OverviewHayfield is a small village situated on the edge of The Peak District in Derbyshire nestling below Kinder Scout. It is a lovely place with stone cottages, pubs and narrow streets the River Sett running through the centre. This particular trail picks up the new Pennine Bridal Way and links in with existing trails including Rushup Edge, the very technical Chapel Gate Track and the infamous Jacob's Ladder. The tracks appear to have been recently maintained as they used to be boggy and rutted. There was little sign of this even after some serious downfall so far this year. All in all this is a great technical ride which will challenge the handling skills of even the hardened MTBer. After spending years doing this anticlockwise I decided to do it the other way. Wow. It is so much better. A long slog up Oaken Clough BUT the downhill is awesome. Alas the route below is the former. I must re-write it, though with a map it is pretty straight-forward!
The descent of Jacob's Ladder is THE highlight of the ride IN THE CLOCKWISE DIRECTION!!! Well worth the slog to the top. It is an amazing technical descent exactly 1 mile dropping 644ft. Check this out!
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Park the car in Hayfield.
1. From Hayfield pick up the lane running due east with the river on the left and ride for about 0.7 miles and turn right onto a track. Look for the green signs denoting the Pennine Bridal Way (PBW). Climb up the steep trail for about 0.5 miles, past a cottage on the left and up to the gate. Pass through the gate.
2. Continue along the trail which drops a little down to a road and then take the immediate right. It is signposted PBW. Climb up and keep right and through the gates and down to a wider junction. Turn left and climb.
3. The trail continues for about 3.5 miles along double track. descending to a ford and then making a steep technical climb. Eventually it comes out on the Sheffield Road.
4. Turn sharp left and climb up Rushup Edge. This is technical but easier if you so wish by taking the right side by the dry stone wall. Look out for the signpost to Barber Booth and Edale on the left. This is the start of Chapel Gate Track.
5. Drop down on the unbelievably technical track with remnants of a once metalled road showing themselves as thin strips of ancient tarmac. This makes for challenging stuff!
6. At the road turn left and then first left along the lane, singposted Upper Booth. Proceed for 1 mile along this lane which makes a sharp right passing over the River Noe and up through a farm. You can get a drink here!
7. The trail climbs very slowly to the base of Jacob's Ladder an impossibly steep climb. Cross the river and take the left gate and up and up and up!!
8. At the top keep going up! It's a hike a bike job. At the top now begins a great technical descent of about 1.5 miles down towards Hayfield.
9. Pick up the tarmac and through a gate take the left turn and up on the road back to the PBW on the left. Climb and go through the gate and drop down and back into Hayfield and the car.
From Manchester head along the A6 to Stockport. Keep on this road through Hazel Grove, Disley to Newtown. Turn left on the A6015 to New Mills and out towards Birch Vale and Hayfield. Park the car in the Sett Vale Trail car park. There is a fee - £3 per day.
When to Bike
Biking is year round but more fun in summer and if there has been a dry spell. However it does seem to be well drained at present. Ice and snow can be a problem in winter but shouldn't stop the fun unless it is deep! Take the usual precautions when MTBing.