MTB track Heerlen

Thursday, 11 December 2014 22:01 |  Written by
The region Heerlen is a mountainbike intensive area which currently has 4 mountainbike routes. Everything is addressed here, single trails, technical climbs, challenging descents and a varying landscape. The route Heerlen (also called route 4) is the latest addition and we are now taking a closer look.

THE LOCATION 3-star-rating
The mountain bike route Heerlen lets you ride through the south-east of Heerlen. With all three existing routes nearby you would think that there are only a few opportunities left to create a great route. The general starting point is at the Sport and Leisure Park in Landgraaf or specific for this route is at the Imstenraderbos. Landgraaf and Heerlen are urban areas with several wooded. When you're outside of the village the paths will lead you over country and paved roads. It’s clear to see that the landscape has some altitude differences. The view at the highest point of the route is nice but the less urban views of Gulpen or Epen have my preference.

THE TRAILS 3-star-rating
The MTB route Heerlen lets you ride through urban area’s but you notice that they try to make you ride offroad as much as you can. Looking at the entire route they achieved a good balance. I feel the route is mainly about the Imstenraderbos with a mix of technical single tracks, off camber hairpins, good flow and a rapid descent. The rest of the MTB route feels like overly extended, mainly because of the big contrast. The rest of the route is in fact containing many wide paths and gravel roads through open areas.

THE CHALLENGE 3-star-rating
The 353 altitude meters sounds like a reasonable high number for Dutch standards but the gradients and the technical difficulty of the trails are on the low side. You can ride this mtb route at your own pace. Even under rainy conditions the trails hold up well and keeps it all ride able. When looking at the technical challenge of the trails I see a great contrast. The entire route has a low technical difficulty with the exception of the trails at the Imstenraderbos. The trails have tight turns, roots and narrow paths that require a bit more of your steering and balancing skills on the bike.

22.2 km, 01:26:07


FUN 2-star-rating
While riding the route there were some route signs not visible so I had ridden wrong twice, but there are too little. It feels like the route is too much extended resulting in a large part of the route being uninteresting. When comparing the route with the other three beautiful routes (Brunssummerheide, Strijthagen and Rodebeek), I get the feeling that they exhausted the options for more mtb trails. The trails through the Imstenraderbos is a unique addition which makes this route nice enough not to skip.

CONCLUSION 
The mountain bike route Heerlen is the latest addition to the bike network in Parkstad. It offers a nice setting, altitude meters and some technical single trails, but it can not match the existing routes in Parkstad (Brunssummerheide, Strijthagen and Rodebeek). Although Imstenraderbos is a beautiful area with challenging trails and good flow, there are only a few parts of the route to further look forward to. Would I ride the mtb route Heerlen again? Yes and no. I will not ride the entire route but a shortened version where long stretches of country roads and other wide roads are excluded.

LOCATION 3-star-rating
TRAILS 3-star-rating
CHALLENGE 3-star-rating
FUN 2-star-rating
CONCLUSION   3-star-rating


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