The Rowarth Route
Peak District Mountain Bike Route Guide
This mountain bike route of 17.6 miles, which starts in Hayfield, circles then goes through the village of Rowarth a few miles to the North West. The trails are split between the grit stone of the Dark Peak and limestone towards the Goyt Valley. This produces a ride with some nice variety as well as some great descents.
1. Start from the Visitor Centre car park (GR035869) and head towards the centre of Hayfield, in the direction of the church. Use the pedestrian crossing to get across the main road. On the far side go straight ahead down the road, with the church on the left, to a junction. Turn left and go over the bridge, then at the second junction directly after turn right. Climb the lane between the houses and go straight on at the next junction a short distance later. Follow the lane through a couple of bends to the top of the climb. Just after reaching this short flat section of road turn left up the wide concrete track signed as a birdleway (GR041868).
2. Climb straight on at the first junction then bear right for a steep, loose, rocky climb to a gate. After the gate the steep, rocky climb continues for a short while. Follow the trail as it bears left, flattens off and comes to a junction. Go straight on, keeping to the wall on the left, and climb the obvious trail through a few fields and gates. Near the top the trail goes through a gate and follows a wall on the left. Continue along this trail, bearing right, then go past a junction to another gate. Once through the gate continue straight on up the rocky, grit stone trail to the next junction, near the shooting lodge ahead on the left (GR050883).
3. Turn left and cross the low wooden bridge. After the bridge climb gently through the moors to a short but steep set of stone steps that drop to a stream crossing in a gully. After crossing the stream climb left, away from the stream, then bear right to the top of a long descent. The descent offers a number of line choices with loose rocks, little drops and ruts. At the bottom cross the stream by the bridge or the ford. Climb left to the double track then bear left down to the gate at the main road (GR034894).
4. Once through the gate turn right and climb the A624. At the junction at the top of the hill turn left. After a short climb descend right on the road to a junction in the bottom of a dip, where the road ahead climbs steeply (GR024910). Turn left and follow the lane, past a junction with a lane on the left, to a gate. Go through the gate and climb the lane towards Cown Edge. At the next junction, were the lane turns left and descends, go straight on up the rocky track that climbs the ridge (GR016910). After reaching the top of Cown Edge descend to a gate. Go through the gate then follow the trail immediately left then right to descend a gravel track between a fence and a wall. Go straight on at the next gate and follow a wide, muddy track through a couple of gates. At the next junction bear left and continue along the track to where it ends at a junction with a lane (GR998909).
5. Turn right and follow the lane down to a T-junction by a farm (GR996914). Turn left and climb through a left hand bend, around the back of the farm. After the crest of this short climb descend through a long right hand bend. At the bottom go past a track on the left and follow the lane to a crossroad junction at the top of the next climb (GR989905). Turn left and descend the lane steeply down hill through a number of bends, then at the bottom turn left up a rocky track. A short distance later bear right and continue up the tricky climb. After reaching the top the track descends to a junction. Turn left to go up a gentle climb then descend through a right hand bend to a junction with a lane (GR993896).
6. Turn right and climb the lane between the houses. The lane soon flattens off before coming to a crossroad junction (GR990895). Go straight on, and climb the track to the buildings a short distance later. Go between the buildings to a gate leading into the top of a field. Go through the gate and follow the fence on the left to the gate on the opposite side of the field, this section can be a bit muddy (GR986893). After the gate climb the tarmac to a large gate at the farm. Once through the gate keep to the fence on the right and drop down the paved driveway between the buildings of Mellor Hall. Before you ask ‘Yes’ this is the legal right of way. Bear left to the keypad operated gates and go through the small pedestrian gate on the right hand side. After the gate follow the lane and through a quick right then left S-bend to a T-junction where the lane turns right (GR984890).
7. Turn left to go through the gate and climb the double track along the wall on the left. Go through the gate at the top and continue along the muddy track, which soon bears right and descends to a gate. After the gate go straight on then climb the track as it bears left and right before coming to a junction with a lane. Go straight on and follow the lane to a junction by Hilltop farm, on the right (GR994888).
8. Turn left and follow the wide and straight dirt track. At the end of the track turn right on the road and follow it up a gentle climb to a five-way road junction (GR997882). Go straight across the main road to follow the wide dirt track ahead. Follow this track on the flat to the four-way junction at the end of the trees on the left. Turn left and descend the rocky track, keeping the trees on the left, to a junction with the road at the bottom (GR001875).
9. Turn right on the road, then after a short distance turn sharp left at the next junction, onto the singletrack between the drystone walls. This track traverses the hill before ending with a short, rocky descent to a junction with a lane (GR002880). Turn right and descend the tarmac. Go through the dip in the bottom of the valley, then climb to the next junction. Go ahead and slightly left to climb the lane past Aspenshaw Hall. Where the lane ends go straight on through the gate and climb singletrack through the trees to a gated junction at the top (GR019877).
10. Go through the gate and turn left onto the wide dirt track. At the next jucntion follow the wall on the left and start the rocky descent to Laneside farm. The great descent starts out steep and rocky before bearing left to the flat, smooth middle section before a final bouldery descent to a junction with a lane at the bottom (GR014887). Bear slightly left and descend the lane, then go through a right hand bend and pass the water wheel at the Little Mill Inn on the left. Climb a short way from the pub to a junction where the lane bears left (GR011890). Bear right off the lane, along the track that goes between some houses. It soon reduces in width for a short, tight and bouldery singletrack climb. At the top follow the trail to the left of the low wall and go through a left hand bend, to a lane. Go straight on to the junction in the middle Rowarth (GR012893).
11. Turn right and follow the lane to a junction on the edge of the village, then bear left and climb the steep lane. The lane soon comes to a gated junction with a track on the right (GR014896). Go through the gate and descend the rocky track to a ford at the bottom. Go through the ford and climb the track to a gate. After the gate bear left and climb the steep lane. Follow the lane to a junction with a track on the right signed as the Pennine Bridleway (GR019901). Turn right and follow the wide track. Bear right through the gate on the bend and continue along the track all the way to a junction at a Matley Moor farm (GR024896).
12. Go straight on between the drystone walls to the next junction. Continue straight on and climb to the gates on the outside of a 90deg left hand bend at the top (GR025889). Go through the gate into the left hand corner of the field. Don’t follow the track along the line of the drystone wall on the left. Take the vague trail that heads slightly to the right of this, that climbs across to the opposite side of the field, in the direction of Lantern Pike. The trail starts out vague but becomes progressively more defined. At the far side of the field go across the muddy area to the gate in the right hand corner (GR027885).
13. Once through the gate climb the short, steep gritstone track before bearing left at the top. Stay on the track for a fast descent that goeas through a gate before coming to a junction with a lane. Bear right then left though the junction at the cottages, on the right, then descend the lane a junction at the bottom (GR024874). Turn right then almost immediately left down the lane opposite the row of cottages. The lane soon comes to a junction with a gated track on a hairpin bend (GR022872). Go straight on through the gate for a fun, loose, rocky descent with the opportunity of air on the way down. After the cobbles at the bottom turn left onto the road and go over the bridge. After the bridge climb a short way to a gate on the left (GR021868). Go left through the gate and follow the Sett Valley trail all the way back to the car park in Hayfield to complete the ride.