The Kings Forest to High Lodge: Saturday 3rd February

Text by Paul J.; pictures by Ian H. and Paul J.

Every now and then some of us get together for a ride on our mountain bikes, keeping off roads as much as possible. Perhaps there are some members who would like to join us but don’t know what’s involved.

We have a number of routes we can use which keep to forest tracks and bridleways but we get more freedom in the bigger forests. That was the reason that this trip on February 3rd 2024 started in The Kings Forest, north of Bury St Edmunds. Frustratingly, I was ill and had to drop out the evening before. In my place, Ian H. volunteered to help with the car shuttle and Martin took over navigation duties on the day. It was a distance of around 12 miles to reach the High Lodge Visitor Centre in Thetford Forest where the group made a short stop in the café.

On some visits we have included the Lime Burner Trail from here, which is graded red and can be optional for all or part of it. On this occasion some of it was closed and so the route was modified to include a green route which eventually led towards the outskirts of Thetford and back to the car park in The Kings Forest. I can confirm from the GPX files that, this time, the group did not cross the army firing range. The total distance was 47 km.

Events of this kind have prompted us to go on a couple of longer trips as well: we previously did several days on each of the South Downs Way and the excellent King Alfred’s Way (see photo below).

You really do need a mountain bike and a bit of stamina, but we don’t ride all that fast and we wait for people to catch up. The style of riding is known as cross country; don’t imagine we’re jumping over mounds or ‘getting air’.

Have I changed your mind? Will you join us on a future ride?