Lee and Cragg Trails

The quarry has one main loop with a black option and a number of skills areas and pump tracks.

The outer red loop is approximately 6km including the climb up from the car park and can be done in around 20 to 30 minutes. Most people will make several trips around the loop, sessioning sections and detouring off to play on the descent lines, black options or pump tracks.

Click on the map below to download maps of Lee & Cragg quarries in .pdf format.

Lee and Cragg Map

The question everybody asks ‘will I look silly padding up for Lee Quarry’ and the answer is it’s rocky, it’s unforgiving and apart from the odd sheep there’s not a lot of soft landings in the quarry.

Lee Quarry MTB Trails from Whitenosugar Productions on Vimeo.

Starting from Futures Park you climb up the track to gate into the quarry. From the gate there is yet more steep climbing up the section known as the Tramway, bear with it is worth the climb. At the top you switch back left on a track to the left which although technically double track will still test your choice of line. At the point this track starts to pass through the spoil tips there is a section of singletrack leading off to your left. This is a really good point to stop, put your lungs back in and turn around and admire the view across Rossendale.

Lee Quarry - The way in

Lee Quarry MarkersThe trails are way marked but in places this can be rather subtle. Look out for the red and black marker roundels, most are mounted on rocks at the side of the trail.

Once you’re breathing normally again head up the singletrack, cross the double track and get back on to the singletrack again. The trail curves around to you right skirting the spoil tips and brings you to the rock ascent. This might be the first section you decide to session, attempting to clear the climb without dabbing. At the top the trail hairpins back on itself to the right and becomes a ribbon of singletrack running along the top of the spoil tip you’ve just ridden around. The trail bears to the left and brings you to the first black option. Here you have a choice of stay right and follow the red graded trail or go left and drop down the steep and rocky descent before shooting up the other side to rejoin the red trail.

Lee Quarry - The first Black option

Lee Quarry - The first Black slab descent

The trail the twist and turns through the old working bringing you out onto a smooth level section that used to be a tramway for hauling the stone when the quarry was working. Follow this past the information point and look out for the trail disappearing off to your left. This is the start of the Rollercoaster section. Almost immediately you’ll hit a right handed berm, followed by a left and then right again. This is quickly followed up with another black / red choice. Go left for the black and tackle the three drop offs or go right down a steep and loose descent.

Lee Quarry -The 2nd Black descent

At the bottom turn sharp left back up the steep and loose track, this one may have you pushing, seeing as your head is already down look out for the section of fossilised river bed! The top of the climb brings you more rideable singletrack bench cut into the side of the spoil heaps. Several berms later and a couple of table tops will bring you out at the original skills area. Have a play on the rocks and skinnies and admire the view of Rossendale (assuming the cloud is down around you).

Lee Quarry FlagOnce you’ve finished playing head up the track to the back of the quarry, at the top you’ll see the route up to the three descent lines that start at the information sail. There’s two red graded lines to the right and a black graded line to the left, all short but excellent for honing your berms skills and generally mucking about. The three lines bring you back out at the skills area but there’s a route back up to the top snaking off to your left.

These three lines are definitely worth the time repeating.

Once you’ve finished drop back to the track and head to the back of the quarry and climb up the steep incline to the terrace over looking the quarry. On the terrace you’ll find the start of the link to Cragg Quarry. It’s on your left and about the only point you can leave the terrace. There’s nearly always a stream flowing across the rail at this point, the start of the link is very natural but you’ll quickly pick up the new section of bridleway that’ll take you up to Rooley Moor Road and across to Cragg Quarry.

At the end of the terrace you’ll come to the Qualifier for the main black option. What looks like a jumble of boulders is in fact the start of the black section.

Lee Quarry - Black Qualifier

This is a true black graded section, it requires good balance and bike handling skills as it traverses the side of the spoil tips along a series of boulders laid end to end. Get it wrong here and it’s a 50ft drop to the quarry floor. The end of this tech fest is a choice of steep and testing drops taking you down to the floor of the quarry. The black route winds through the lagoons and remains of the working on a series of narrow boulder paths before climbing steeply back up a section of double track to rejoin the red route.

The red route in the meantime stays high clinging to the sides of the spoil tips and although not as techy as the black option the line is still very exposed with an even greater drop off the edge with nothing but the odd sheep to break your fall to the track below.

The black rejoins the red at Windy Gap and continues to contour the slag heaps high above the fields below. The trail starts to drop at the Ginnel, a sharp stone flagged left hand berm which shoots you into a rock garden descent.

Ginnel RiderThe trail continues after the Ginnel continuing the dual themes of rocky and narrow clinging to the side of the spoil tips. You eventually come out at a special humped cattle grid which gives you access ot the lower slopes of Lee Quarry.

This last section has a very different feel to the rest of the quarry as there is far less rock and even some trees. More like a traditional trail centre this section is fast and flowing. It starts off contouring across the slopes below the paddock before a sharp left hander takes you a steep descent peppered with table tops and other features. A right handed berms shoots you back right to cross the double track and into the trees. More tight singletrack and sharp corners take you on a fast descent back to the gate at the beginning of the Tramway. From here’s it’s either back up right to do it again or right back to the car.

Lee Quarry - Red Return to base

The Pump Tracks

On your tour of the slag heaps you may have glimpsed the two pump tracks nestling in the centre of the quarry. There are a number of ways to get to them, after climbing the tramway at the start instead of turning left follow the track straight on into the quarry. From the red route you can get to the pump tracks from the skills area after the rollercoaster (face north looking into the valley and take the track leading to the left) or from where the red and black rejoin at Windy Gap, retrace your steps back down the track the black comes up.

Lee Quarry - Pump track

The picture above shows the original pump track with the drop off lines up behind it, the newer pump track is nestled away below the cliffs off to the left of this photograph.

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