When planning today’s ride I decided that I’d try to find some more bits that were new to me. Inspired by the success of getting a route to Marple worked out I thought that it was about time to explore some more trails that I’ve been riding past for a long time. Specifically the ones that you see heading off underneath the viaduct behind the fishing ponds at Reddish Vale.

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Scouring Google satellite imagery revealed that there was a network of trails but that the obvious ones just let into an effective dead end because of the bends in the river. The route taken lies on the other side of the river from where you can push through to the Stockport Road (A6017). This is in fact just an alternative to the designated Transpennine Trail (TPT) route that climbs up and over the M60 and then brings you out at the top of the hill rather than the bottom. Given the mud, it’s probably wiser to avoid this new bit of cheek in all but the driest weather.

From the Stockport Road you pick up the TPT and follow the River Tame. At the end of Gibraltar Lane the bridge takes you over to the otherside. Now this is where things went a bit awry. My OS map of the Dark Peak doesn’t quite cover this area. It’s either just off the edge of the map or obscured by the key, so quite a lot of what followed next was guess work. I knew the TPT took you up to the main road via Apethorn Lane. This is way I should have gone, riding a section of the A560, before taking Joel Lane and the Werneth Low Road.

Dan Wood Trail

Opted to grind up to Peak Forest Canal. Explored a bit in Gower Hey Wood, headed up into the Housing Estate on the othersiide of the railway and then gave up hope of finding a way through and crossed back over the river and took the steps up and into Dan Wood. Great bit of riding here, except that as I approached Hyde I ran into a group of Youths messing about on motorbikes. It was a bit intimidating so I didn’t hang about and once into Hyde used the compass and OS map to get back onto the TPT (which after plotting the route I’ve discovered effectively made me double back on myself).

TPT to the climb up to Mottram Old Road and then discovered a Bridleway that has recently been created (not on the OS map) heading up past the Golf Course to the crest of Werneth Low. Nice trail, bastard steep at the bottom and had to get off and push for a bit. Once at the top rode along the ridge and then down the bridleway to Compstall. Found the plan to cut through Brabyn Park and over the railway and canal scuppered by the bridge being out and then had to double back and suffer the way up the hill from Marple Bridge. Route back to home was easy once I’d tied in the section from Marple Hall Drive. Stoked to have managed to have pulled this together. It’s an ace little loop, with scope for refinement by adding in and cutting out some bits.

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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