Moresdale Road, Swaledale
Stats: 18 miles, 2468 feet of ascent
Start at the Dales MTB centre for the best facilities; a bike shop, toilets, cafe, and even a bunkhouse if you want to stay over – great pubs in Reeth, with great grub.
A cracking route that’ll show off the very best of Swaledale riding,with steep climbs and great descents.
1. From the Dales MTB Centre, head up the road to Reeth. At Reeth market place take the road out to Langthwaite climbing steadily out of the village and over the cattle grid. 1km after the grid you need to look out for a double track on your left climbing steeply up the moor. Follow this track above Riddings Farm and drop down to Thirns, turn right and take the next track on the right as it climbs steadily. Follow this track and just after the wall on the left stops there is a crossroads of tracks – bear right towards a post and follow this single track bridleway as it climbs the side of Cringley Hill and then drops down to Fore Gill Gate – go through the gate and turn right onto the road.
2. Follow the road for 0.5km and a double track bridleway is signed on your left – follow this as it gains even more height. Just before the top on the right another track heads off above some trees – take this and have a breather on the first bit of flat trail so far! Once past the trees look out for a rocky track on the right – this track is a zig zag descent through the hushes – its fast and loose with plenty of sharp stones to puncture on but great fun. This will bring you out onto the Langthwaite – Tan Hill road where you need to turn right.
3. Go down the road and take the first road on the left, crossing Stang Bridge and then climb for about 2km on the road, ignore the first bridleway sign on the right and keep on until you see a double track on the right – take this and it rises steadily with cliffs on your left and a great view of Arkengarthdale on the right. After a short sharp climb the track forks – take the left to the top of Windegg Vein. Follow this track, the Moresdale Road, across the moor.
4. About 1km after the shooting hut turn right on the double track and enjoy a short descent. The track regains a bit of height but then starts a steady drop to Schoolmaster Pasture – engage big ring and enjoy.
5. Turn right on the road and take the tarmac to Washfold and straight on at the crossroads up to Hurst. After some cottages on your right there is a gate on the left with a track climbing alongside some spoil heaps – take this up to another gate – once through the gate its a steady climb on a rough track across Marrick Moor to another gate. Go through the gate and enjoy the view before dropping down Fremington Edge – either of the tracks from the gate will get you down – rough to the left, fast to the right. Halfway down a gate stops the fun – just hang back from the fast one to give them chance to open it for you! The rough track joins tarmac but is still entertaining.
6. Follow the road down through some trees and as the road bends left, turn right down a short boulder strewn trail where it comes out beside a house. Turn right and drop to the main road. If you parked in Reeth turn right and you will be there in a couple of minutes – turn left for the Dales Centre.
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