Total steps: 5
Total steps: 5
Lower Midgehole car park. Grid ref: SD988291
Starting at the lower Midgehole car park, cross over the road and head down the path towards the river. Bear right along the river's edge, passing a picnic table to your right, before the path narrows. There is a relatively uneven incline which can also get quite muddy.
Following a small stone crossing over a watercourse, you will come to a waymarker where you can choose to carry on ahead or take some small, steep steps to the left which go right down to the edge of the stream. Both routes eventually convene, with the upper path fairly level and passing examples of our natural flood management – leaky dams which slow the flow of water running downhill. It then bends downward with a section covered by tree roots and rocks.
A wider, flatter part of the path leads to a narrow, uneven rocky section where it might be necessary to stop to let people pass. As you get closer to the stream's edge, be sure to slow down and listen to the sounds of the flowing water. Head down the steep decline, another narrow bit of path, then uphill on stone steps.
Cross a small watercourse and follow the trail slightly downhill. The path curves to the left slightly, then you'll pass more leaky dams. Follow the waymarker down the steep steps, and when you reach the bottom you'll see the first set of stepping stones across the stream. Cross a small bridge, then follow the path as it widens, before climbing some uneven stones and veering to the left of a large fallen tree.
The trail continues on a mostly gentle decline with some stone sections that may be slippery in wet conditions. As Gibson Mill comes into view, you'll pass two more sets of stepping stones.
Gibson Mill. Ref: SD972298.
A chance to explore a quieter part of Hardcastle Crags with dramatic cliffs, waterfalls and lovely beech woods. The route starts along the edge of a lovely mill dam and then stays very close to the stream where you should watch out for Dippers, Wagtails and Herons.
A varied circular walk through woods, alongside the stream and dams with great views along the higher slopes. Watch out for bluebells in the Spring. Part of this route follow the old railway that was used to build the reservoirs on the tops.