This is a combination of a couple of trails in the area. It is outstanding with spectacular views on a clear day right across to Kinder and the Peak District and Manchester and the Cheshire Plain on the returning part of this trail. This trail has climbs which are do-able and some technical descents to test you. If you live in Stockport or the surrounding area then you haven’t got much of a drive to get to this brilliant route.
Park the car just outside of Marple above Roman Lakes.
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 Strines 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 and Hounds 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. Go straight across at this junction and down the steep metalled road. At the junction go straight across again and down the hill which bears right at the bottom to join the main road. Turn right.
9. Proceed for about 100yds turning left, with a pool and the right, over the river. Continue for 100yds and turn right at a small industrial estate. Go round the back and left onto the disused railway line called the Sett Valley Trail. Follow this for 2 miles and across two roads
10. At the main Hayfield car park cross the A624 into Hayfield. Turn left immediately.
and then sharp right onto a narrow road called Kinder lane. Proceed up the hill for about 0.2 miles and there is a left turn onto the Snake Path. This trail is between some stone cottages.
11. Ride up the Snake Path. This is a steep ascent and leads through three gates and onto open moorland.
12. Head out on the trail towards the white shooting cabin but turn left before it and over the footbridge.
13. Drop down on the path and through heather moorland. this is a great downhill which eventually leads to the main road the A624. Turn right here and up to the top a distance of just over 0.5 miles.
14. At the top turn left onto a minor road, Monk's Road for 0.7 miles. Turn left and follow the metalled road round to the left and you will see a stone wall in front of you on the corner. Go through the gap here and ride the trail to the far edge of the field. Climb the wall and turn left onto the double track. Follow this down past the farm (Matleymoor Farm) and to a left turn. Do not turn left but turn immediately right through the gate into the field.
15. Keep the wall on your right and follow it as it dips and then rises up and to the ribht. You should be able to clean this hill with effort!
16. At the top follow it down and the up again. Follow the double track between two walls. There is a right turn (the Eliminator) leading to Rowarth. Do not take. Keep going for about 440 yd and turn right, through a gate, onto a downhill singletrack section. This is fun.
17. Go through the gate at the bottom with a house on the left. Go down the hill and keep on the road for 0.8 miles past Lydiate Farm to an unusual junction at the top. Turn right and immediately left onto a potted double track for 0.5 miles.
18. Turn right at the stables and past the house for 0.3 miles. Take the left turn up.
19. Watch for a break in the stone wall on the left and cycle up to the huge Marple Cross for views across Manchester. If you are feeling brave drop down from the cross to the road junction and turn left. Follow this down for 200yds. Watch for the narrow single track on the right and take it. This becomes rocky and fun! Keep right and drop down on a loose surface between the houses.
20. Turn right here and through the golf course. Turn left and drop down. Notice the camp site on the right. The road runs out and becomes a great rocky track. Drop down this and past the farm at the bottom. Keep right and follow the lane round and back up to 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 Roman Lakes. Park the car along here.
When to Bike
This is a year round trail as can be seen from the photos. It has to be said that it is much more fun when it is dry but that is so rare in this neck of the woods!
A great set of maps can be bought called Mellor Magic and Mellor Mania which are particularly good and have many of the variations possible.