WMB 113 Pennine Trail Centre Moderate
Start/Finish Lee Quarry trail
centre parking (near Futures Park,
Total distance 16km/10 miles
Time 2-3 hours
Maps Ordnance Survey OL21:
South Pennines (1:25,0000)
Summary Two very different man made tracks linked by a quick hop over the top of Rooley Moor. Starting out from Futures Park in Bacup, follow the beginner route directions to navigate Lee Quarry’s red circuit up to and part-way through the exposed section along the centre’s rear wall.
Pick up the link route where it leaves the red path and strikes out over the open grass towards Rooley Moor Road. This was a twinkle in the trail builders’ eyes when we rode the route this summer, so we can’t tell you precisely what it looks like, but it will be well signed, and surfaced to cope with the increased traffic in a far better way than the peat-based moorland of the surrounding area.
Join Rooley Moor Road, part of the Pennine Bridleway, bearing right towards Waterfoot and keeping the sprawl of Manchester’s suburbs on your left. Descend briefly before contouring along the hill and entering the Cragg Quarry complex on the right. Follow the twists and turns of Cragg Quarry’s marked route as it heads west. It’s almost entirely singletrack and will leave you dizzy, but there really are no opportunities to get lost if you stick with the marked path as it loops back on itself and returns you to your start point. Return to the first trail centre, retracing your tyre tracks along Rooley Moor Road and the link route. Rejoin the Lee Quarry trail where you left it in order to finish the red route. If you want more of a challenge, the tougher, black-grade track will drop you into the quarry shortly after you rejoin the red. With steep, rocky drops and some exposed singletrack, it’s not one for the faint-hearted but offers a good workout for those withburlier constitutions.