Parc de Collserola is home to an intricate trail system comprised of gnarly, rugged, ancient singletack that's perfect for mountain biking!
With a population of 5.5 million people, the Barcelona metropolitan area is the “most populous metropolitan area on the Mediterranean coast, and one of the largest in Europe,” according to Wikipedia. Even though Barcelona is such a populous city, it nevertheless has incredible access to the outdoors!
While many of the other major cities in Europe such as Paris, London, Berlin, and Rome are located on flat land devoid of any topographic changes, Barcelona, on the other hand, is sandwiched between the Mediterranean Sea on its southeastern side and a low mountain range on its northwestern side known as Collserola. Most of the Collserola mountain range has been designated as a national park, known as Parc de Collserola (“Collserola” for short). Despite being surrounded by cities on all sides, this massive park covers over 8,295 hectares of protected land.
The urbanity of downtown Barcelona transitions to the dense undergrowth of Collserola shockingly quick! In a matter of minutes, you can ride from soaring buildings to deep forest solitude. You have several different options for accessing Collserola, too. First, you can pedal straight up the mountainside on a combination of paved and dirt roads to access the spreading network of singletrack. Second, if you have a car, you can always drive deep into the park. Third, you can take the funicular up the mountain to el Tibidabo for some free vertical. And fourth, one of the metro lines runs all the way through the park, with a few stops in the center of the park and a train station in Sant Cugat del Valles on the far side.
However you choose to access Collserola, as you begin to explore the dense forest on the far side of the mountain, you’ll discover an intricate trail system with singletrack trails running in all directions! As you link one trail to the next and to the next, you can easily be overwhelmed by the plethora of potential trail combinations and ride options in this zone. This guidebook will help familiarize you with the most iconic trails in the region of Collserola close to Barcelona.
Once you’ve tackled all of these iconic rides, pretty soon, you’ll feel a bit more familiar with the area, and you can start mixing and matching trails of your own. Once you start combining the trails together in different ways, the sky is the only limit for the creativity, length, and gnarliness of the mountain bike rides you can tackle in Collserola!