More places to ride

Still can't get enough? Here's a few ideas for other riding in the area.

So, you've ridden all the routes, and still want more? Here's some ideas for other places to ride in the area, and a few ideas for combining some of the routes into true epics.

Dalby Forest

Dalby Forest is a Forestry Commission forest near Pickering. It features several routes, of varying difficulty, plus a few features for those inclined towards jumping stuff and falling off logs.

There are currently a two main trails of interest, the Red Route and the Black Route, but over the next few years, a large amount of new, all-weather XC trails will be added. Early signs look promising, and it looks like this should bring national standard man-made trails to the area. The muddy dirt tracks will be replaced with rock and gravel surfaced all-weather trails, with the odd section of log planking over the worst mud holes. As well as this, there is a BSX course, and North Shore style log run at Dixon's Hollow, so everything from family cycling, to jumps will be available in one location. Additionally, there's a visitor centre, bike hire and teashop. Entry is 7 per car, or 35 for an annual pass.

For routes in Dalby forest, see these links: Dalby Red Route, Dalby Black Route and Old Dalby Red Route.

Moors to Sea

This is a network of technically easy cycle tracks which cross the moors, with routes from Pickering to Whitby, Whitby to Scarborough, and Scarborough to Pickering. Most of the routes are on forest tracks and quiet roads. When the weather is bad, the Moors to Sea is great if you fancy getting some miles in, as generally the surface is mud free, and the route well marked.

Sustrans National Cycle Network

There are two routes passing through the area. A track along the old railway between Scarborough and Whitby, (NCN Route 1) and the 'high level' route between Easingwold and Osmotherley (NCN route 65). Both offer well waymarked cycling on spectacular routes, which in general are mud free and either off-road or on quiet roads. Although they are aimed at traditional cycle tourists, and leisure cyclists, the routes still offer a great way to join up or extend some of the routes in this guide.

Forestry Commission Land

As well as the well marked and promoted routes in Dalby Forest, there are large areas of forest that you are allowed to explore. In general, bikes are allowed on most forest tracks, unless signposted otherwise. The majority of the riding is on gravel surfaced forest roads, which are pretty dull, but mud free. There are some stretches of single track between the forestry roads, but unless it's a very dry summer, most of these can be very wet. Cropton Forest, the northern part of Dalby forest, Newtondale Forest and Broxa Forest are all worth a look.

Other tracks

There are several other tracks which can be made into rides in their own right. Although not especially interesting riding, they are also very useful if you wish to link up bits of other routes to make much longer routes, or want to make a routes suitable for less experienced riders. Here are a few you might want to use:

Rosedale Railway

An old mining railway in the heart of the National Park is now a bridleway. Although it's not marked as such on older maps - you can easily see where it goes by looking for the dismantled railway marked on the map.

There are two branches to the old railway. The eastern branch around Rosedale Abbey, and a western branch, from near the Lion Inn at Blakey, to Ingleby Greenhow.

Eastern branch from Chimney Bank to Rosedale Abbey

The eastern branch, which runs around Rosedale, starts at the top of Chimney Bank to the west of Rosedale Abbey, and follows the sides of a valley to the north, and then back around to the south before ending 2 miles north of Rosedale Abbey. Most of the route is well surfaced and fairly easy riding, although the northernmost part is very waterlogged and eroded. If you want to make a nice loop, you can park in Rosedale abbey, and climb the hideously steep road to the top of Chimney Bank and then return to Rosedale via the road which heads up into the valley. Be warned, it might be on-road, but Rosedale Chimney is a one of the steepest roads in the country!

Western branch from the Lion Inn to Ingleby Greenhow

The old railway also extends from near the Lion Inn, to the bottom of the Ingleby incline and on to Ingleby Greenhow.  It's shown as a footpath on older maps, but is actually a bridleway. For relatively mud free riding in the depths of winter, this Rosedale Railway is a good option, and can link several other routes together, for instance you can easily connect to Rudland Rigg at Blowith Crossing.

Rudland Rigg

Rudland Rigg is a well surfaced gravel track which crosses the central part of the National Park, on an old cattle drovers road. Although not particularly difficult riding, it does offer a mud free way to join up several of the routes in the central area, and is always a good option when the weather is poor. The descent at the south end of Rudland Rigg is very fast and worth doing.

Glaisdale Rigg

A great way to get to and from the Esk valley to the high moors. It's similar to Rudland Rigg in technical difficulty. You can get some considerable speed when heading down it, so watch out for walkers, who invariably fail to hear a mountain bike approaching at speed.

Epic days out

If you are fit, the weather is good and the days are long, you might want to try linking up several routes together to make one long all-day ride. Here's a few suggestions:

Cropton Forest, Rosedale Railway, Lastingham Loop

This is a moderately long, but not particular difficult route, covering 25 miles of varied terrain. Difficulty 3.5/5

Follow the first part of the Cropton Forest Loop, but at the northern most point, instead of turning around south, head to the road, and pickup the bridleway which heads SW over the moors. When dry it's nice riding, although it does become hard to follow.

Follow the minor roads from Northdale Farm to Hill Cottages (you may wish to visit Rosedale Abbey on the way), and pick up the Rosedale Railway. Follow the railway all the way around to Chimney Bank, and descend the road and pick-up the bridleway which heads south to Hollins Farm, and then rejoin the Cropton Forest Loop.

Nawton Loop, Hawnby Loop, Rievaulx Loop

Although only 30 miles long, it should only be attempted by the physically fit, in good weather conditions, as there's 5500 feet of climbing over tough terrain. Difficulty 4.5/5

Start by riding the Nawton Loop, but carry north to the road. Then using the bridleway that heads west from Bonfield Ghyll to Fangdale Beck. Then join the Hawnby Loop up over the moors to Hawnby. After Hawnby, head south to join the Rievaulx Loop to Rievaulx Abbey. Climb up from there to the B1257 to Helmsley, and then follow minor roads to the south of the A170 to Nawton.

Gilamoor Loop, Farndale Loop

A long route, and very hard work in any season. Around 40 miles of mostly offroad hard riding and lots of climbing. Difficulty 5/5.

Start on the Farndale Loop, and ride it until you reach Rudland Rigg, carry on along Rudland Rigg until you meet the Gilamoor Loop. Ride the Gilamoor Loop 'backwards', until you reach Low Mill.

Need a map?

AQUA3 logo

Buy Aqua 3 Ordnance Survey maps, save money, and help support this site.

North York Moors-Western Area
Moorland routes to the west of Pickering
North York Moors-Eastern Area
Moorland routes to the east of Pickering
Howardian Hills & Malton
Routes in the Howardian Hills and Wolds

Special Offer Buy both North York Moors maps & get a 36% discount

Digital mapping

Memory Map North York Moors digital mapping.