The Five Pits Trail
Walkers, cyclists and horse riders can all enjoy the countryside of the Five Pits Trail.
Follow the 5.5 mile off-road surfaced route from Grassmoor Country Park to Tibshelf Ponds or extend your route to 7.5 miles by exploring the route through Williamthorpe Local Nature Reserve and Holmewood Woodlands.
The trail mostly follows the route of the Great Central Railway. Since the large collieries and smaller pits along the railway closed, the landscape has changed dramatically. Parts of the land were opencast and most of the original railway line removed. Now you will find a rolling trail that has some long steep slopes. This may limit some people's access in places - look for the 'steep slope' symbols on the map. There are no stiles or steps and you will find seats along the way to stop, rest and enjoy the views. Look out for the information boards with large site maps showing some of the heritage and wildlife along the trail.
Grassmoor Country Park - An ideal starting point for exploring the trail. The park is a mix of grassland and woodland with two former colliery ponds. This mosaic of habitats makes the park a great place to spot wildlife.
Locko Plantation - This is an important local bird and wildlife reserve. Woodland management here is improving and creating more diverse habitats for wildlife.
Tibshelf Ponds - This area of woodland, meadows and pretty ponds at the southern end of the trail is an ideal place for short walks and picnics. There is parking for cars and horse boxes and access to a specially designed canter track for horse riders. If you want to go further afield follow the links to the Phoenix Greenways.
Williamthorpe Local Nature Reserve - Designated as a Local Nature Reserve, this means it is special for both people and wildlife. The mosaic of ponds, reed bed and woodland are a wildlife haven, hidden from the surrounding bustle of industry. It's a great place for bird watching, wildflowers and enjoying the countryside.
Holmewood Woodlands - Restored from a redundant colliery site into a wildlife haven. Why not try the Trim Trail to help you get in shape?
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