Grizedale is a place which often comes up in conversation when I mention to people that I'm a mountain bike guide in the Lakes and it still surprises me that it is a place which can inspire mixed emotions. Some people love it, some hate it. I blame the Red Route.
Don't get me wrong, the North Face is a perfectly good trail centre route, I link sections of it into Grizedale rides on a regular basis, but it is not Grizedale. Grizedale is rocky, loose, natural and exciting! I love it, in-fact it is one of my favourite places to ride, anywhere. But if I came to Grizedale and just rode the red route, not knowing what lay just behind the trees... Well, I can understand those mixed feelings.
So, where would I go, what would I do, given a couple of hours for a ride in Grizedale. Well, it would have to be natural: Ancient bridleways criss-cross the forest and they deliver a delight of wet rock, single track fun and technical features. There is no grading here, you are on your toes, difficult sections come up fast, without warning. It's exciting, looking ahead, picking lines which change with every run or depending on the weather, a few are very tricky in the wet - be warned!
So this is 'my' black route around Grizedale. A mix of forest road and bridleway, it takes in three of the classic Grizedale Descents - Moor Lane, Breasty Haw and Visitor Centre - East. There is no way-marking, it requires navigation and self sufficiency, and a bit of technical skill, but if you make sure you are prepared - it will reward. Enjoy!
This route was mapped using Bike Hike you can create your own version there and then download it to your GPS device. Or go old school and buy a lovely crisp Ordnance Survey map at Grizedale Visitor Centre. Or if you're not sure, we can certainly recommend a good guide.
Don't forget Grizedale Mountain Bikes if you need any spares or kit.
Please take care when riding in the Forest, we share this awesome resource with others including walkers, horse riders and families. Respect the Forest Code, slow down for others and pass at walking pace.