Bikemagic Trail Guide: Lee & Cragg Quarries

Destination: Lee and Cragg Quarries, Rossendale, Lancashire

Definitely not your usual trail centre, Lee and Cragg Quarries are more like a mountain bike playground. Although the trails are relatively short, you can get an awful lot out of a day in the quarries. Multiple laps aren’t at all dull and there’s plenty of other riding in the area if you want some more variety.

Racing in Lee Quarry. Image: Dave Haygarth via Flickr

How to get there

Come up the M66 from Manchester staying on it when it becomes the A56. Head for Rawtenstall.

At the huge roundabout with the fire station in the middle head for the fourth exit onto Bocholt Way (Tesco will be on your right).

Take the second exit at the next mini roundabout and continue on Bacup Road (A681) until you get to Waterfoot.

Go straight across the mini roundabout in Waterfoot staying on the A681 which becomes Newchurch Road.

Straight across at the next mini roundabout through Stacksteads.

Pass JJO’s factory on your right and Futures Park is 200m on your right.

Sat Nav:  OL13 0BB

Facilities: Apart from free parking there are no facilities at the moment but apparently there are ambitious plans for the future.

Trails

Starting with Lee Quarry, the first thing to know is that it’s rocky. Very rocky. It might be a cross-country trail but padding up should seriously be considered.

There’s one main loop of about 6 km that’s red graded with several descent lines and black sections that run off it.

The opening Tramway climb is definitely a lung opener but then the rocky fun, including the Rollercoaster, Windy Gap, the Ginnnel and the black Qualifier, kicks in.

You’ve also got a skills area and a couple of pump tracks to play on.

From Lee Quarry follow the route across Brandwood Lower End Moor until you reach Rooley Moor Road (which is part of the Mary Towneley Loop) turn right and follow the Mary Towneley Loop for just over 1 km and you will find yourself in Cragg Quarry.

Here you will find about 6.5 km of swooping, flowing singletrack.

Ride from Lee across the moors, one loop of Cragg, back down to Lee and a loop there and you’ve got just shy of 20 km of really varied quality cross-country riding.

Nearest bike shop: Ride-On, Rawtenstall

Other info:A lap of the nearby Mary Towneley loop will log you 76

km of distance and almost 2000 m of ascent. Enough riding for you?

Check the PMBA website before heading to Lee Quarry as it is shut occasionally for races and events.

Useful links

www.pmba.org.uk/leeandcragg.htm
www.brownbacksracing.co.uk
www.nationaltrail.co.uk/penninebridleway/downloads.asp?pageid=37

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