Hicks Lodge

Visitor information

A great place to walk, cycle and much more!

In the heart of the National Forest, Hicks Lodge is a former coal mining site that has been totally transformed by new plantings and exciting trails for you to enjoy.

A great day out for the budding cyclist, from tearaway toddlers to young teens perfecting their skills, we’ve got a range of trails for beginner to intermediate appetites.

Visit our lakeside bird hide where you can soak in the beautiful scenery and spot some unique wildlife, such as the migratory sand martins. There are also walking and horse riding paths to explore the forest, a play area and a café!

With the family friendly, off road Wood Farm trail as well as the longer, more challenging Shell Brook trail, Hicks Lodge has cycle routes for all abilities. Find out about cycle here: Bike Hire – Grounds Cycle Centres

We welcome horses and riders at Hicks Lodge. We have a dedicated horse route which is open throughout the spring and summer months and takes you through a large part of the outer forest on maintained grassy tracks. 

Planning a visit? Please take a look at this essential information before arriving. 

You will be able to re-fuel at the cafe whilst making use of our purpose-built horse corral with mounting block and parking for trailers and horse boxes is easy in the dedicated and secure horse-box car park which is over the road from the main car park. The horse trail is not shared, however please be mindful when riding as you may come across walkers. The trail also crosses our cycling and walking trails. The loop around the lake is shared and very busy so consideration should be given to all users.

The trail is shown on the map and there is a board in the horse box car park that also has the trail on.

The loop around the lake is a public bridleway and links to Donisthorpe and Moira public bridleways, these are open access and can be ridden all year round.


This largely flat circular trail takes you through our newly-planted woodland trees and around the lake at the heart of our site. The gravel surfaced trail starts close to the car park, outside of the café and toilets.

There are stops along the way with benches for you to relax with a picnic and enjoy the views.

The largely flat circular family forest trail takes you through our newly-planted woodland trees and around the lake where you will find a secluded haven for wildlife enthusiasts.

Our bird hide sits on the water edge and offers fantastic views across the lake of water birds, the sand martin wall and shingle island.

Nearby forests

Sence Valley lake

Located north-west of Leicester, come and discover Sence Valley’s fascinating history. Once part of a large coal mine that closed in 1996, we planted 98,000 trees in 1998, transforming Sence Valley into a haven for wildlife and visitors.

Sensory garden at Rosliston

From surfaced trails and cycle routes to outdoor play areas, a cafe and a sensory garden, a visit to Rosliston Forestry Centre is a great day out for everyone! 

Pick up a site guide when you arrive or download from our website and create your own adventure...

Meander through the mature woodland at Fox Covert to gain an insight of how the rest of The National Forest may look in the future. 

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