Peak District Mountain Bike Route Guide
This 21.5 mile mountain bike route is an out and back on the Cut Gate trail directly north of the Ladybower Reservoir in the Peak District, with a loop around Langsett Reservoir at the halfway point. This ride has some excellent rocky descending that gets very technical in places. It also crosses a lot of trails on exposed peat, so it is advisable not to ride this route in the wet as there are long sections of trail that can be very boggy.
1. Start from the car park at the Upper Derwent Visitor Centre (GR172893). At exit of the car park turn right and follow the road to the roundabout behind the Visitor Centre then take the second exit, a gated road directly to the left of the entrance to the Visitor Centre. The road passes underneath the Derwent dam before bearing right and climbing to a junction (GR174894). Turn sharp left and follow lane, which soon becomes a wide gravel track. Keep following the wide track up the right hand side of the valley past the Derwent then Howden reservoirs. Continue climbing past the end of the Howden reservoir then after going through a gate descend a short way to a junction. Turn right to a bridge and ford, at the stream crossing (GR170963).
2. Go across the stream then bear right to a junction a short distance later (GR170953). Take the right hand track, signed as a bridleway, and follow it up the right hand side of Cranberry Clough. At the head of the valley go through the small stream crossing then turn left and climb the steep rocky trail. Push up the steep rocks to a junction then go straight on and continue pushing up the steep climb. Eventually the trail turns left and becomes rideable again as it traverses the hillside. At the end of the rocky singletrack the trail bears right for a grassy rutted climb. The ground is soft and deceptively steep, so is pretty draining (especially when wet). The trail then bears left for more of the same before coming to a section of paved track. This leads on to a short, steep, rocky and rutted push to the top (GR186961).
3. Follow the Cut Gate track straight on across the top of the moor. It is a peaty track scattered with rocks (and bogs if wet). After a while the trail steepens and the number of boulders increases. The trail eventually crosses a section of rock paving before it drops through a cobbled ford then. After this is a great section of rocky singletrack that traverses the right hand side of the gulley, along Mickleden Edge. At the junction about 2/3rds of the way down (you may miss it) continue descending straight ahead (GR191986). The trail eventually comes to a small climb that interrupts the descent. After the crest the track descends gently to a junction (GR197000). Bear left and descend the wide trail to some tight rocky bends at the trees. Follow the main trail down through the bends to a gate, by a bridge at the bottom, after the final left (GR198006).
4. Go through the gate and then right across the bridge over the stream. After the bridge climb the steep, cobbled track into the woods to a junction at the top. Bear left and follow the wide track, passing some junctions marked with ‘No Cycling’ signs, to a junction with two tracks on the left where the main track bears right (GR198009). Bear right to stay on the main track and follow it to a wide gravel junction just before reaching the A616 (GR199010). Turn right and follow the wide gravel track straight ahead. After a while it starts descending and finishes at the Langsett Reservoir Visitor Centre car park (GR210004).
5. Follow the bridleway marker left at the car park across the grass to the other end of the fence on the right, to where it finishes at the entrance to the car park. Exit the car park and turn right onto the A616, which can be very busy. Descend a short distance to the next junction on the right directly after The Bank View Cafe on the left (which caters for bikers) and a pub on the right (GR213005). Turn right and follow the road as it bears right then left before crossing the Langsett Reservoir Dam. Climb the road from the dam to the next junction with a track on the right (GR216000). Turn right and follow the wide gavel track to a forked junction. Take the left hand track that leads to a junction in the small cluster of houses of Upper Midhope. Turn left, then almost immediately turn right down a rocky walled track between the buildings. This short descent ends at a junction with a lane (GR214995).
6. Turn right and descend the lane to a gated junction. Go straight on through the gate and descend the wide gravel track through the trees. At the bottom the track bears left to a gate. Go through the gate then a short distance later follow the track through a right hand bend and up a rocky climb. Continue along the track to a junction directly before a gate in a stone wall ahead (GR203997). Turn left and climb the track across the exposed peat, which has a good scattering of rocks, with the stone wall on the right. The track gets rockier as it climbs, going through a dip on the way up and bearing right before it eventually ends at a junction with the previously ridden Mickledon Edge trail (GR191986).
7. Turn left and retrace your wheel tracks over the Cut Gate trail. The route from this point on follows the outward journey all the way back to the Upper Derwent Visitor Centre. After climbing Cut Gate go enjoy the descent on the other side. On the bottom section of the descent the trail becomes a rocky singletrack traverse before bearing right and descending steeply into Cranberry Clough. About ¾ of the way down this steep bit the trail comes to a junction. Straight on are the drops and steep steps climbed on the outward journey, while the track on the left is less technical and rejoins at the small stream crossing at the bottom (GR173953). Cross the stream and follow the singletrack out of Cranberry Clough. At the junction with the double track go straight on then go across the ford to the junction just after (GR169952).
8. Turn left and climb the gravel track. Go through the gate at the top then follow the track down the valley, going past the Howden then Derwent reservoirs, all the way to the previously visited tarmac junction just after passing the Derwent Dam (GR174894). Turn sharp right and descend the road, going underneath the dam then on to where it ends at the roundabout. Take the next exit off the roundabout to return to the Upper Derwent Visitor Centre to complete the ride.