Mountain Bike Routes Maps & Guides



Home >Peak District > Dark Peak

Peak District Mountain Biking

Dark Peak Trails

This is one of our best selling guidebooks and with good reason - it is one of the best areas to ride in the UK and this is the best and most comprehensive guide that covers it.

Includes 26 routes that will allow you to discover all the best riding, from short blast rides to full day classics, from easy to extreme. Routes marked on Ordnance Survey Maps with easy to follow directions.

See map below for information on all the routes.

Happy riding!

See below for route details

Book Details:
ISBN 978-1-906148-18-8 . March 2010
Written by Jon Barton. Vertebrate Publishing
Book Size is a handy 12cm x 17.5cm

Great Value


RRP £15.95

Fast Despatch
Also sold as a bundle

The Mountain Biking Routes

Map showing the approximate recommended starting points for each route as indicated in the book.
Click on a marker for route information.

In the guide each route includes a map with the route highlighted and clear text directions.

Summary of the routes:


Route 1. Blacka Moor

Route Grade: medium. Distance: 16.5km

An excursion onto the Moors west of Sheffield and making the most of the fine riding in the area - a bona fide Peak District Mountain Biking Classic.The highlight is the descent on the Piper Lane bridleway, twisty singletrack leads to technical rock work before more singletrack spits you out onto tarmac.

Route 2. Ladybower Lite

Route Grade: medium / hard. Distance: 15km

Challenging, technical climbs and exhilarating descents are complimented by some of the best scenery Derbyshire has to offer. This area is rightly a mecca for mountain bikers and this route although a great introduction is also a timeless classic worthy of many a visit.

Route 3. Digley Circuit

Grade: medium. Distance: 11.5km

Short, fast fun mountain bike route and almost entirely lacking in level ground. A good intro to mountain biking or as a training circuit, excellent whatever the weather. The route gets better and better the further round you go and finishes with a fantastic long track descent to the finish.

Route 4. Langsett

Route Grade: easy-medium. Distance 10km.

Starting in a pine wooded car park and venturing out into two remote stretches of moorland trails. This is a figure of 8 route and so can easily be shortened into two smaller, but no less poor circuits. The ride starts in the protection of pine woods but goes into the moors which dending on the weather can feel like very wild mountain biking!

Route 5. Mam Tor Figure of 8

Route Grade: medium. Distance: 15.5km.

A very good short mountain bike route that makes the most of the sensational riding along the ridge that connects Mam Tor and Rushup Edge. Two of the four significant climbs are made easier by being on tarmac, the other two are off-road and only really steep in short, rideable sections. The descents are fast with tricky sections to keep you on your toes.


Route 6. Bradwell Circuit

Route Grade: medium-hard / extreme. Distance: 21km

This mountain bike route incorporates quite a bit of steady mileage but also throws in some well scary downhills - and an option to explore the Pin Dale 'Drop Zone'. It is also a bit of an oddity as although just fitting onto the Dark Peak the surface is mainly on limestone; so prepare yourself for a little less grip beneath your tyres. The drainage is godo though; so should be rideable for the year round.

Cut Gate Special MTB

Route 7. Disley Circuit

Route Grade: medium / hard. Distance: 23km

This great big loop around New Mills uses a cunningly linked network of bridleways, consisting of rocky bridleways, ancient farm tracks and fast hardcore trails, to take in a variety of superb terrain. With the emphasis on climbing, this route is a very good test of fitness. One of the author's favourite rides.

Route 8. The Beast

Route Grade: hard. Distance 20km

If you like your tough technical descents then this route includes the legendary section of trail known as 'The Beast' - loose rocks, large rocks, drops offs and bends to negotiate. It is not for the faint hearted. The rest of the route is on a good mixture of surfaces.

Route 9. Chinley Churn & Rowarth

Route Grade: medium. Distance: 22km

A wonderful route, quality singletrack, rocky bridleways and fast hardpack on the western fringe of the national park. The singletrack that climbs alongside Chinley Churn is a good one to see if you can do dab free. When you get to the top take in the awesome view before a descent that starts of fairly easy (though rutted) so pick your route carefully before it steepens into a testing technical descent thats starts grassy and finishes rocky.

Ladybower MTB route

Route 10. Misty Marple

Route Grade: medium. Distance: 22km

Nowhere are the hills too long or so technical that the average rider should not be able to ride them, the descents are fun but not hair-raising and the terrain is beautifully varied. This could be the perfext ride!

Route 11. Snake Doctor

Route Grade: hard / extreme. Distance: 16km

Short and very very sharp would be the best way to describe this mountain bike route. Very useful as an afternoon training route if you're local to the area this route will test both uphill endurance and, even more, your ability to handle a potentially very dangerous descent!

Route 12. This is Ladybower

Route Grade: medium. Distance: 26km

The classic Peak District mountain biking circuit featuring a bit of everything, singletrack, rocky descents, woodland trails, remote moorland, views and wildlife.

Route 13. Kinder Circuit

Route Grade: medium - hard. Distance: 23km

One of the all time classics. A superb challenging ride with a wilderness feel. Includes a spectacular finale crossing a high shoulder of Kinder Scout and then descending Jacob's Ladder.

This ride can be extended a number of ways, and we also sell and map that shows all the trails


Peak District MTB Enduro Routes

Route 14. Hope Valley Watershed

Route Grade: hard / hard. Distance 34km

A long ride, a lot to see, height is hard won and descents sometimes challenging - one hell of a ride!

Route 15. Cut Gate Special

Route Grade: medium. Distance: 28km .

One of the best routes in the guide in dry conditions. An unmissable opportunity to traverse this world class mountain bike track twice in one day. An out and back route with a tasty loop at the end.

Route 16. Hathersage Circuit

Route Grade: Hard. Distance: 29km.

Lots of fast tracks with fantastic views of high moorland and interesting valley landscapes.

Route 17. High Peak Circuit

Route Grade: Hard. Distance 26km.

Quite a varied route featuring killer climbs and equally killer moorland singletrack. The mileage might not seem like much but come prepared for a bit of an epic.

Route 18. Kinder Enduro

Route Grade: hard. Distance: 33km.

This ride covers big terrain and you will need to be well prepared and well equipped!

Route 19. Mam Tor Classic

Route Grade: easy/medium. Distance: 34km.

A wonderful excursion that makes the most of riding across a complex of the high ridges between Castleton and Ladybower.

Route 20. Stanage Circuit

Route Grade: hard . Distance: options of 25km.

A route following trails that have become firm favorites with many Sheffield locals.

Route 21. Hope Tour

Route Grade: hard. Distance: 33km

Over 30km of fully rideable uphill and downhill action. Simply superb .


Route 22. Bleaklow Circuit

Grade: hard. Distance: 64km

The mother of all Peak District classics and a rite-of-passage for any (Dark) Peak Mountain Biker. Best saved for a long summer day.

Route 23. Killer Loop Hope Valley

Distance 60km. Route Grade: hard

A ride that packs one punch after another with the emphasis very much on downhill fun whilst trying to keep the climbs manageable.

Route 24. Lord of the Loops

Distance 105km+. Route Grade: double extreme

This is designed for the athletic rider who has done everything and is seeking the next big challenge.
Over 100km of gruelling hilly terrain. Owing to limitations of space a sketch map is included for guidance only.


Use the train or get dropped off the choice is up to you. Either way there is something of a psychological advantage that comes with the knowledge that every pedal stroke is bringing you closer to home

Route 25. Edale to New Mills

Route Grade: hard / extreme. Distance: 15.5km

A direct route across the highest pass in Middle England. Relatively short it is still a challenging route in the mountains.

Route 26. Hope to Sheffield

Route Grade: hard. Distance: 27km plus optional extra.

A mountain biking delight with fairly mellow riding throughout, though there's a real killer of a climb near the end.


Out through the Parks

A useful way to extend the Stanage Ride out from the city. Route Grade: easy. Distance: 5.5km

Eccleshall Woods

Distance: 8.4km. Route Grade: easy

The way back in for those who used the above link.


Also includes lists of top ten singletracks, downhills and hill climbs plus information on the Wharncliffe Trails near Sheffield.




Buy both the Dark Peak and White Peak Guides from the link below and save 10%

Facebook   Twitter