Macc Forest Classic
Peak District Mountain Bike Route Guide
This mountain bike route of 18.4 miles climbs through Macc Forest to the Cat and Fiddle pub before looping back through Three Shire Heads. The ride is a good taster of rocky Peak District riding, and includes some great descents.
1. Start from the Trentabank car park near Trentabank Reservoir (GR961711). Turn left out of the car park and descend to a junction by the reservoir. Turn right and follow the lane, keeping the reservoir on the left, to a junction at the Leather’s Smithy pub. Turn right and climb the lane to a gate at the start of a wide gravel track on the left (GR959717). Go through the gate a climb the concessional bridleway into Macc Forest. Bear left and go past a gate on the right to a forked junction. Take the right hand track and continue climbing to a four-way junction at a stone building. Go up the second track on the right for a steep climb on the wide forest track in the direction of the sign pointing to Walker Barn. The track immediately bears left and climbs to a gate at the edge of the forest. After the gate turn right for a short but steep climb to the next junction (GR962731).
2. Turn right and climb the gritstone trail along the edge of the forest, on the right. After reaching the crest enjoy the fast, rocky Charity Lane descent that finishes at a tarmac crossroad at Chapel House farm (GR974921). Turn left then ride past the right hand side of the chapel and take the double track that bears of to the right. The track soon bears left down a steep descent. Take care with your speed, when the track bears right the ground turns from grassy double track to loose gravel with steps, where it can be difficult to slow down. At the junction with the lane at the bottom turn left. At the next junction turn left and climb a short way to the junction by the Stanley Arms (GR980724).
3. Turn right for a long climb to a junction with the A537. At this junction turn right and follow the main road all the way to the top, at the Cat and Fiddle pub (GR001719). Turn right, where the road turns left around the pub, and follow the straight gritstone trail across the moor. After reaching the top of the hill follow the track left and descend the fast Danebower Hollow bridleway. The track finishes at a gate at the A54 (GR010700). After the gate turn right and descend the main road through a dip then climb a short distance to the following junction with a singletrack lane on the left (GR005694).
4. Take the lane on the left and descend towards a farm. On the tight left hand bend just before the farm go straight on through the two gates, set one after the other, to enter a field. Directly after the second gate turn left and descend the rocky track beside the fence. Turn left in the next field and descend the track along the banked edge of the field. In the bottom corner of the field turn right and follow the track along the line of the wall on the left, down to a gate. It is a good idea to ride just high and right of the track here as it is usually very boggy. After the gate descend the rocky, singletrack trail along the right hand side of the valley to the junction at the bridge of Three Shire Heads (GR009685).
5. Go straight on, past the bridge, for a technical, rocky climb that bears right around the hill. It is possible to clean this climb but it's not easy. Go through the gate at the top of the climb then turn sharp left and descend the steep lane. Stay on this lane and follow it all the way to a junction with a road (GR996665). Go straight ahead, down a short descent then up the following climb. After going over the top of the climb descend a very short distance to a small cluster of buildings that is Bruntcliff Top, then turn right up the thin rocky track just before the house on the right (GR991663).
6. Climb a short way between the drystone walls to a gate. Go through the gate and straight ahead for a long gradual climb on rocky double track. Continue along this track over the crest of the hill then go down a short, rocky descent, which turns to tarmac just before a tight left hand bend that leads to a gated junction with the A54 (GR984677). Turn right and climb the main road for about 1.5miles. Near the top of the climb follow the main road through a left then right hand bend. After the right hand bend descend through a dip and climb to a junction with a track on the left, by a drystone wall that traverses the hillside (GR003692).
7. Turn left and go through the gate then follow the track by the drystone wall. The track soon gets looser and rockier as it descends into the valley ahead. The trail eventually bears right to a flat left hand bend that leads to a gate at the halfway point. Go through the gate for the rockiest part of the descent. At the end of the trees go through a gate, then bear left through a ford before coming to a gated junction with a lane at the bottom (GR988697).
8. Turn right and follow the lane to a forked junction a short distance later. Take the right hand fork and descend to the next junction. Continue straight ahead and follow the lane for about 1 mile along the bottom of the valley to a crossroad junction (GR982713).
9. Turn left and climb the steep lane between the drystone walls to a junction at the top, on the edge of Macc Forest (GR978714). Turn left through the gate and follow the wide gravel concessional bridleway along the edge of the forest. Descend into the trees bearing right then follow the wide gravel track left for a climb. The track then bears right, goes through a dip then up a longer climb. After this climb descend a short way to a junction (GR967704).
10. Turn left up the steep but short switchback climb. Continue straight on at the top. When the track starts descending it bears left to a junction a short distance later. Go straight on down the thin track signposted as a cycle track. At the junction with the wide track, which is on the other side of a small bank, follow the cycle track right for a fast descent through the trees. The descent eventually comes to a gated junction with a wide forest track (GR963708). Turn left and descend the forest track to a gated junction with a lane. Go through the gate and turn right then follow the lane a short distance to the next junction. Turn right again and climb the lane a short distance to finish the ride at the Trentaback car park, on the right.