High Peak Trail

High Peak Trail

The High Peak Trail is a convert|17|mi|adj=on trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders in the Peak District, England. Running from Dowlow, near Buxton, to High Peak Junction, Cromford, it follows the trackbed of the former Cromford and High Peak Railway which was completed in 1831, to carry minerals and goods between the Cromford Canal at Cromford Wharf and the Peak Forest Canal at Whaley Bridge.

Closure of the line occurred during the Beeching era, with the first section of the line closing in 1963 (i.e. the Middleton Incline), with full closure in 1967.

In 1971 the Peak Park Planning Board and Derbyshire County Council bought the largest part of the trackbed and, in partnership with the Countryside Commission, adapted it for its current leisure use. The trail has a crushed limestone surface which makes it ideal for all users, including wheelchair use, assisted by level access onto the trail at various points along its route.

The High Peak Trail is now a national route of the National Cycle Network.

The elevated nature of the trail (the highest part of the line is at Ladmanlow, at a height of 1266ft) affords splendid views across the countryside. These higher sections can also be very exposed in poor weather. The original railway incorporated a number of inclines at its northern and southern ends, and whilst much of the trail is fairly level, these sections are naturally steeper.

At Parsley Hay (about convert|5|mi|0 SW of Bakewell), the High Peak Trail is joined by the convert|13|mi|adj=on Tissington Trail, another route of the National Cycle Network, which was formerly the railway branch line to Ashbourne.

The High Peak Trail (and part of the Tissington Trail) are also designated part of the Pennine Bridleway, a convert|130|mi|adj=on leisure route which starts at Middleton Top, near Cromford, and includes convert|73|mi through Derbyshire to the South Pennines. The Trail also forms part of the Midshires Way, a long distance footpath and bridleway which runs for convert|225|mi through Middle England from Bledlow to Stockport.

Facilities on the trail

* At Hurdlow (gbmapping|SK128659), at the northern end of the trail, there is parking and level access onto the trail. Picnic tables are provided.
* At Parsley Hay (gbmappingsmall|SK146637), where the trail is joined by the Tissington Trail, there is direct access from the car park to the trail. Facilities include toilets, a picnic site, visitor information, and cycle hire.
* At Friden (gbmappingsmall|SK172607) there is a car park giving level access onto the trail. There is a picnic table.
* At Minninglow (gbmappingsmall|SK194581) there is a car park and picnic site, with level access onto the trail.

ee also

* Cromford and High Peak Railway
* Tissington Trail

External links

* [http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/hptt/ High Peak Trail - access and facilities]
* [http://www.derbyshire-peakdistrict.co.uk/thehighpeaktrail.htm High Peak railway & Trail site]
* [http://www.ramblers.org.uk/info/paths/penninebridleway.html The Pennine Bridleway]

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