When you hop out of the van at Wind Hill you could be forgiven for feeling like you’re in the arse end of nowhere, but Longleat Safari Park and and a big Centre Parcs site are just the other side of the trees. We went along to find out how much airtime you can get, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a jumping novice.
Wind Hill is a old-skool push-up downhill spot. All the trails begin from one giant wooden start ramp at the top of the hill. Varying in difficulty and intensity, they’re full of jumps, berms and rollers and, despite their different grading, they all share the same vibe with a sandy, quick draining surface. If you go to Wind Hill with the intention of improving your jumping skills and pushing your limits, we’re confident you’ll have a good time no matter the weather.
Click HERE to visit Wind Hill’s Facebook page for more information about the park.
There are seven trails that vary in length from 250m to 1km. There are two push-up routes but they’re not especially long or steep so if you’re riding a trail bike you’ll be able to pedal to the top with ease. Some of the most popular trails are:
Blue – Bluetopia: Fast, flowy and fun. The run starts out fairly flat with some small rollers but quickly builds up speed as it descends the hill. Further down, there are some tabletop jumps and tighter corners that encourage you to push the limits of grip.
Red – Empuru: A definite step up from the blue – the berms are steeper, the jumps are bigger and there are optional gaps that you need to clear. This is one of the most fun trails at the park and the locals regularly session the last line of jumps for maximum air time! Don’t forget to scope out the jumps before hitting them, though.
Black – Ark At E: One of the most natural feeling trails at the park, Ark At E starts out with some flat turns and then drops down through a natural gulley. From there, the pace picks up and you’re greeted with some big, fairly technical jumps. The trail ends with a large fly-off that has a really long landing!
Pro Line – Viagra Falls: This trail is best suited to extremely confident jumpers. With everything from large step-downs, boner logs and dirt jump-inspired doubles, Viagra Falls is quite the challenge. Once you ride the whole line in one go, you’ll be overcome with a sense of accomplishment.
From Frome or Warminster, take the A362 towards Longleat. At the Picket Post roundabout, follow signs to Longleat coach park, Centre Parcs and the main entrance. The bike park car park is on your right, 500m after the safari park turning. The grid reference for sat-navs is 51.185739, -2.242683.
Nearby bike shops
What else is nearby?
Okeford Hill Bike Park. Uplift-accessed trails, just a 45-minute drive away. Can be steep and slippery – check out issue 339 of the mag to find out more.
Mendip Hills. About an hour’s drive, the Mendips are a great place to go bridleway bashing. Whilst you’re there, look out for cheeky hidden trails. Check out one of our recent Big Rides from the Mendips HERE.
Why ride here?
Wind Hill is great if you’re looking to improve your jumping, cornering and confidence. Don’t be scared if you can’t jump – the blue and red trails are rollable if you take things slow.
- Great flowy trails with supportive turns
- The jumps are fun and there’s something for all abilities
- All located in a small area, which means you don’t need to slog for miles to the next hit
- Quick-drying ground stops you getting dirty even after biblical rain
- Not many natural-feeling trails, so if that’s your thing, it may not be the best place for you
The bottom line
If you’re looking for a place to hone your jumping skills, no matter what your level, then you’ve found it. With predictable take-offs and a range of different-size jumps, most of which are tabletops rather than doubles, you’re going to have an absolute blast. The trails aren’t especially bumpy, so a hardtail or short-travel full-sus works fine here, although you’ll have just as much fun on a downhill bike.
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