nagging sense of doubt has yet to infiltrate your mind – will the weather catch me out? What to wear, where to go, what tyres?

Which is probably why you won’t thank me for this article. I’m going to mention bad weather, mud and sludge, things that are about as popular with mountain bikers as wandering unaware into an eBike debate on the internet.

But it needn’t be a depressing topic of conversation. Pre-planning for the forthcoming winter is a great way to share ideas and ensure that just because things have gone bit pear-shaped weather-wise doesn’t mean you can’t ride.

Let’s be frank, this is a bit of a thorny issue for mountain bikers. There are those who revel in a dirty winter ride and enjoy bringing a measurable proportion of the Peak District back on their clothes and bike. And it’s fair to say that most of us want to continue riding through the long winter months, whatever the weather.

A clear drain makes for a clean trail!

But it’s crucial that we understand the impact we have. Many peaty or unmanaged trails become quagmires in the winter and all user groups should consider carefully the damage they do by using them.

Thankfully, there are alternatives, and we should carefully consider our routes before heading out. I’m not going to provide example itineraries but simply list possible wet-weather options for the coming months.




Built trails

A growing number of trails exist within striking distance of Sheffield that are professionally built and maintained. Click the venue for more info:

Lady Cannings

Parkwood Springs

Greno Woods

Glapwell Trail

Leeds Urban Bike Park


Charnock Pump Track – Only ride after a couple of dry days, does soften when wet.


Peak District Trails


Eastern Moors Loop

Devil’s Elbow

Piper House Gate


Stanage Causeway/Plantation

Fox Hagg

Green Drive


The Beast

Jacob’s Ladder

Jumbles Road

Lots of trails around Ladybower!