The Lake Distict is situated in the North West of England and offers some of the most amazing mountain bike riding in the country. There are only a few mountain peaks that can be biked legally and these are simply awesome. However there are plenty of options which lead you up passes and drovers tracks in this amazing scenery. Grizedale Forest is found in the Southern Lakes near Coniston Water. It has a history of mountain biking way back into the '80s when you could ride out there and never see another mountain bike. Things have changed and it is developing into a honeypot centre for mountain bikers.
There are numerous trails through the forest which lead down into the western valley on the Coniston side and the valley on the eastern Windermere side. There has also been developed, a relatively new 10 mile man made trail sponsored by North Face called the TNF trail. Grizedale has it all as well as good facilities which include a visitors' centre, bike shop, bike hire, cafe and toilets. Oh and if swinging from ropes is your thing they have a "Go Ape" adventure centre.
Once at Grizedale the options are almost endless. Of course there is the TNF but there are some very exciting routes away from this trail. Trail maps can be bought from the centre.
1. One of the best is a cracking downhill to High Nibthwaite. To get to this you need to climb up from the visitors centre turning right onto the main forest track heading up hill.
2. After about a mile there is a right courner with a sharp left turn up hill. Take this.
3. Proceed up the hill and it joins the main fire road through the forest. Carry along this bearing right and dropping downhill. On the right is a great alternative route downhill to Coniston Water.
4. Carry on and start to climb. Do not take the fire road to the right keep straight ahead. After about 400 yds there is a left turn on the wide forest road. Do not take this but go straight ahead between the two rocks and onto some singletrack.
5. Follow this and you pop out of the woods into open land called the Park above Park Crags. There are great views across to Coniston Old Man and Coniston Water below.
6. Keep on this good trail and you will eventually drop down to a stone cottage at Low Parkamoor. The trail goes right past the front door and climbs up to a junction where there is a sign post.
7. Follow the trail and it eventually drops. This is the downhill to High Nibthwaite. It is rocky and rough in parts and will test your handling. Great fun.
8. At the end of the downhill you turn right onto a road which runs along Coniston Water. After about 4 miles turn right back onto forest track and past some foresters cottages.
9. Climb back up to the top. It is about 2 miles to get onto the high track. Turn left at the top and retrace you way back to the centre or explore that other downhill back to Coniston Water which will now be on your left!
On the M6 North leave at junction 36. Drive on the A590 towards Kendal but leave at the first main junction west to Levens Hall and Newby Bridge. Just after newby Bridge cross the river and head on minor roads to Force Mills. Turn right here and through Satterthwaite. The Visitor's centre is about 1 mile form here.
When to Bike
Biking can be all year round. The facilities are open year round too.