How to find mountain bike trails near me?

Ben Finlay
March 30, 2023

Are you getting tired of riding your local trails? Perhaps you’re seeking a new adventure for the weekend? We take a look at 7 different ways how to find those new trails you're searching for, while getting the most out of your riding in a safe and fun way.

Nowadays the go-to information is digital, but that’s not to say the old school approach with paper maps lacks value - you may just be able to find those secret spots and long forgotten trails no longer visible in the digital world...

1. Strava

Strava is likely the best-known application out there for tracking fitness, measuring effort, heart rate, elevation gain and descent, logging times, measuring progress, and GPS tracking for where you and others have been. To make the most of these features, you need a subscription which costs €96 a year.

For finding trails, Strava can be variable depending on where you live. Here in Chamonix, mainly ascents segments are recorded as well as sections (and some full runs) of local downhill tracks. There may be a good reason for this too – trails outside of the resort are likely to be shared with hikers and runners. Keep a heads up for others on the trails and save those hot laps for quiet times or dedicated trails.

It's also notable that Strava does not provide any specific difficulty indication for MTB trails. You may find your new adventure but it could be a bit more basic or advanced than you were expecting.

LeRipp gives Strava a 3/5 rating for finding new trails.

2. Trail Forks

Trailforks is a trail-specific application, where mountain bike and ebike routes can be specifically filtered. Routes are graded for difficulty, can be filtered by condition and various types of overlays can be applied to help you check out where you’re going. You can pair Trailforks with your GPS to log your data. All this information, like Strava, is dependent on local community engagement.

If you’re viewing via the website, all access to maps and trail data is free, but if you’re out and about, using Trailforks on the mobile app, you’ll need to pay a small subscription fee of €20/year to access areas outside of your local town.

The heatmap overlay gives a good indication of where people are riding and when used with the trail information provided in the app, you’re likely to find something to your taste!

Le Ripp gives Trail Forks a 4/5 rating for finding new trails.

3. Google Maps / Earth

Google maps and earth have come a long way over the last 10 years and can prove to be a useful tool in finding those unmarked trails to ride – as well as planning how you’re going to get there and back without pedaling through the night trying to get back to your car.

The satellite imagery is a useful aid in determining what major features, exposures or gradients might be expected on the trail, however, the detail is useless for determining how the trail may flow, or how sharp those rock edges might be. Maybe there’s a reason why nobody has logged this trail on the aforementioned apps? Or maybe not.


LeRipp gives Google Maps a 2/5 rating for finding new trails.

4. Fat Map

Fat Map.
It’s a better version of google maps, with some specific content for mountain bike routes with provided commentary and difficulties. The specific content available on the app is less than that of Trailforks, but mapping quality and visualization are excellent.

Fat Map can also be paired with Strava, to highlight trails that you or others have previously ridden.

For €29.99 per year additional mapping features such as offline maps, topo, gradient overlays and other useful terrain tools can be unlocked – useful when you’re out in the mountains without data coverage.


LeRipp gives Fat Map a 4/5 rating for finding new trails

5. Local Resort Website

Resort websites, such as the one in Chamonix, indicate their shaped and controlled runs, but often also include other major itineraries of commonly used ‘enduro’ tracks which tend to be signposted so that hikers are aware that it is highly likely that bikers are coming down! The use of some cheeky uplifts to cut those vertical meters down is often well worth the price of the lift ticket.

Maps outside of the main resort can also be found at the local tourist information centre, as well as information on specific restrictions on trail use at certain times of the year or throughout the year.

LeRipp gives Local Resorts a 4/5 rating for finding new trails

6. Local Bike Shops

Are you in need of some new tires, maybe some new brake pads, or a bleed before you push up into the alpine? Perhaps you want a sticker to slap on your fridge at home, either way if you go in and support a local shop the staff are more than likely local rippers who know more about the trails than you do about what’s left in your fridge. Go in and spend a couple of euros and have a chat with them about where to ride! They work in the industry because they love it, and unless they’re swamped in the high season, they’ll spend their time talking about what you both love.


LeRipp gives Local bike shops a 5/5 rating for finding new trails

7. Holiday Packages, LeRipp!

Looking to remove all the fuss after working too hard, long, and often? Holiday packages are a great way to turn up to a new spot without having to think about how to do it and where to stay. Include a guide with your days so you can ride the trails with confidence and let rip! You won’t have to hesitate at each intersection to check an app for directions!When you’re done riding for the day, you’ll know where to eat well, drink well, and party well before returning to your abode to wake up and repeat. No hassle, no problems, the team is there to make it happen for you. Have a look at LeRipp’s destinations to see where we can take you!

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