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These are the best mountain bike trails in Hungary



Mountain biking is not for beginners: the height differences, elevations and the natural terrain demand not only a special type of bicycle, but also a very specific skillset and good physical condition. Where you are allowed to bike is also important: according to the law, mountain biking is not permitted everywhere. So where should you put your stamina and endurance to the test?

Mountain biking demands and develops several skills: besides physical fitness, it also improves your ability to make fast decisions, motor coordination and endurance. The sport has many fans across the world for a reason, even if due to its special hardware requirements it’s not the cheapest activity.

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is not legal everywhere

You have to pay special attention not only when buying your gear, but also when picking your location. The so-called “Forestry Act” and the Environmental Protection Act set several requirements for mountain bikers in nature. According to the Forestry Act, biking is allowed in the forests owned by the national and local governments only on properly marked hiking trails, and only if there are no exceptional restrictions in effect. This is especially applicable in the case of protected and highly protected natural areas, where leaving the designated hiking and bike trails is not allowed, as careless visitors might destroy protected plants and – for downhill biking in particular – might contribute to soil erosion on rocky terrains.

The best trails

Since uninformed bikers might end up paying serious fines if they ride in prohibited areas, it is highly recommended to check the designated bike trails on the website of the local forestry body in advance. Ipoly Erdő Zrt., for example, gives detailed information on the 65-kilometre-long designated bike trail in the Börzsöny. The Pilis Bike trail has been recently opened in the area of the Pilis Park Forest, which is now part of an almost 600-kilometre designated hiking trail in the Pilis awaiting bikers. One of the most popular trails runs between Szentendre and Dobogókő.

 

The Bükk has almost 350 kilometres of trails for biking, one of the most beautiful of which runs from Felsőtárkány to Szarvaskő and back. If you’re in luck, you might refresh yourself with the crystal-clear water drinking water from the karst spring in Vörös-kő Valley, which is active temporarily only for two to three months every year, right after the spring thaw.

 

In the Zemplén, you can bike between Boldogkő and the Castle of Regéc on a terrain that is not always easy, and then finish off your tour in Tokaj with culinary adventures and excellent wines. One of the popular mountain trails of the Karancs-Medves region is the “Bear Circle” which awaits you with a 1,413-metre difference in altitude to conquer. In the Bakony, you will find designated bike trails in Eplény, the Kab Mountain area and near Várpalota.

 

Downhill bikers are allowed to use the trail in Eplény from May to the end of August, where you can use the chairlift to get to the starting point. In the Mátra, the 2 to 4-metre-wide trail runs from Kékestető to Mátrafüred with a 600-metre elevation over 7 kilometres. In Sopron, the 11-kilometre trail with a 300-metre elevation, which was created in 2013, starts from the Lővér Camping site.

 

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