The Philippines is a mountainous island country in the Pacific “ring of fire,” located just north of the equator. Comprised of more than 7,100 islands, this tropical nation of more than 100 million people features stunning topography, dense rain forests, and incredible beaches. English and Filipino (also known to many as Tagalog) are the official languages of the Philippines, making it a great destination for English-speaking travelers.
I haven’t traveled to the Philippines myself, but it’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit, and what better way to get to know a place than to ride a mountain bike through it! Using the Singletracks trail database, Strava, and social media, here’s my list of the top 5 places I want to ride in the Philippines. Know of even better trails that I missed? Let us know in the comments and be sure to add them to the Singletracks trail database here.
The Bang Bang / Rock Garden trail is located just west of Davao City, the fourth largest city in the Philippines. While this certainly isn’t a long ride, it seems to be a very popular descent with local trail riders. Like other trails in the Philippines, Bang Bang / Rock Garden appears to be located within a private residential development.
Camp John Hay is a former US Air Station that was once used by troops and their families for rest and relaxation. These days, Camp John Hay is a major recreation center with a golf course, horseback riding, eco-tourism, and of course, access to trails. The camp sits at more than 5,000 feet above sea level which means cooler air AND excellent terrain for mountain biking.
One of the most popular trails in the Camp John Hay area is the Yellow Trail. The trails in this area have been used for local enduro and DH races in years past, so long travel bikes are welcome. 🙂
The Kalawakan trail is located about two and a half hours by car from Manilla, and tour operator Beyond Outdoor Adventures warns that this trail “has many technical ascents and descents.” Just what I’m looking for! I found many Strava traces of this route, which shows just how popular it is with locals and tourists alike. Altogether, riders can get up to 40km out of this trail ride.
The La Mesa Mini Forest is located northeast of Quezon City, the most populous city in the Philippines.The terrain here is described as rolling, and riders report a variety of XC-oriented trails from beginner tracks to more technical sections.
Many Filipino mountain bikers consider Timberland “the Philippines MTB capital,” and with good reason. It’s one of the few purpose-built networks of mountain bike trails in the country, and it regularly hosts races and MTB events throughout the year. Conveniently located in the Manilla metro area, the trail system is a part of the Timberland residential community overlooking the city.
Of course there are even more places to ride in the Philippines and at this point, Singletracks has only scratched the surface. Take a look at the trails we have in our database already and if you know of others, please add them today!
What’s your favorite mountain bike trail in the Philippines?