Bike Parks: thrills on two wheels surrounded by nature
Bike parks are full-scale nature and enjoyment centres for fans of thrills and spills on two wheels. Here are 5 for every taste and skill.
1. Aosta Valley: Pila Bike Land
This bike park in the Pila area of the Aosta Valley offers high-speed descents on mountain bikes between woods and meadows for different levels of skill and different degrees of difficulty. There are downhill routes for experienced bikers, free-ride tracks mainly over natural terrain - including the beautiful Pila-Aosta route and the Desarpa Bike Track - and a network of farm roads to try your hand at cross country cycling at all levels.
2. Piedmont: Sauze d'Oulx Bike Park
Val di Susa, the alpine valley west of Turin bordering on France, is ideal for gravity enthusiasts. Twelve routes to be enjoyed at all speeds unwind here in an area with an elevation gain of more than 1000 metres, where mountain meadows alternate delightfully with larch woods. Inasmuch, this park is suitable for experienced riders keen to test their skills along single and toboggan tracks.
3. Trentino: Paganella Dolomites Bike Park
More than 400 km of bike trails in the Paganella Dolomites mountain range - in the heart of the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site - for all levels and disciplines. The park boasts MTB itineraries of various levels - from easy unpaved roads and tracks in the woods even for families to the cycle lanes in the valley floor. For more experienced riders, there are also three Bike Zones for downhill, free-ride and flow connected to each other by trails and lifts, single track routes, pump tracks and a large Skill Area. It is also possible to join organized guided tours and attend courses with specialist instructors.
4. Tuscany: Abetone Gravity Park
This Bike Park near the Abetone Pass, in the Pistoia Apennines bordering on Emilia Romagna, offers a series of routes essentially divided between downhill areas and endurance tracks, as well as easier cross-country itineraries. The tracks wind through fir and beech woods and forests along the entire mountain chain, often dotted with rocks and roots, natural jumps and parabolic curves that are even quite challenging at times. This is why they appeal so much to experts and are even tempting for beginners keen to train.
5. Abruzzo: Swup Bike Park
The Campo Felice karst high plateau in the Abruzzo Apennines near L'Aquila ensures fun for everyone: there are free-ride routes for enthusiasts of technique, wide, flowing routes enlivened by parabolic corners for speed lovers, hybrid tracks merging downhill and slope style, variants with ramps and drops for truly exciting evolutions. There are also several special paths and variants exclusively for beginners. The Fun Kids Area is equipped with trampolines, inflatables, slides and summer snowtubing with downhill tubbies to ensure great fun even for kids.