The North Face Trail is our dedicated red graded singletrack mountain bike route. It's made up of 9 sections forming a 10.5 mile circuit interwoven with the gravel tracks to link sections together.
Starting with a technical uphill climb the trail winds its way around the bottom of Carron Crag then up and over Hawkshead Moor before descending back to the visitor centre.
The trail is narrow and rocky in places with occasional boardwalks and rock features.
As a guide a red graded route is described by British Cycling as, “being suitable for fit and technically proficient mountain bikers. Expect a reasonably significant amount of climbing, plenty of single-track and, depending on the terrain, some fast and technically challenging descending. Trail surfaces will be rough with exposed roots and rocks. Trail features such as jumps, berms, drop-offs and boardwalk sections should also be expected although generally, on red grade trails, most of these should be rollable.”
This is a good and accurate description of the North face trail with all sections being rollable. The first section in particular forms an interesting 1.3 mile technical climb through the trees. This section requires a higher degree of skill on a mountain bike than the other sections and for beginners is worth skirting around using the gravel trails. The last section however, is a lovely downhill single track and is worth a go for most people confident on a bike.
If you are unsure if you should attempt this trail, please ask at the bike hire desk and we will be able to discuss options with you to help you get the most out of the riding at Grizedale. Similarly if you are a more experienced rider, you will want to explore the bridleways so pop into the desk for more info!