Last ridden - 11 November 2012
The Altura Trail is a challenging 19 kilometre red grade mountain bike trail with around 80% of singletrack. It is really aimed at good intermediate to advanced riders. The trail combines many man-made features like berms, jumps and "North-shore" with natural rock and root hazards. This is arguably a more difficult trail than the red's found at other trail centres.
The trail is split into the the North Loop (10 km) and the South Loop (9 km) with the North Loop being more technically challenging. To find the trail head (and the start of the North Loop) pass the Cyclewise bike shop and carry on up hill for approximately 100m. The trail head is clearly marked with a large arch bearing the Altura Logo and information boards. The trail is waymarked with numbered posts which are also detailed on the official trail guide. The North Loop runs into the South Loop however if you just want to ride the South Loop you can find the trail head by exiting the site by the main entrance turning left onto the road for a small distance and then turning right onto the first track. The trail head is marked with a similar Altura Arch.
For a detailed description of the trail please follow the 3D Tour
Overview - North Loop
The trail initially winds through the forest on undulating single track with the distraction of a couple of optional black features then descends briefly onto forest road before starting a great singletrack climb to the "Luchini's" viewpoint. The trail then takes to the forest road for a couple of kilometers before taking to the trees again and a good switchback climb. After this the trail levels out for some faster singletrack through the trees punctuated with some natural root and rock hazards that can make this very interesting in the wet. During this section the North Loop climbs to it's highest point (approx 500 metres).
After this the trail breaks out of the trees briefly at the top of Seat How offering some terrific views before diving back into the forest again and presenting the rider with some of the most technical features of the ride. These are all detailed in the 3D Tour but include tricky steep down hill berms, rooty bits and technical climbs. It's a real challenge to ride the whole of this section without dabbing at least once. The North Loop ends with a fast bermed descent punctuated with jumps which will make you want to go around again.
Overview - South Loop
The South Loop may be found simply by following the trail markers. They lead onto the road for a few hundred metres past the Car Park entrance before heading off into the forest again. This part of the trail starts off easy with a flat trail through the trees which then links up with the forest road for about a kilometre. After this the trail takes to the trees again starting a, pretty much unbroken, climb up the flank of Grizedale Pike. This is a good ridable workout until you reach the summit of the trail. This is at around 490 metres at the Southern extent of the forest but well short of the top of Grizedale Pike. The summit offers great views over Derwent Water and many of the Lake District Fells.
The initial descent is probably the trickiest bit of the Southern Loop. This has been recently repaired due to errosion and is a lot more ridable now. Take care at the bottom of this section as there is an unexpected dint in the rock paving that can send the unwary over the handlebars. After the repaired section there is another technical short but steep rocky descent before the trail flattens out and follows the ridge. There is one more short sharp climb before the trail flows down back to the road. This section is fast and contains some good table tops as well as a couple of North Shore features.
Download the official trail guide here