The route is in the northern part of the Cleveland hills, with rolling moorland single track and steep technical descents. Although the Cleveland hills are below 1500 feet (500 metres) in height parts of the route have a very mountainous feel not usually found in the North Yorks Moors.
Although muddy and boggy on the moorland part, the route will stay rideable all year. Wide, fat tyres and a full suspension bike will be more comfortable on many of the descents.
Traversing high moor lands and very steep technical descents. Many motor bikers use the B1257 especially on summer weekends, so keep an eye out for bikers traveling at great speed.
Fairly limited although if the ground is very wet, riders could follow the Cleveland way BW to NZ 592 015 and then gravel tracks to the top of the descent at Medd Crag. The BW which leaves the Cleveland way at NZ 586 022 is not recommended as it’s overgrown and not way marked. If the suggested car parking is full you could also park in Great Broughton and ride out to the start of the route.
Park in the layby on the B1257 just to the south of the junction with the minor road. Follow the B1257 south until a junction with the minor road, and turn left onto this road towards Water Beck farm. At Beck House follow the BW to the right heading across fields to the SE.
Turn right onto a minor road and climb the steep hill to towards the Car Park at Clay Bank (this is another alternative starting point).
Follow the B1257 up the last part of the hill, until just after the summit you will see where the Cleveland Way crosses the road. Turn left onto the Cleveland Way BW and climb the steep section to arrive at the top of a ridge. After passing a stone wall, leave the Cleveland way (see above for alternative route) and follow the single track BW that runs along an old earthworks at the edge of the moor. Here you’ll have ride rolling moorland single track at it best, especially in summer when the peat dries up.
At Medd Crag follow the steeply descending track to the right, taking care with the first very steep section, to Bilsdale Hall where you will turn left on a minor road and pass a small village to arrive at the B1257. Follow the B1257 for ¾ of a mile until a minor road joins from the right. Turn right onto the minor road (or carry down the B1257 to the pub at Chop Gate if so inclined). At this junction you’ll find also find a small farm track heading due north called ‘Cold Moor Lane’.
Follow Cold Moor lane upwards between the hedges. Some parts are boggy, but most of the lower section is rideable. The lane narrows and eventually emerges onto open moorland. At this point make sure you follow the BW to the east of the ridge not the footpaths to the west, and carry on climbing the path to eventually reach a gravel path on the ridge near the Three Howes tumuli. As is often the case the distinct track and the right of way don’t exactly coincide.
Once to top of the ridge, look for a BW path which descends to the left as a zig-zag to arrive at Beck Hills farm. The obvious gravel track is not the formal right of way, as the BW is slightly to the north of this track. After passing a very rickety gate, turn right on the muddy and rough BOAT which passes from the farm and heads towards the obvious saddle between two hills.
When you reach the saddle you might be advised to test your brakes as the next section is very steep with a scary looking drop if you miss the path and a gate halfway down.
Descend the steep, rocky track which switchbacks down the hill to arrive at a gate. Go through the gate and head down a less steep track. The slabs of the packhorse path immediately to the right of the gravel path add some interest to the descent. Eventually you’ll pass some buildings at Toft Hill and then eventually another gate at the edge of the cultivated land.
Immediately after the gate turn right onto the BW which runs along the edge of the fields, passing several farms before a minor road joins from the left. Turn down this road, until you reach the B1257, and then turn left uphill on the B1257 to shortly arrive back at the start.