Buy the OS Route Map and instructions for this route

Grizedale has long been a hub for all things mtb in the Lakes, but the focus has been sharpened further in recent times with the development of the North Face Trail, which offers full-on forestry singletrack similar to that found in Wales or Scotland. But good though this is, it would be a shame to overlook the trails that already exist in the forest, especially some of the original bridleways that offer some superb, semi-technical riding that will put a smile on anybody’s face.
This route is a bit of a familiarisation tour of the Forest, stretching its full breadth from the shores of Coniston Water to the banks of Windermere, and climbing to a number of spectacular highpoints along the way. It’s a toughie, with around 1,000m of ascent in total — not bad for a 30km outing; but there are plenty of short-cuts and escape routes for those that after something easier.
The highlights are the descents: on the whole, rough and rocky with more than their fair share of drop offs and awkwardly placed boulders; the final plunge down Lawson Park being a fine example. But there’s plenty of other interesting going, including some fine singletrack: easy and die-straight through Hazel Seat Wood, but windy between the deer fences on the drop to Low Dale Park.
The climbs are mainly on fire roads and Tarmac and aren’t too taxing; but there’s the odd technical challenge too — especially on the early stages up from How Head and later on, after Low Dale Park, where the slippery rock will get you if the ford doesn’t!
As a bonus, you could slip in the odd section of the North Face Trail too — or save that for the afternoon…