Stunning mountain bike trails in Tobago
Posted Sep 14, 2020
There are so many ways to experience the natural beauty of Tobago and the beaches are just the beginning. If you want to see another side of Tobago or revisit some of your favourite spots from a different perspective, a guided mountain bike tour is a must.
Go off the beaten path and explore Tobago while taking in picturesque coastlines, hills and rainforest tapestry, no matter your skill level on two wheels.
Here are some of Tobago's stunning mountain bike trails.
The Mangrove Forests
Explore two wetland ecosystems on the south-western tip of the island. On the Caribbean coast, the Bon Accord trail system offers stunning views of the Bon Accord lagoon. The canopied trail features mangrove trees, so you can enjoy a cool breezy ride at any time of the day and is great for bird watching and beautiful sunsets but notorious for insects in the morning and late evenings.
On the Atlantic coast, the Kilgwyn trail system takes you through a number of old coconut estates and some of the last undisturbed mangrove forest in Tobago. This area was one of the sites of the earliest Amerindian settlements in Tobago and is littered with old single tracks and there are even a couple of sugar mills from the colonial era.
The trails in this area all involve a bit of climbing. None of them are too long, so on your tour they will be linked up one after the other, legs and lungs permitting!
Chala’s trail is one of the best short distance trails on the island. It’s a trail created by villagers to access their homes via single track. It can be entered either by a short jeep road climb or a road climb on top.
Tabancas is a fast trail, slalom type single-track that twists and weaves through the village and offers a great view of Trinidad on the Atlantic horizon just before the last descent.
Above Black Rock village is a jeep trail linking the hillside villages of Whim and Bethel. This is a very scenic route that allows views of both the windward and leeward side of the island. The descent into Whim is fast and flowing, abruptly ending at Glenn Road.
Both the villages of Black Rock and Plymouth have lots of short fun backtracks running through them. Most of these tracks are on private property connecting homes, churches and parlours.
Along Tobago’s interior runs the Main Ridge; it is the oldest protected rainforest in the western hemisphere. The mountain range elevation is anywhere from 1,200 to 1,900 feet and is mostly covered in secondary forest since Hurricane Flora wiped out most of the old-growth forest in 1963.
These are some of the best extreme trails we have to offer and there are lots more to discover. They all involve long road, jeep and single-track climbs and when we say extreme trails, these trails require most of you to drop your saddles on the descent.
Begin with Elvis Goats, a trail sits atop a ridge above Culloden at 575 feet and involves technical single track ascents and descents.
Make your way to Castara, where there is an epic rainforest trail at about 1700 feet above sea level. This trail is hidden in the rainforest and has a very steep ascent to the top followed by 20 – 30 minutes descending through jungle single tracks then a lightning-fast grassy jeep trail high above the village at about 800 feet.
Wrap up your tour at Chocolate Cake. The later part of this trail consists of drops and chutes through rocks and trees. It’s all single track from the trailhead at plus 900 feet and the ride can take anywhere from ten to twenty minutes. At the bottom of the trail is the secluded Big Bay Beach, also known as Cotton Bay, considered one of the best beaches in Tobago.
Which trail will you add to your list of things to do in Tobago?
Article by Eamon Healy-Singh, Tobago Mountain Bike Tours