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Calderdale — Yorkshire's mountain biking trail honeypot

Calderdale — Yorkshire's mountain biking trail honeypot

Mountain Biking Collection by Barney

6

Tours

16:32 h

110 mi

13,050 ft

Some way south of both the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors is a little valley, so steep sided in places that the sun doesn't technically rise in winter for months. It is stuffed full of secret pack-horse trails, wide open moorland, hilariously technical descents and nadgery climbs. The hills aren't astonishingly high, but you'll be afforded some amazing views, and if you've a mind to push yourself, you can find climbs and descents to satisfy even the most gnarly of palates. A trail honeypot, if you will. This valley is Calderdale.

I’ve picked a selection of trails that showcase some of the best the valley has to offer. Some are short, for a quick energetic spin, some are much, much longer, but all will display different facets of the riding around Calderdale. Be advised though, even the easiest of them contain some reasonably stiff climbs - the valley sides are steep, after all - but they're all very rewarding.

First up, there's a fun little spin up and around Norland to whet your appetite - it’s full of sweet little trail nuggets, not least the storming descent back to Copley which will make your mouth water - and quite possibly your feet too, if it's been raining. And if you're after a more substantial ride in the same area then the loop up to Scammonden Dam, which nudges Ripponden, should see you right.

Fancy getting a little Brontë? The loop from Ogden Water up into proper Brontë country should fit the bill. It drops you down to Oxenhope and back up to the Black and White Moors before a fantastic singletrack charge back to your starting point. Sightings of Heathcliff and Cathy are unfortunately not guaranteed.

And then I’ve picked some fantastic loops around Hebden Bridge and Todmorden. These take in a plethora of local delights, but all have similarities - wide open moorland, lungbusting climbs, and the occasional nadgery surprise. And plenty of places for coffee and snacks, naturally.

If you really want to make a day of it, then you must try the Mary Towneley Loop: Huge climbs, enormous descents, staggering views, singletrack, double track, and gates (oh yes, gates) - this ride has the lot.

Whichever loop you choose, you'll perhaps begin to appreciate why some locals never ride anywhere else.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    00:53
    6.36 mi
    7.3 mph
    700 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Say you've not got too much time, but you fancy a quick ride just outside Halifax. Well, this little loop will fit the bill nicely.

    

    If you start in the extremely pretty mill-built Copley Village, you'll first experience a stiff climb past the toll house (the bridge was rebuilt having been washed away

    by Barney

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  • Intermediate
    02:24
    17.6 mi
    7.3 mph
    1,975 ft
    1,975 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Starting just south west of Halifax, this ride is one of the lesser-known gems in Calderdale (although it does dip its toes into Kirklees here and there), and it gives a taste of what lies beyond the more well-known confines of the Calder valley proper.

    

    It's not the longest ride, true, but it packs a

    by Barney

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  • Intermediate
    01:41
    12.4 mi
    7.3 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,300 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Ogden Water is a popular place for the inhabitants of nearby Halifax and Denholme - there are some excellent walks, a gift shop, and it's great fun to wander around with the kids. For our purposes, though, it's also a great place to begin a fabulous ride which encompasses many of the area's assets

    by Barney

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  • Intermediate
    02:07
    12.7 mi
    6.0 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,675 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    If you met up with a local and asked them for the best introduction to riding in the area, chances are they'd suggest this ride, or something very like it.

    

    As you'd expect from Calderdale, there's plenty of climbing, some astonishing views, and - rarely, around here - the ride is (mostly) fine all year

    by Barney

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  • Intermediate
    02:33
    16.3 mi
    6.4 mph
    2,125 ft
    2,100 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    This ride is something of a classic around these parts. It starts at the bottom of the valley before climbing up to the very top, and lingering there a while before an absolute blast of a descent back down to the valley bottom and a well-earned snack.

    

    But before filling your face, there's plenty of climbing

    by Barney

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  • Difficult
    06:54
    44.8 mi
    6.5 mph
    5,275 ft
    5,300 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    This is the big one - almost 45 miles, over 100 gates, some prime singletrack, loads of climbs, loads of descents, spectacular countryside - this ride has it all.

    

    First of all, as with pretty much every ride around here, you'll need to start with a climb. The thrutchy trail up and over to Walsden (home

    by Barney

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    6
  • Distance
    110 mi
  • Duration
    16:32 h
  • Elevation
    13,050 ft

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Calderdale — Yorkshire's mountain biking trail honeypot

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