This circular route through the fantastic Dalby Forest gives some truly beautiful views. Most of the route is on forest tracks, and ends with a true treat, following paths though picturesque woodland.
Parking and admission: Summer parking charges are £9 per car (free if you arrive carless!) November-February is £5 per car. Payment is required using the machines before you leave, using number plate recognition. More details here.
Route: Orange markers direct you from the High Staindale car park. You can purchase a walking trail from the visitor centre, but we didn’t bother and found the route really clearly! Orange arrows appear at all junctions so it’s difficult to go wrong! The route is 4.5 miles, but a shorter 3 mile route can also be taken. Total elevation gained: 120m.
Facilities: None on route (other than picnic benches), but toilets are available at the nearby Bridestones or back at the Visitor centre which also has a cafe and play area.
Accessibility: Not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs. Most of the route is on forest track, but some steeper sections on muddy and uneven paths.
The Woodcock Way Trail
From the car park, the path heads straight uphill. You’re straight into the forest on the tracks, and we didn’t see a soul for ages on here!
At the top of your climb (don’t worry that’s the hardest bit over!), you’re rewarded with some fab benches with pretty impressive panoramics to enjoy a snack! If the first bench is taken, it’s only a short distance further to reach the picnic bench with more great views.
After you’ve enjoyed the views, the route passes turns into the forest and after a while you’re given the option to cut short the walk, heading downhill through the trees. We’ve never taken this route so can’t comment on what to expect!
There are more forest tracks to enjoy on the longer route, and this part of the route shares the track with a family cycle trail.
The final parts of this walk were definitely my favourite. The path winds through trees and bracken, and provides a more intimate environment. You feel completely alone in the most spectacular of scenery. I loved it.
With smaller paths comes more difficult footing; be careful in wet weather as the steep ground on muddy paths can cause slippy walking! Also be careful on the final descent, as the path is also an uphill section on a mountain bike trail- just watch those bends!
At the end of the walk, we were delighted to see an ice cream van had appeared in the carpark! WINNER 🙂 We walked over to one of the benches around Staindale Lake before leaving. A great end to a pretty great day!
Other walks you might enjoy in the area are;
- The Grosmont to Goathland Rail Trail, a fantastic buggy friendly walk
- A short but beautiful walk along May Beck to Falling Foss
If you’re staying in the area… have a look at these five unmissables for a holiday in Pickering!
Or if you’re after more walks in forests and woodlands, try this page!