3 Blue Derby trails we love

The Blue Derby Trails website is wonderfully designed to give you comprehensive information about all the trails, including the distance, skill level, estimated duration and maps.

But there’s nothing quite like first-hand knowledge. We spend a fair bit of time in Derby. We know the trails like the proverbial. Yes, we do. So here’s some insider knowledge for you: three trails we love to ride, for different reasons.

1.The Sunday afternoon stroll trail.

This is for the beginner, or the dreamer. You just want to enjoy the surrounds without having to dodge rocks. Welcome to Briseis Dam. The setting is gorgeous, especially at dawn or dusk. You’ll see ducks paddling and fish jumping, even a platypus if you’re lucky. It’s a place to amble at your own pace and get lost in your own thoughts, or to immerse yourself in the wonder all around you. Find it by crossing the river by the swinging bridge, next to the pump track.

2.The fun-for-the-whole-family trail.

We often do Route 1 with our kids. It’s a beginner network of trails that starts at the trailhead and includes Chain gang, Rusty Crusty, Axehead, Relics and Sawtooth. If the smaller ones or the unconfident parent happens to have second thoughts (or dare we say it, takes a tumble), then Chain Gang is like a warm-up loop finishing back at the trailhead.

3. The shake-off-the-cobwebs trail.

This one is Martin’s favourite. He calls it “refreshing” and comes back sweaty and energised. Access it straight from The Dales, on Route 3 of the Blue Derby website. It includes Rusty Crusty, Axehead, Long Shadows, Long Shadows Upper, and Return to Sender which enters back into the centre of Derby town, opposite the post office. This ride is 12.7km long and is classed as difficult, for those with more bike experience.