The Isle of Man is renowned as a destination for its motorbike history however its two wheeled companion, the mountain bike (MTB) is growing in popularity thanks to the Island’s increasing network of MTB trails. Many are hidden gems!
Having ridden at the best trail centres, resorts and award winning locations across Europe, the Isle of Man still has something special to offer. The trails here will take you through truly unspoilt natural scenery offering a different perspective on the Island’s landscape.
For riders new to mountain biking I recommend starting at Conrhenny plantation, only a short drive from the iconic Creg-Ny-Baa pub in the east of the Island. Here you will find an entertaining mix of flowing fire roads and blue grade features in the single track through the trees. The trails are well marked and easy to navigate when following the arrows.
pedal to progression
If you’re looking for a longer route with a mix of climbing and technical single track, requiring basic navigation, my next option could be the route for you.
Beginning in the coastal town of Peel, ride from the prom along the quayside towards the Kipper Factory. Join the disused railway line until you reach St. John’s. Once you’ve made it past the old railway station keep an eye out for the next gate and once you reach it turn right up the Seven Gates climb. Upon reaching the top enjoy your view before heading into the trees of Archallagan Plantation. Whilst in ‘Archie’ there are a range of trails from smooth to rooty to discover and explore! Don’t forget to save some energy for the ride back to Peel!
If you’re searching for adrenaline and challenge, the Three Legs Route has it all for the experienced rider. Starting from the ‘Round Table’ junction (A36 meets A27) the ride begins with a descent alongside the A27 through Glen Rushen, down a fast trail littered with rollable features flowing into the next valley. At the bottom of the valley turn left to climb up the road. 

Riding on the IOM

Crossing over the junction towards Cringle plantation enter the lay-by to your left and immediately hop over the hedge into the trees. Follow the trail to your left and descend the Black grade ‘Riddler’ trail. Recover next to the reservoir before taking the left hand track onto the ‘Whiskey Run’ climb.
If you still have the energy, ride the road towards Foxdale and Douglas, turning left at the next junction. At the end of the Arrassey Plantation tree line turn left onto the End2End trail. You can follow this, or venture left down the ‘Enduro’ routes until you reach the Tarmac road at the bottom of the plantation. From there you can climb up the track alongside the river and up the pipeline! This rocky off road climb is one of the toughest on the island. Once you reach the top take in the views before you pack up.
Top Tip
If you’re riding on the Island don’t forget to let somebody know where you are planning to go, take a well charged mobile phone, suitable clothing for the conditions, safety kit and at least some basic spares for your bike (a pump and puncture repair kit). If you are not sure what to take, why not book yourself guided riding or join the Manx Mountain Bike Club on one of their regular rides. 
Riding downhill
  • Click here to download the latest MTB trail guides. 
  • Click here to find out more about MTB coaching from Adam Henderson of Pedal to Progression.

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