The ride on Mellor Moor is a good cross country route just outside the urban area of Stockport. Unless you were local this great trail could easily be miss. There are numerous options on Mellor Moor to extend, cut short or link in with other trails like the Hayfield one (see my trails). It can become an epic or just this 8 mile loop if time is at a premium! There are cracking views across Stockport and Manchester from Marple Cross in one direction and the Peak District and Kinder in the other.
The trail starts near The Roman Lakes at Marple. Parking can be at the lakes or just up the rough lane nearer to Marple.
1. From the Roman Lakes. Follow the River Goyt past a lovely stone cottage and up to a tunnel. Bear left into the railway tunnel and up past the farm at Stawberry Hill.
2. The track bears to the right and becomes narrower and starts to climb through the woods leaving the river behind. The railway line is on the right.
3. After 400 yds ride up to the gate and turn right onto a rough pot holed road past a farm on the right.
4. The trail goes right on the bridge over railway line. The road drops down past a house and to a junction.
5. Turn left here and onto the cobbled road and head towards the tunnel with the station on the right.
6. Under the tunnel turn right and start to climb. This climb is for 0.5miles and goes through a canopy of trees. It gets rougher and steeper towards the end and pops out onto a lane with the pub, The Fox Inn, on the left and a red phone box on the right. This is called Brook Bottom.
7. Turn right and carry on for 200yds to the green bench on the right and stop for the views!
8. Immediately opposite the bench turn left and climb on this trail for just over 0.5 miles to the junction. The golf club is on the right. Now is the time to decide whether to extend or to loop back!!
9. If looping back then turn left on the metalled road and follow it for just over 0.5 miles passing a cottage on the right. Don't miss the views across the valley to Kinder. Turn left just beyond the stables and carry on the trail for 400 yds and take the left turn onto a very muddy wide track.
10. Follow this for about 400 yds. Marple Cross can be seen on the left. A short and worthwhile detour can be made by taking a path between the dry stone wall to the cross. Fantastic views are seen acorss Manchester. This is great at night!
11. Drop down off the cross and follow the road to the left, downhill past some houses. Watch for a narrow trail to the right which leads through the trees and weaves down the side of some houses. This is not to be missed.
12. Out you pop on another dirt road. Turn left here and follow the trail with views to the right. The trail turns into a road and passes though a lovely hamlet of stone cottages. You will see the red phone box ahead and the Fox Inn on the right. Drop down between these and retrace your way back past the station towards the Roman Lakes and the car.
From Stockport head out on the A626 towards Marple. Pass through Marple towards Strines and turn left at the sharp right hand bend immediately after Marple with the park on the right.
Follow the road down and across the T junction. Go straight across and this becomes steep and pot holed leading to the Roman Lakes where there is car parking and the start of the trail.
When to Bike
This can be ridden at any time of the year. As with the trails in England they can get very muddy but this one is not boggy and so can be ridden any time.
The trail is shared with horse riders and there are particularly good relations between the two users. e.g. There was a successful joint action, a few years ago, by horse riders and MTBers to prevent a large section of this trail being tarmaced.
Please dismount and allow horse riders by, to maintain this excellent relationship. They are always appreciative when we do this!