Mountain bike ride at Carsington
Starting point: The car park at the Visitor Centre at Carsington Water which can be found near Matlock off the A6 towards Wirksworth and off the B5035.
Distance approx: 9 miles.
Map: Ordnance Survey sheet 119 in the 1:50,000 series.
Ride suited to all cycle and mountain bike riders. This area is suitable for children who have done their cycling proficiency or if staying near the visitor centre very young ones with supervision.
There is ample parking here at the visitor centre which is Pay and Display so don’t forget. There are good facilities here for all needs. Most of the route is reasonably flat with hilly bits to keep you awake as the track climbs over little spurs between the streams which run into the reservoir. The route is well marked out and is on good surfaces but in the woody sections the paths can be slippery in wet weather.
Head towards the Sailing Club, which you pass on your left side to leave the far end of the car park on a track and then follow this to the end of the dam and then cross the dam. There are plenty of birds here if you are a twitcher, so bring the binoculars. At the end of the dam, turn left into Millfields car park which is another option for starting the ride if the visitor centre is full, cycle through the picnic area to continue out along the track that runs by the reservoir. After a third of a mile you climb to a T-junction at an unmade road. The track turns left here downhill before turning right again along the trail.
The next portion of the trail winds its way through the woods and then comes out at a T-junction, this time turn left and descend back towards the lake before following the trail right on the edge of the woods.
Through a fairly dense wooded section of the trail you eventually emerge at the head of the lake and the B5035 road. You go left alongside the road for a short distance and then cross the road, following the track up into the small village of Hopton, the home of the Gell family, who were local lead-mine owners and wealthy with it.
Cycle along the road, past Home Farm and Hopton Hall and then into the village of Carsington, which has the Miners Arms where you might need to stop for refreshment.
Straight after the pub the road turns sharp left and head back to the B5035. When you reach the road cross straight over it and pick up the trail again which goes to the right of Shepherds car park. The trail then heads undulating back to the Visitor Centre.
Mark “muddy skinny bum” Street rides from Great Longstone on a Focus Carbon Frame hard tail mountain bike built by his great boss JW at Trelleborg Forsheda Pipe Seals, daily to work and at the weekends when he can escape from domestic duties.
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015