Off Road Cycle Routes
Mountain bike routes away from the trails
Fancy hurtling down a steep, muddy track on your bike in
the rain, dodging ruts and flying off bumps, sending dirty spray flying and
skidding to a barely controlled stop at the bottom of the slope? If so, an
adrenalin-pumping mountain bike ride in the Peak District is just the ticket,
with the tracks and bridleways of the Dark Peak (in the north of the area)
providing some of the best routes.
If you fancy a heady cocktail of exhilaration and exhaustion then head off-road on two wheels, but don't forget to match the length and severity of the route to your ability and experience. The bridleway network around Edale, the Hope Valley and Upper Derwent reservoirs provide some excellent circuits, with some great descents (which have to involve ascents, of course!) and really challenging terrain.
There are also a few decent routes on the high ground along the eastern
and western edges of the Peak, but wherever you go make sure that you stick
to legitimate routes (bikes are not allowed on public footpaths, for instance),
be courteous and respect other users (especially if you are travelling at
speed on narrow tracks) and remember that fragile surfaces can be easily
damaged by reckless riding.
Bakewell, Calton Lees and Edensor Circuit
Starting at Hassop Station, the Monsal trail provides a gentle warm up for this short route which packs in a couple of demanding climbs. It includes a variety of terrain including dramatic woodland, farmland and technical off-road downhill.
Bonsall Moor from the Cromford Canal
Initially alongside the Cromford Canal, you follow the High Peak Trail onto the plateau above the Derwent Valley and break out across farmland to descend steeply into Bonsall and back to Cromford.
This tour of 3 rivers and 3 hills offers you the opportunity to ride some of the best off-road terrain in this corner of the Peak District.
A circular route through the White Peak taking in parts of the Tissington Trail and High Peak Trail.
A varied and scenic circuit close to Buxton. Challenging in places but rideable throughout for the fittest and most determined.
Despite taking in a bit of road around New Mills and Hayfield as well as a stretch on the Sett Vally Trail - this is still a route with bite.
Hope and Edale Valleys Circuit
At the junction of the White Peak and Dark Peak, this challenging circuit will take your breath away in more ways than one!
Jacobs Ladder from Barber Booth
This circuit has plenty of climbing and steep descents. Taking in part of the Pennine Way, it's mainly off road and takes no prisoners.
From the start at Fairholmes this ride has some interesting woodland sections, some stiff climbs and some great ridge riding along an old Roman Road.
Middleton Top and Minninglow Circuit
There are some neat off road sections such as the descent into Grange Mill as well as the section past Minninglow where a short detour will take you on a permitted path (no riding) to the old neolithic burial chambers.
Monsal and High Peak MTB Circuit
The route links the Monsal and High Peak Trails with some really good sections - but if you'd prefer to stay on these trails for longer please see the Monsal Trail and High Peak Trail Loop as an alternative.
Pennine Bridleway (Derbyshire Section)
The first stage of this evolving National Trail is through the Peak District and South Pennines, using existing cycle trails, minor roads and much rougher bridleway sections suitable for mountain bikes.
The Stanage Circle
This loop clips the W fringe of Sheffield before heading around Redmires Reservoirs and a great descent through Stanage Edge and a short road section back with good views of those climbing the famous gritstone walls.