Epping Forest is a great cycling option for those who live in East London or some nearby area. It’s not the kind of mountain bike trail that makes you smile anytime you think of it but it’s definitely worth paying it a ride.
As I lived in South-West London it took me about 3 years to finally visit Epping Forest give its cycling trails a proper try. It was quite a pain to get there (nearly two hours) but I really wanted to get it off my to-ride list. The loop I did was almost 28km long and it was mostly based on someone’s GPX track I had found online. However, I made some little alternations to make it more interesting.
There’s not much to say about the track itself. It starts and finishes by a little lake called Connaught Water. Mostly you’ll be riding on a gravel path, there’s no crazy climbs or descends and it may get really muddy. Two bits within this route are on a purposely-made MTB trail, which makes me think that Epping Forest has much more to offer in terms of mountain biking – but I just didn’t find it. It’s also important to mention that you should pay attention during descends as there’s a lot of families with kids having a walk.
All in all, if you live nearby Epping Forest it’s a great place for a quick cycle as the whole loop can be finished in less then two hours. Especially in the winter, when it gets really cold and muddy, it’s really going to be fun. But for those who live on the other side of London it may not be worth it as there are more entertaining places to ride closer to us (such as Swinley Forest or Surrey Hills MTB trail).
Btw. if you decide to follow my GPX track I highly recommend to explore any path that seems fun to you. As I motioned above, it may be full of hidden cool MTB trails that I didn’t manage to discover. You can download the route in the GPX format below the map: