There are 🚵♀️ some wonderful VTT routes 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc – some are easily accessible, some you’ll need to take 🚡 a télécabine to access . . . and now we have electric bikes to make certain routes more accessible, and 🚵♀️ fat bikes to head out on the snow, mud or sand!
Pop into your local tourist office to pick up 🗺 a map of the routes!
My own 🚵♀️ VTT bike was equipped for seven years with a Mary Poppins-style basket on the front and a baby seat on the back . . . and so I didn’t do any downhill biking for some time . . . the baby seat eventually came off, but the basket remains, and – who I am kidding? – even without these fixtures, I will NEVER be a ninja-equipped downhill biker – downhill biking terrifies me ! 😉
In this article, I shall cover:
- 🚵♀️ draisienne (push bike) & bike terrain for young riders;
- 🚵♀️ bike parks for young riders;
- 🚵♀️ bike parks for families and tougher circuits;
- 🛹🛴 pumptracks & skateparks;
- 🛴 all-terrain trottinettes;
- 🚵♀️ bike clubs for youngsters;
- 🚵♀️ VTT and bike events for families;
Colour code for listings:
Chamonix Valley (Chamonix, Argentière, Les Houches, Servoz & environs) and Vallorcine
Passy & environs
Sallanches, Combloux, Cordon & Domancy
St Gervais, Le Fayet & environs
Megève, Praz-sur-Arly & environs
Les Contamines & environs
🇫🇷 Further France 🇫🇷
🇨🇭 Switzerland 🇨🇭
🇮🇹 Italy 🇮🇹
Great spots for starting out on a draisienne (push bike) or pedal bike
So, where to head with smaller children, who are just finding their biking mojo with 🚴♀️ a draisienne (push bike), or are just launching off 🚴♀️ on two wheels with pedals? Or with slightly older children who still aren’t ready for anything too challenging or vertical?
Here are my favourite places to practise with 🚴♀️ a draisienne or pedal bike, away from busy roads:
- 🚵♂️ Arve river (Chamonix) – along the 💦 Arve river, leaving from the central playground / good for scooters too;
- 🚵♂️ Bois du Bouchet (Chamonix) – flat (though bumpy) paths!
- 🚵♂️ Paradis des Praz – nice and fairly flat (though bumpy)!
- 🚵♂️ Lac des Chavants (Les Houches) – around 💦 the lake and into the woods / playground on-site;
- 🚵♂️ Lac de Passy – around 💦 the lake, into the woods behind the mini-golf, and the small bike park;
- 🚵♂️ Sallanches – along the Bialle stream, from the Salle Léon Curral to the water wheel;
- 🚵♂️ Lacs des Ilettes (Sallanches) – around the third lake (nature reserve), with stops at the cabane d’observation and the boulders, and into the woods to enjoy the parcours santé;
- 🚵♂️ Combloux & Les Belles (Praz-sur-Arly) city stades – kids can do loops on the tracks!
- 🚵♂️ Parc Thermal (Le Fayet) – paths and lots of grass!
- 🚵♂️ Berges d’Arly (Praz-sur-Arly) – along the Arly river! / playgrounds nearby!
- 🚵♂️ Les Contamines-Montjoie & Notre Dame de la Gorge – along the river, by the pumptrack, and into the Parc de Loisirs du Pontet;
- 🚵♂️ Giffre river – a new discovery is this lovely, lovely shady trail along the Giffre river! / you can get onto the trail at various spots in-between Taninges and Samoëns / you’ll find contemporary art along the trail, and you’ll be largely in the forest, so nice and shady for hot summer’s day !
[ DISCLAIMER – always be especially vigilant next to 💦 water and roads! ]
BIKE PARKS for little riders
🚵♂️ Espace VTT (Lac de Passy) – just behind ⛳️ the mini-golf, and in 🌳 the woods, you will find this bike parcours, with special wooden ramps and bridges in place! / +4 years / good to know: local children head into 🌳 the woods from here, to explore the muddy paths (if you cross the Bialle stream via the small bridge, then you have more terrain);
🚵♂️ Ludik Park (Base de Loisirs des Belles, Praz sur Arly) – down by the river, next to the Base de Loisirs des Belles playground, you will find a little bike park, with wooden ramps and bridges.
[ ⇒ to read more about the Base de Loisirs des Belles, see MBFF article here ]
There are several 🚵♂️ pumptracks au Pays du Mont-Blanc suitable for young riders (4+ years) / remember to wear a HELMET and protective gear!
- 🚵♂️ Servoz pumptrack – the pumptrack is located next to the playground and tennis courts;
- 🚵♂️ Sallanches pumptrack – a giant pumptrack is currently being built next to the skatepark -soon to open, though local kids are using already!
- 🚵♂️ Combloux pumptrack – with picnic tables, a terrain multi-sport, a playground and a small skatepark all on the same site as the pumptrack . . . and stunning views of Mont-Blanc, this is the perfect spot to come en famille! / located just behind the Mairie & school / MBFF’s top pick!
- 🚵♂️ Plateau d’Assy pumptrack – a new pumptrack is currently being built;
- 🚵♂️ Saint-Gervais pumptrack – located beween the tennis courts and the swimming pool, on the Plaine des Pratz, this pumptrack has a separate green track for little ones!
- 🚵♂️ Megève pumptrack – next to tennis courts, near Le Palais;
- 🚵♂️ Les Contamines-Montjoie pumptrack – at Les Loyers (easy access to the river path);
[ ⇒ more information about 🚵♂️ PUMPTRACKS au Pays du Mont-Blanc here ]
There are also some 🛹🛴 skateparks suitable for young riders (4+ years) 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc. Do always keep in mind that these areas will be frequented with youngsters and young adults of all ages, and you must share this zone; if you don’t feel comfortable with the speed, then keep your visit for a later date! (remember to wear a HELMET and protective gear!):
- 🛹 Chamonix skatepark – located behind the Centre Loisirs Richard Bozon and next to the parapente landing field in the Bois du Bouchet / bowl and more! / 800m² and beginner’s area / address: Bois du Bouchet, 74440, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc / FB page;
- 🛹 Sallanches skatepark – located behind the hospital, with great views of Mont-Blanc! / picnic tables available and lots of green grass for ball games / ⇒ see MBFF article for more details / address: rue de l’Hôpital, 74700, Sallanches;
- 🛹 Combloux skatepark – with picnic tables, a terrain multi-sport, a playground and a small skatepark all on the same site as the pumptrack . . . and stunning views of Mont-Blanc, this is the perfect spot to come en famille! / located just behind the Mairie & school / address: rue de la Mairie, 74920, Combloux;
- 🛹 Saint-Gervais – located on Plaine des Platz (next to the swimming pool), there is a NEW bowl!
- 🛹 Megève skatepark – next to the playground;
- Praz-sur-Arly skatepark – next to the playgrounds at Base de Loisirs des Belles;
- 🛹 Les Contamines-Montjoie skatepark – located in Les Loyers, next to playground and pumptrack / address: Les Loyers, route de Notre-Dame de la Gorge, 74170, Les Contamines-Montjoie;
For slightly older children and families, there are many more options for 🚵♀️ mountain biking: bike parks, road ascents & descents . . . check each commune’s tourist website for a list of VTT trails, or head into your local tourist office for a map.
Here are some 🚵♀️ family bike parks & trails 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc:
🚵♀️ NEW Espace Ludique VTT Les Bois (Chamonix) – just next to the PGHM helipad, some green elements for little ones, and then blue and red for older riders!
🚵♀️ MTB Trail (Chamonix ⇒ Les Bois) – an easy and flat boucle trail leaving from the Maison Nordique, then heading through the Bois du Bouchet, running alongside the Arveyron river, and then passing nearby the PGHM helipad (you’ll find the bike park on the trail!) / distance: 6km / ⇒ for more easy bike trails in the Chamonix Valley, see here;
🚵♀️ Le Charlotte Bike Park (Saint-Gervais) – (note: for when télécabine operating) a boucle dedicated to discovering VTT en famille: ups and downs and wooden elements / address: 🚡 Sommet de la télécabine du Mont d’Arbois, 74170, Saint-Gervais-les-Bains / tel: 04 50 47 76 08 / more information here;
🚵♀️ (NEW 2021!) Saint-Gervais bike park – a brand NEW bike park, with different parcours, located near (but not AT!) the Plaine des Pratz, where you’ll find the pumptrack!
🚵♀️ Crêt du Midi chairlift (Praz-sur-Arly) – (note: for when télésiège operating) there are several bike trails leaving from the ⛰ Crêt du Midi / bikes travel on the chairlift!
🚵♀️ Parcours des Clarines (Les Contamines-Montjoie) – (note: for when télécabine operating) this VTT route, in the alpages de Montjoie, is also for families / part of the parcours takes you through the forest, with wooden modules (bridges, woops, turns), next to the 4×4 route between the 🚡L’Etape and 🚡 Le Signal / leaves from 🚡 Le Signal at 1875m, and arrives at 🚡 l’Etape at 1420m / open from early July until September / see lescontamines.com for more details and price / online leaflet;
⇒ and for older children, you might be interested in some of 🚵♀️ these downhill tracks, some easier than others! (note: always where protective gear; downhill biking can cause some nasty scrapes and injuries!) :
For 🚵♀️ a list of all the mountain bike trails in the Chamonix Valley (Les Marmottes, Château Saint-Michel, Les Cerfs, Les Chevreuils, Les Diligences . . . ) / ⇒ see chamonix.com;
🚵♂️ Chamonix Bike Park – La Balme – bike through mountain pastures in Le Tour and La Balme (using 🚡 Télécabine de Charamillon and 🚡 Vallorcine; ⇒ see here / ⇒ see FB page;
🚵♀️ Bike Park Les Houches – the aim was to create a natural-feel bike park, without too many wooden jumps and bridges put in! Its creation was agreed with the owners of local fields (so please stay on pistes balisées!) / using the 🚡 Télécabine du Prarion and the 🚡 Télécabine de Bellevue / FB page;
🚵♀️ La WIZZ (Saint-Gervais-les-Bains) – a pretty, fairly gentle 5km descent through the forest (420m dénivelé), to discover the sport of downhill VTT / a blue piste, reserved for VTT use, with turns, bridges, bumps and optional jumps and very few tree roots or pebbles to obstruct / also available for FTT (Fauteuil Tout Terrain), with an assistant required for the short ascents! / leaving from the summit of Mont d’Arbois (🚡 Télécabine Mont d’Arbois) / tel: 04 50 47 76 08 / more information: here;
🇫🇷 FURTHER AFIELD 🚵♀️ bike parks for families
🇫🇷🚵♀️ Bike Park Les Carroz (Grand-Massif) – located near the Pays du Mont-Blanc, and with a green parcours (Woody Woodbiker) and blue piste (as well as red and black pistes!) / there is also a pumptrack in Les Carroz!
[ ⇒ for more information, see here ]
🇫🇷🚵♀️ « Le Domaine » bike park La Clusaz – 30mins from Lac d’Annecy, is La Clusaz’s VTT park, called « Le Domaine », between forests and mountains! / 125km of parcours, with 18 pistes suiting different abilities and the new Bike Park with fun wooden beginner elements and x3 different levels (green, blue and red);
pdf map here & website address: Crêt du Merle, 74220, La Clusaz;
🇫🇷🚵 Bike Park des Saisies (Les Saisies) – Les Saisies fashions itself as a VTT destination par excellence, offering mountain biking for all levels: la rando X-country, descent, enduro – all with Mont-Blanc as a backdrop! You will find: 160km of cross-country routes set across 13 parcours (all levels); 13 descent pistes; 1x ludo park (with green, blue, and red parcours); 1x boucle d’initiation ludique cross country next to Signal; places to clean your bikes for FREE! (note: a pumptrack and a family track are accessible to ALL for FREE!);
[ ⇒ see here for more information ]
🇫🇷🚵♀️ Bike Park Les Gets (Les Portes du Soleil) – the bike park in Les Gets is huge (the largest in Europe!), and opens on weekends during the springtime before full summer opening from mid June / 90km of pistes (12 downhill pistes; 1x Freeride piste; 6 x Cross Country (XC) pistes; 1x Jump Park, 1x mini Jump Park, 1x Kid Zone . . . and more) / FB page;
🇫🇷🚵♀️ Bike Park Morzine – Avoriaz MTB (Les Portes du Soleil) – the bike park in Avoriaz has been up and running since 2007, set across two zones between Lindarets and Super Morzine;
🇫🇷🚵♀️ Espace VTT des Habères (Habères-Poche, Les Alpes du Léman) – with 2 pistes de descente 1,6 km 1,4 km + family options! / via TS du Darandet;
[ ⇒ see website or FB page for more information ]
🇫🇷🚵♀️ Bikepark de Châtel – with children’s options!
[ ⇒ see website or FB page for more information ]
🇫🇷🚵♀️ Bernex Mountain Bikepark (Bernex – Dent d’Oche) – known for its VTT trails, there is nos a bikepark in place here, across a dénivelé of 400m: 5 pistes (including a green and a blue piste) and a drop zone!
[ ⇒ see website or FB page for more information ]
address: 1100 route du télésiège, Bernex;
🇨🇭🚵♀️ Verbier Bikepark – for more information, see FB page or website;
🇨🇭🚵♀️ Crans-Montana Bikepark – 3 tracks: blue, red and black;
[ ⇒ for more information, see FB page or website ]
Worth mentioning are a couple of 🚵♀️ INDOOR BIKE PARKS not too far from the 🏔 Pays du Mont-Blanc:
- 🇫🇷🚵♀️ WeRide (Lyon) – is an indoor pump-park, VTT & BMX park for the whole family (with a kid’s park), from beginners to the more advanced / bar and restaurant on-site / recommended by a MBFF reader!
website & FB page address: 7 impasse Louis Saillant, 69120, Vaulx-en-Velin (near Mini World Lyon);
- 🇨🇭🚵♀️ Alaïa Chalet (Crans-Montana) – lesssons and camps at this indoor and outdoor skatepark, trampoline centre;
FB page & website address: Alaïa Chalet, route de Crans 81, Lens, Valais;
VTT Clubs & VTT lessons for older children
Over the school holidays, do check with your local commune to see if it is offering any VTT lessons for children and families! Or if they have any e-bike initiatives!
Here are some of 🚵♀️ our local clubs and companies offering VTT activities and outings:
- 🚵♀️ Club des Sports Chamonix VTT – see here;
- 🚵♀️ UC Passy – see here;
- 🚵♀️ Vélo Club Mont-Blanc (VCMB) – see here;
- 🚵♀️ Altiride – Julliot MTB School – see website and FB page;
- 🚵♀️ VTT Club Praz sur Arly – see FB page;
- 🚵♀️ Alpes Aventures – see website & FB page;
- 🚵♀️ MJC Saint-Gervais – offers VTT courses in the summer;
- 🚵♀️ Parc de Loisirs Les Contamines-Montjoie – offers VTT courses in the summer;
🛴 Electric trottinettes (electric scooters) as a means of travelling are all the fashion in the mountains! Here are some of the offerings:
- 🛴 Trot Top (Lac de Passy) – see here for more details;
- 🛴 Alpes Aventures – see above;
- 🛴 Le Bettex (Saint-Gervais) – you can rent them there;
- 🛴 Parc de Loisirs du Pontet (Les Contamines-Montjoie) – new since last year, la trottinette électrique tout terrain;
Family VTT Events – to participate & spectate!
There are several annual 🚵♀️ VTT events 🏔 au Pays du Mont-Blanc, and many of them have a small, fun event for children:
[ ⇒ for more ideas, see separate MBFF article SPORTS EVENTS for families au Pays du Mont-Blanc (and beyond) ]
- 🚵♀️ Dré dans l’Darbon (Passy and environs) – this event normally takes place in late May or early June / the MBFF family took part in this event a few years ago, and had a super time! The event had a fun and friendly atmosphere, with lunch to buy at the end / the family route leaves from La Tour Carrée in Domancy, heads around Lac de Passy and through the woods;
website & FB page
- 🚵♀️ MB Race (Megève & Combloux) – this tough biking event takes place in Megève & Combloux in June, and has children’s races (MB Kids) and a short fun race for little children on a draisienne (MB Draisienne) / website / FB page;
- 🚵♀️ Mont-Blanc Triathlon International (💦 Lac de Passy) – this annual event normally takes place at the end of August, and uses 💦 Lac de Passy for its swimming component, and has become quite the fixture on Passy’s summer sports calendar! / for families & youngsters: for children 8+ years = swimming (100m) + VTT (one 2km tour of lake) + 1km run
FB page & website
- 🚴♀️ La Monchu dans l’Pentu (Saint-Gervais) – this event takes place in September, and is a 🚴♀️ road biking event au Pays du Mont-Blanc, with ni chronomètre ni classement / for all, 13+ years / departure and arrival Le Parc Thermal in Le Fayet / raising money for charity ARAMIS / more information here;
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