Haldon Forest Park Walks and Mountain Biking
Enjoy miles of cycling and walking trails in this 3500 acre forest near Exeter. The cycling trails are well laid out and colour coded according to difficulty. There is a nice easy trail named the 'Discovery Trail' which is well surfaced and great for families looking for a safe ride or for walkers looking for a pleasant stroll. It has fun features for children and takes in some stunning views over Exeter and Dartmoor.
The blue Challenge trail is a moderate mountain bike trail with a combination of surfaces, some narrow sections and gentle gradients for intermediate cyclists. More experienced riders can try the red graded 'Ridge Ride Trail' which is a technical, fast and flowing trail with tight corners and lively descents to test your reflexes. Bike hire is available from Forest Cycle Hire. Walkers can enjoy a number of waymarked trails of varying lengths and difficulty. The Butterfly Trail is a three mile circular walk with views across the forest and over the Teign valley. There's also the Mamhead Sensory Trail, an easy 1.5 miles trail with breathtaking views over the Exe estuary to the Jurassic Coast.
The Raptor Trail and Tree Trail offer more challenging walks with some steep climbs.
Haldon Forest Park is located about 6 miles south west of Exeter town centre.
At the northern end of the forest you will find Haldon Belvedere (Lawrence Castle). The site is used as wedding venue but is also open to the public on certain days. The fine looking castle dates from 1788 and is surrounded by some the lovely grounds and gardens. See the Doddiscombsleigh Walk for more details.
PostcodeEX6 7XR - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
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Haldon Forest Park Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Haldon Forest Park Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Haldon Forest Park OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Haldon Forest Park Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
There's a good on site cafe selling a range of snacks and meals. They have an outdoor area with plenty of tables so you can sit outside and enjoy your refreshments with views of the woods.
The woodland trails are ideal for dog walking so you will probably bump into several other pets with their owners.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
A few miles west of the forest you'll find the lovely Kennick Reservoir and the Trenchford and Tottiford Reservoirs . There are some nice waterside trails and more woodland paths to try here.
To the south west there's the picturesque Canonteign Falls. There's beautiful lakes and waterfalls to be found in this fine country park.
On the southern fringes of the forest you'll find more pleasant trails on Ideford Common. There's some attractive woodland, heathland and grassland here with the opportunity to spot Dartford Warblers and nightjars.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Dartmoor Walks and Devon Walks pages.