The start is at Mosaqua in Gulpen where there is ample parking, note that this is paid parking. From here you get immediately (within a few 100m) presented with a tough ascent as an introduction to MTB track Gulpen. Water of the river Geul and Gulp have played a major role in the elevation and variety of the environment, so expect multiple climbs and winding trails. On top of the climbs you can enjoy the views over the natural surroundings. The trail passes through a relatively large amount of country roads and asphalt where you have a wide view of the area. You do not ride here through densely forested areas but more in areas where compact afforestation is interspersed with thinly populated area.
The MTB route Gulpen is a very complete track with a large variety of trails. Climbs are both off road, narrow tree with roots as well as wide, steep and on gravel roads. The same can be said about the descents. The trails are often challenging and pushing the boundaries of the Dutch landscape. The trails feel naturally sculpted and have a good flow. The paved parts of this track are clearly present, but they aren't distracting. After tough climbs and challenging trails, it nice to be able to ride a bit relaxed afterwards.
Gulpen is one of the toughest tracks of Limburg. With 556 ascending meters and 23km a decent base fitness is needed. But only your fitness won't you save on this track. On some climbs you're riding on gravel trails which are pretty steep, so you are on the edge of balance not to make a wheelie or let your rear wheel slip. A technical highlight is the descent of the Gulp, a rapid descent with roots, gravel and large stones that may or may not be loose. During the descent you're looking for best line to avoid large stones, miss some tree roots and not to slip on the gravel in the corners to arrive down at the river Gulp unscathed and without punctures.
22.4 km, 01:48:55
Biking in the Netherlands means that you often ride on tracks that are relatively flat. The MTB track Gulpen does not fit within this description, by Dutch standards you are really dealing with climbs and descents. I think the track is well balanced with the varied nature, beautiful scenery and challenging trails. When you are on top of the hills you have stunning views over the natural area and the track is set up that you have time to recover after the climbs. I was pleasantly surprised by the technical difficulty and intensity of the track. All climbs are ride able and only a few were challenging me more to the limit. The variety of descents is very nice, in one descent you blast at high speed down while in the other you're looking to find good lines between gravel and larger rocks. Furthermore, the route signs are excellently indicated with the white-green MTB sign so you can fully enjoy this track.
The mountain bike track Gulpen introduces you to the Limburg landscape and meets many prejudices for this region. This natural variety of this area combined with hills are ingredients for a great MTB trails. The longer tough climbs and challenging descents ensure that this MTB track stands out from the rest. The scenery also accentuates the trails making this track a real MTB track for Dutch standards. However, this makes the MTB track Gulpen not suitable for novice mountain bikers but is more suitable for riders with more technical experience and a good fitness level.