The Hurstwood Trail
Grading - Blue
the car park head out through the top gate and bear right onto the
tarmac road heading up to the reservoir (you'll see the end of the trail
opposite you). Spin up the fire road, you'll see the trail crossing the
road about two thirds of the way up and continue until you get close to
the reservoir dam. The start of the trail will be on your right hand
starts off nice and gentle leading up between the trees before starting
to drop and going through a series of gently bermed corners. As you pick
up speed you'll come to nice right handed berm followed by a short slope
and a little trail feature. This first section the culminates in a sharp
right handed berm which brings you back to the road.
trail then continues across the road weaving between the tree and
through a nice little bomb hole. The character of the trail changes a
little on this side of the road becoming a little more challenging in
places but with a additional grin factor. Still trending downhill it's
easy to pick up speed as you pass through a small dip before coming to
the trickiest section of the trail. A steep drop takes you down and part
way back up again before pitching you into a steep right handed berm and
back off down the trail.
couple of small berms and another dip take you onwards to a sharp upward
slope (keep pedalling). More speeder bike nipping between the trees
follows before bringing you to the trails finale.
A right handed berm is followed by a left handed
berm shepherding you down the last slope and to shoot you back out onto
the road at the bottom.
Turn left for another run? Yes you will, this
time try and keep it a little tighter and a little faster.
There's plenty of other longer riding also on offer from Hurstwood,
here's a couple of suggested routes incorporating the Hurstwood Trail.
Longer Route 1 - Pennine Bridleway and
short but varied ride up past Hurstwood reservoir on the Mary Towneley
Loop. There's a bit of climbing and descending, surfaced bridleways,
'natural bridleways' and double track. A great little tastier of what
mountain biking can be.
Start from the
Hurstwood car park and head up the tarmac road to the reservoir gate.
Follow the track up the right hand side of the reservoir and keep going
until you reach a T junction. Turn right at the T junction and continue
climbing. Where the track you are on turns sharpley left there is a
permissive bridleway running off to the right. If you stay on the track
it'll make a right hand turn as you cross a small stream, you've gone
The bridleway is usually fairly
visible although doesn't have an armoured surface so can be very muddy
in places (not great after lots of rain). Follow the trail back down the
valley until you catch sight of Cant Clough reservoir. The bridleway
runs down the northern edge of the reservoir (although there's also a surfaced
track just above). When you get to the dam take the track to right and
follow it back to the Dam on Hurstwood reservoir. You're now at the
start of the Hurstwood trail and warmed up for a couple of laps.
Route 2 - Coal Clough Wind farm to Hurstwood and Back
route starts at the Coal Clough wind farm and uses a fantastic section
of the Mary Towneley Loop to get across to the Hurstwood trail before
retracing it steps back to the Coal Clough car park.
the car park head out right on the road until you come to the signs for
the Mary Towneley loop on your right. Follow the trail to Sheddon Clough,
this is a lovely section of trail, generally dry and smooth with a few
rockier (but not difficult) sections thrown in, and it's downhill! At
the bottom you'll get to a stream crossing, it is ride able (take care
if it's been raining a lot as the stream can be quite fast flowing) but
if you'd rather avoid a dunking it may be advisable to get off and hop
across on the rocks.
The trail continues on
past the stream on clear double track climbing up to the dam for Cant
Clough reservoir which you cross. At the far side of the reservoir go
through the gate on your right and up the track with your back to the
reservoir. Follow this track down the other side to the Hurstwood dam
and go through the gate on your right. This brings you to the start of
the Hurstwood trail ready for a couple of laps. When you've had enough
retrace your route back to the car.
Route 3 - Duke's Cut and Gorple Stones
A much more demanding route
taking you up onto the open moors crossing a variety of terrain. There
are some fantastic views from this route and it is rideable all year
around although it can get very exposed on the higher sections so be
Starting from the car park at
Hurstwood follow the tarmac road up to the dam. At the dam take the
track to your right signposted as the Mary Towneley Loop. Follow this
track across the dam for Cant Clough reservoir and head up
to the wind farm at Coal Clough. Where the trail meets the road turn
left and follow the road. After a couple of kilometres you'll see a road
branching off to the left, the entrance to Duke's Cut is just after this
on your right. There's also a radio mast which is a good land mark.
the double track until you get to a gate with the bridleway dropping
away to your left. Go through the gate and follow the trail down the
hill to another gate. Follow this double track until you reach a tarmac
road. Turn right onto the road. At the end of this road turn left and
follow the tarmac lane up the steep hill to a junction with another
road. Turn left again and follow the tarmac.
tarmac eventually runs out and you go through a gate following the
double track onto the open moor. The track takes you down to the dam for
Gorple Lower reservoir which you cross. Follow the two lines of concrete
down to the road and turn left following the road back up to Widdop
reservoir. Leave the road and cross the dam to follow the track around
the southern edge of the reservoir. The track climbs steeply as it
leaves the reservoir switch backing up to Gorple Gate where it levels
out. Stay on the track past Gorple stones and descend, watch out for the
water bars on the way down.
When you get to
the junction with another track turn left to Hurstwood reservoir. The
track takes you back to the dam and the start of the Hurstwood trail. If
you've got the energy a few laps will round the ride off nicely.