Use these handy maps and resources to pinpoint where you want to mountain bike in France.
The Fédération française de cyclotourisme's website carries an interactive map (click on the map below to go to the FFCT's site) with links to all official mountain bike centres in France. The interactive dots lead through to more information on each base, including its facilities and routes. The map and most of its links are in French, but it's easy enough for non-French-readers to decipher with the help of a dictionary or an online translator.
To win approval from the FFCT, mountain bike centres (or bases d’activité VTT) need to have:
* more than 10km of marked trails suitable for all abilities
* information, guidebooks and maps onsite to help riders enjoy the facilities
* a meeting point for riders, plus accommodation, food and health facilities onsite
* mountain bikes and equipment available for hire onsite
* a workshop for basic repairs, plus a wachdown area
* coaches and course available onsite
* a calendar of events that visitors can take part in
Another French cycling organisation, the Fédération Française de Cyclisme (FFC), has a separate list of MTB sites. This one has around 180 sites (including 7 Grandes Traversées VTT) covering some 62,000km of trails. Again, centres are searchable by region and must provide comprehensive MTB facilities to qualify for inclusion.
The FFC also has this useful code of conduct for mountain bikers.
If you're into downhill, you might find this map of downhill sites of use – it lists some sites not listed on either of the maps mentioned above, which tend to favour XC.