MTB routes in Vilnius / Kalnų dviračių maršrutai Vilniuje
(Date: May, 2020 – this is subpage of velovilnius.lt/vilnius-bikemap Cycling in Vilnius)
Do You like mud? And sweat? Then you should try one of the Mountain bike routes in or around Vilnius.
The forest and hills in the East part of Lithuania make it a nice, hence not very difficult, territory for Mountainbiking.
Thus – despite of the Mountainbike park „Molynė“ in Sauletėkis (I’ll provide more information about this project later) – there are no special signed MTB routes in Vilnius – you have to find a route for your GPS on strava, ridewithgps, alltrails (former gpsies) or any kind of other platform …
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Here a Presentation of the areas for Mountainbiking in Vilnius
Areas for Mountainbiking in Vilnius
North – West of river Neris
Verkiai / Green Lakes, Ozas
The Nature Park of Verkiai is one of the nicest and most popular recreational areas in Vilnius. Lake Balsys has a very nice swimming beach.
„Ozas“ is a hilly territory from more a less the Shopping mall „Akropolis towards Verkiai, so it’s a good connecting route.
Disadvantages: Most of forest trails are already to much organised, there may be to many other people hiking and cycling. it’s quite far from the city centre – you first have to take a ride there.
North – East of river Neris
Behind the residential areas of Antakalnis there is so call „Swiss park“ (Šveicarijos parkas) – the name itself talks about the territory 🙂 Here, some routes are signed as Hiking trail (in the project vilniuskojoms.lt).
Problems: Some parts of the hiking routes have stairs (be aware!). Of cause, there also people walking on the hiking trails. Some busy car roads pass this territories
Saulėtekis is famous for the new modern Vilnius (Technical) University campus. North of it almost endless forests start.
Problems: Don’t get lost in the forest :). To me the elevation difference is to little and there are to little nice views. It’s just forest, forest, forest. But if that’s what you want …
Belmontas is a relative small area in Pavilnis regional park. It’s deep in valley of the Vilnia river so it has many ups and downs and very stunning views, such as Puvočiai cliff, the mound of Puvočiai (Puvočių piliakalnis). From the city centre it’s only a 20-30 min. ride that makes it the top destination for a quick afternoon ride.
Disadvantages: Maybe it is already a bit to busy. And I hope you won’t get bored of it.
The West is probably the least known territory – but as I think one of the best: The forest path on the hill at the residential area of Karoliniškės is still one of the easier rides – a small ride up the hill West of the city centre, Neris river and Vingis park. The area of the Landscape protection area of Karoliniškės (Karoliniškių kraštovaizdžio draustinis) is also used for (illegal) downhill rides.
The loop of river Neris at Bukčiai/Lazdynėliai is a small forest with no roads – nice for a short ride or as connection to what lies beyond….
Behind Pilaitė – the last residential area in Vilnius city to the West – a more serious area begins: First with ups and and downs from Pilaitė towards Neris river, then with the trails in Neris regional park.
Disadvantages: Maybe it’s a bit far away from the city centre – I hope you’ll still have the energy to find your way home …
Strangely unknown and not very popular among Mountainbikers is the forest of Paneriai
Further reading: sources, MTB event (competitions) calendar
MTB event calendars
There are also plenty of MTB events – competitions, see the calendar here: https://mtb.lt/varzybos/ and in the calendar of the Lithuanian bicycle sports federation http://ldsf.lt/kalendorius-pradinis/
MTB event routes
The routes of the competitions are the best – most challenging – routes in Lithuania. Sometimes the signs of them remain for a long time in the forests. And you can always find GPS tracks of them for ride them by yourself!