Parkamoor and the Three Witches
Words by Velo Bikes Grizedale
on 21/06/2016 11:44:00
The Parkamoor and the Three Witches loop is a Grizedale classic. It can be added into other Grizedale loops to make a longer ride or done on it’s own. It’s one of those routes that delivers a little taste of everything the South Lakes has to offer in a mountain bike ride. Open fells, awesome views, twisty woodland single track and bone rattling rocky descents, some quite technical and some just flat out fast. Definitely not a ride for an absolute beginner due to some of the technical elements of the first and second “Witches” but an intermediate rider with a reasonable level of fitness should be able to comfortably ride the route as long as they ride at a speed that’s within their limits.
Starting off from Grizedale Mountain Bikes shop, you gain a good bit of height using the first section of the red graded “The North Face Trail”, a great, fun climb on natural feeling singletrack that is rideable in all weathers and which has some quite technical elements to test you right from the beginning.
When you reach the end of the singletrack there’s a chance to regroup and get your breath back before you continue climbing up on a wide gravel track.
Don’t worry, the wide track is quite a quick means to an end and soon leads you to another excellent singletrack bridleway twisting and turning through woodland before it reaches the open fell of Parkamoor.
Passing through the gate you can see a short sharp climb in front of you, not too technically challenging but quite steep, keep going though because the rewarding views down onto Coniston Lake and over to the hills surrounding Coniston Old Man (the Twelfth highest peak in England) make it all worth while.
Once you’ve recovered from the climb and the incredible views, the fun begins in the form of the first proper descent of the day. A long, sweeping, fast track, again not particularly technical but easy to get out of shape as hard fixed rock turns to loose off camber rock so take care and ride within your limits. When you reach the gate follow your nose through the field, remembering to close it behind you, until you reach a stone cottage sat on it’s own.
Go through the gate adjacent to it and down through the shallow stream and up the steep climb at the other side.
When you reach the top of the climb follow the track to the left until you eventually come to another gate which takes you back into the forest. Pass through the gate and continue along until you reach the next fireroad crossing. If you look across the crossroads you will see the entrance to another singletrack trail. This is the first of the “Three Witches”, a long descent, technical in places, which eventually brings you out just outside the village of Satterthwaite.
When you reach the road take a left through the village, obviously stopping at the Eagles Head pub for a celebratory pint and then continue along the lane back to the visitors centre and Grizedale Mountain Bikes shop where you started.