The Peak District Mountain Bike Trails are in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire, England. They attract riders locally as well as from the big urban conurbations of Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby, Leeds and Manchester and even further afield.
The natural terrain which is rocky, rut laden, steep, often muddy and always epic is renowned in the MTB community as some of the best in the UK. Names such as Jacob's Ladder, Doctors Gate, Cut Gate Path and the Stanage Steps resound with fond and tough memories for many a mtb'er.
The network of trails probably frequented the most are around Edale, Hope Valley, Ladybower and the Upper Derwent reservoirs. Meeting in Hope on a summers afternoon can often seem like a mini MTB village has popped up quite reminiscent of a trip to the Alps. All these trails are natural and often evolved over old ruined roman roads and bridleways and there is no way-marking so be prepared and if you can hook up with a local or club to get the best out of it.
Here is a taster of some of the top routes:
Doctors Gate and Cut Gate Path
- This is approximately a 36 mile epic that kicks off around the Ladybower reservoir (Fairholmes Visitor Centre car park is a good place to start). Rocky and often muddy as well as exposed in places, Cut gate starts off on a descending track takes you down an old roman stone path typical of the area and down steep rock steps that are very technical in places. Route here
- Starting at the Fox House Inn, near Hathersage this is approximately another 27 mile rocky epic. Expect Gritstone flag stones, slabs & small boulders, peaty mud and grass. The Stanage steps are infamous for good reason. Route here
- This is approximately an 18 mile route starting in Edale. This covers classics such as Rushup Edge, Roych Clough and Jacob's Ladder. The Jacob's ladder descent is long, fast track that is seriously rock laden. It is hard work, punishing, technical, takes no prisoners and rewarding. Route here
Hope Triple Eight
- This is approximately a 19 mile route that starts off in Hope and is rocky in nature. Known for tough ups and descents and reasonable for all year riding.
- Kicking off in Longnor this is approximately a 25-mile trail in the less popular part of the Peaks for riding and goes through the three counties of Derbyshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire. The Hollinsclough steps are rocky and tough.
Eyam & Bakewell
- Starting in Eyam this is approximately a 19-mile route made up of terrain ranging from rocks, grass, gravel, mud and tarmac.
- This is approximately a 29-mile route starting in Ashover. Although there quite a lot of tarmac on this route, it is used to link up some good bridleways. Typically you climb on the tarmac on this route but then descend on rocky trails.