Arriving at the starting location “De Kibbelkoele” you’ll see the environment change to a more forested area that offers opportunities for an interesting MTB route. MTB route Sleen runs through the nature reserve Sleenerzand, an ancient moorland which has been further developed into a forest. The typical mild elevation changes that you normally come across on moorland routes are also here in addition to a few fens. The scenery changes on the edge of the forest to a wide view across open plains with agriculture. Built areas are only in the distance visible.
The trails run entirely off-road (apart from about 100m) on a sandy surface with occasionally exposed tree roots. MTB route Sleen is full of winding flowy single trails which are alternated with a few straight trails to keep it balanced. The slight elevation changes in trails provide short climbs that that you can sprint up and provide some extra flow in the short descent after. You won’t come across the usual long country roads along fields and ditches but on the other side you do come across some technical hurdles like rock gardens, drops and north shores.
The MTB route Sleen is terms of length and altitude difference about average compared to MTB routes in The Netherlands. The route feels a bit more challenging due to the many corners and slight elevation changes. This is particularly well suited for some explosive strength training. For those who lack some fitness can still ride this track due to the lack of long steep climbs and the possibility to ride the 32km of trails at your own pace. For a relatively flat route you are offered some technically challenging trails/obstacles. Rock gardens, drops, skinnies, a jump and north shores all things you can encounter. For the experienced mountain biker this is very well doable (except for one jump on the north shore) and less experienced mountain bikers can use the chicken runs that are integrated in the trails.
31.4 km, 02:00:02
My attention was quickly drawn at the start of the route where you are confronted with few rock gardens followed by a jump. Starting with such a highlight it’s difficult to keep the rest of the route interesting, but the MTB route Sleen manages this really well. The slight height differences in the terrain combined with flowy and windy trails make this a very dynamic route. I found the dynamic single trails and the more relaxing straighter trails well balanced to catch your breath. Average mountain bikers won’t be challenged too much on most of the trails but the rock gardens, drops, north shores, skinnies and jumps offer a variety of challenges for more experienced mountain biker. This creates along with an excellent route sign placement, a nice route to enjoy your ride.
The MTB route Sleen is one of the most famous mountain bike routes of Drenthe and not without reason. Single trail enthusiasts can enjoy themselves on this 32km long route consisting of mostly windy single trails through the “Sleenerheide” (moorland). The previously accumulated shifting sands have become slight height differences in the terrain where the MTB route Sleen benefits from. This route doesn’t seem challenging with its 32km and 176 ascending meters but you are continuously moving on the bike to follow the flow of the trails. It’s every pedal stroke after a corner, pedal up a bump or maneuvering through the trees, this all adds up eventually to a good workout. The MTB route Sleen can also offer you some technically challenging obstacles like rock gardens, drops, skinnies, jumps and north shores. These obstacles are optional so that less experienced mountain bikers also can enjoy the MTB route Sleen.