Gisburn Forest (Lancashire) from Lancaster – Train to Trail
Mountain Biking Highlight (Segment)
Bike Touring Highlight
Mountain Biking Highlight
Katherine Moore planned a mountain bike ride.
April 3, 2020
Personally, I think that Lancashire is one of the most underrated off road destinations in the UK. Not only does it boast some corking built mountain biking trails like those at Gisburn Forest, but also some incredible linking bridleways and byways that tell a story of the region’s industrial past. Nestled on the easten flank of the Trough of Bowland, Gisburn Forest has no less than four cycling trails, rated from green to black, which means that there really is something for everyone.This Tour will take you to the trail centre at Gisburn Forest Hub so that you can choose your own trail, via a spectacular off road route from the heart of the city of Lancaster. For ultimate accessibility, the route starts at the central train station, and although you possibly could do a round trip in a day, it would be pretty challenging, so I’d recommend an overnight stay to make the most of the riding here. You’ll find plenty of campsites in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as well as inns and guesthouses to choose from. Head out of Lancaster to start the Tour along the cycle path through Quay Meadows and parallel to the River Lune heading north-east. You’ll rejoin lanes after the village of Caton to pass through Brookhouse to take the Quarry Road. This turns into an unpaved road as you climb up onto Caton Moor, then descending a short while into Roeburndale to cross the river and pick up Salter Fell Road. Also known as Hornby Road, this has to be one of the most incredible stretches of gravel doubletrack in the country. Crossing right over the moorland along the same path as the Witches Way walk, you’ll be plunged into a remote landscape that seems totally contrasting to the bustle of Lancaster just a short time ago. As you approach Slaidburn at the other end of the road, you’re very close to Gisburn Forest. Take a detour to visit Stocks Reservoir and the visitor centre there before arriving at Gisburn Forest Hub, where you’ll find facilities including bike hire, a cafe, toilets and parking. At Gisburn Forest there are four trails, the blue rated Bottoms Beck, the red trail The 8, easy green-rated forest trails and black-rated sections off the main trails. As always, ride what you feel comfortable with and progress up through the difficulty levels as you warm up. For more about trails here, visit: gisburnbiketrails.com/trail-info.