Todmorden Packhorse MTB
Stats: 25.7 miles & 2880 ft of ascent
Todmorden has a good choice of eateries, including great veggie options. Bikes shops in the area are renowned for their service, and the place is all around friendly. Nearby Youth Hostels provide cheap accommodation options, and the town has several B&B options as well.
A short spin around the tracks and trails to the north east of this Pennine town, taking in some sweet singletrack along the way, utilising some of the old Packhorse trails. Great for views into the valley.
1. The route begins in the town centre of Todmorden which boasts the steepest hills of all the Calderdale towns in our opinion and proves its worth from the off taking on ‘Pexwood Packhorse’ Calderdale off Road. The climb is super steep and technical with the elevation gain surprising as you look down into the valley floor and admire the historic railway and canal architecture.
2. After the first big climb of the day the route picks up quiet country lanes to the right, passing Stones Grange Farm, then joining the bridleways before linking into the restoration project of Flower Scar Road. This road hugs the skyline and offers some epic views on a good day down the Calder Valley, before you climb up Todmorden Moor. Riding through this section of the route, it becomes fast rolling, and this continues as you descend to the little village of Portsmouth (up north we hasten to add!). The final part of the descent will put a smile on the face of those who like it steep with technical features.
3. The road breaks away from the trail briefly and follows the A646 west before heading off road up a mix of bridleway and track to the huge windmills at the wind farm situated off The Long Causeway. This is one of the areas high points and the views on a clear day can be spectacular from dawn to dusk as the light impacts the land. At Long Causeway dink right and follow the lane as it twists around the hilltop, then dropping off the Causeway south on Mount Lane towards Shore, but cutting off left onto the bridleway (Delf Lane) after a short distance.
4. Now on a 4.5km stretch of flowing and twisting packhorse trail, this part of the route hugs the side of the valley and gradually descends, although there are a few points where the route kicks up. Depending on the time of year and recent rainfall this part of the route can be fast and flowing or a technical hack, both of which rides extremely well all year round. Be mindful of tracks leading off left and right, and stay on this main trail.
5. Dropping sharply right onto the bridleway of Scaper Lane, the final descent soon comes into play, and is one of the personal favourites for the guys at Cycle Calderdale and begins shortly after you leave the golf club and head up the tarmac. The first part features a fast farm track style bridleway to the rural road network, before taking a hard left along some woodland single track to a hidden hamlet. From this point you pick your way through the old stone buildings and descend a technical bridleway that traverses till you reach the car park at the bottom.
Head back to Todmorden on the main road and sample what the town has to offer.