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Female mountain biker Gisburn, Hully Gully
Cycling & mountain biking

Laid out in a figure of 8, highlights on this trail include the volunteer built Home Baked sections, the gnarly Whelp Stone Crag and the optional section of black trail, the roller coaster ride of Hully Gully.  This trail includes forest road, red and blue graded single track and some optional black grade features and sections on the way.  

Orienteering route at gisburn
Orienteering

Why not try your hand at orienteering, a map reading challenge for all levels.

The aim for everyone is to navigate between control points marked on an orienteering map. If you are a little more competitive the challenge is to complete the course in the quickest time.

An easy permanent orienteering course is located in Birch Hills and starts from School Lane car park.

Volunteers at Fineshade Woods
Volunteering

Make your forest a fantastic place…

Join your local team of volunteers to learn new skills, meet new people, make new friends and enhance your local forest for the benefit of nature and the community.

Mountain bike trail Dig Days

Mountain bike trail Dig Days are held on the second Sunday of the month.

Someone flying a kite in a open field at Gisburn
Picnics and barbecues

Enjoy a tasty treat in the forest at one of our beautiful picnic areas, just bring along good food and company!

We have picnic tables available at Cocklet Hill and The Hub car parks. You can also take in the view over Stocks reservoir from United Utilities’ picnic area in the old vicarage garden next to School Lane car park.

To prevent forest fires and reduce waste, please do not bring any barbecues into our forests.

Gisburn Forest entrance
Walking trails and routes

A linear trail to Stocks Reservoir car park.  Look into Dalehead Chapel and Heritage Centre for local interpretation on your way.  

Ladies riding on Horses through the woodlands
Horse riding

Whilst we do not have any purpose built or waymarked horse riding routes, horse riders are welcome to explore our network of forest roads. Please also observe all operational signage and diversions. The public road passing through the forest is designated a 'Quiet Road' and its use enables circular routes to be followed through the forest. 

No permit is needed to ride at Gisburn. 

Night sky at Gisburn

Explore our newly accredited Dark Sky Discovery Site at Gisburn. Be in awe as the cosmos magically reveals itself in the skies over Bowland.

Gisburn Forest Hub is one of five sites within the Forest of Bowland AONB to be granted the Discovery Site status.

More information on the Discovery Sites and events can be found here:

https://forestofbowland.com/Star-Gazing

Family walking Forest of Dean generic
Walking trails and routes

Come to Gisburn Forest for stunning views over the Bowland Fells and Stocks Reservoir, wildlife watching or to find peace and tranquillity amongst the woodland glades.

The walking trails will take you into the heart of the forest, along historic trackways and former railway lines. You might even see some of the forest’s extensive wildlife from the wildlife hides on the Birch Hills walk.

Cloudspotting Festival, live music gig at Gisburn Forest

Gisburn Forest provides the perfect venue for a range of events. If you are interested in holding an event here you will need to apply first so that we can ensure your event doesn't clash with anything else happening in the forest, such as forest operations work. 

Once we know your needs we can advise you to make sure your event is a success. Please contact us no later than eight weeks before your proposed event. 

walkers enjoying a walk through nature in autumn
Walking trails and routes

Passing through mixed woodland this route follows an old farmstead track known as Eggberry Road.  There are views over Bottoms Beck to the ancient broadleaved woodland of Park Wood.  

 

Hamsterley Cycling - Jerry Tatton
Cycling & mountain biking

Our skills loop is located by the stone wall circle of Gisburn Forest Hub.  Three linked, mini loops of trail offer progressively harder riding.  The loops are packed with technical features and obstacles.  

Test your skill level before choosing one of our cross-country trails.  Learn, practice and perfect those new riding skills.  

Gisburn Forest entrance

Step into the fairy tale woods of Gisburn Forest and Stocks. Explore the trails and experience a sense of space and freedom as you breathe in the fresh air and hear the peaceful bird song.

Child looking at Superworm
Superworm activity trails

Discover the small but mighty creatures in the much-loved story and learn about the everyday heroic feats of minibeasts in the forest.

The new self-led trail features brightly illustrated panels and a trail pack full of fun activities, including your very own mask.

Set off with Superworm and become a forest superhero!

Superworm lasso a trail activity pack!

What superhero antics will you pull off in your forest superhero mask?

Gisburn cycling
Membership

Save money and get free parking for a year at Gisburn Forest Hub, Cocklet Hill and School Lane car parks, plus a range of great benefits and discounts with Membership to Gisburn Forest and Stocks.

By becoming a member, you'll help support our forests and maintain the facilities for you and your family to enjoy. You'll also receive seasonal e-newsletters so you can discover more local activities and events.

Family walking on a woodland trail
Walking trails and routes

This walk takes you on a grand tour all the way round Stocks Reservoir.  You will find great views of the wild Forest of Bowland landscape. 

Please stay on the waymarked route, for your own safety and to protect sensitive wildlife.  

Close up of walking boots of person walking along a leafy path
Walking trails and routes

A steady climb through Birch Hills, followed by a descent to Bottoms Beck.  There are great views over the forest and Hesbert Hill Farm.  The trail follows the course of an old railway along the beck to join with Eggberry Road where there are fine views of Park Wood and Stocks Reservoir.  

 

Gisburn cycling
Cycling & mountain biking

This is a blue graded trail but has sections of green.  Drop down the causeway over Stocks Reservoir and bounce along Eggberry Road.  A mellow section of green trail follows an old railway line beside Bottoms Beck.  Flow along the funky blue singletrack of Park Wood before swooping down from the top of Cocklet Hill.  

Conifer tree tops

About

The Gisburn Forest Plan covers 1256 hectares of conifer plantation, broadleaved woods and open land in the upper Hodder valley in Lancashire. The whole of Gisburn Forest, the largest wooded area in the county, lies within the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Gisburn cycling
Cycling & mountain biking

Whether you've just bought your first bike or you're happy shredding through rock gardens, Gisburn Forest offers a fantastic opportunity for natural cycling.

mountain biker jumping on a single track trail through the woods
Cycling & mountain biking

If you like your downhill bike trails twisty and fun then you will enjoy this trail. The Hope Line is a land of berms, jumps and drop-offs. The Leap of Faith is just that, grab your handlebars and go for it. Full face helments and body armour needed for this trail.  

Birch Hills walk, Gisburn

An easy path through mixed woodland with views over Stocks Reservoir. On this trail you will pass the old vicarage garden picnic area and two wildlife hides. This trail has also been adapted to be tramper friendly.  

 

Cloudspotting Festival, live music gig at Gisburn Forest
Event
23 July 2022
Starts 12.00 Noon
Gisburn Forest and Stocks

Join us under the stars for a one night celebration of all things Cloudspotting.  Enjoy a perfect mix of music, art, performance, food, drink and friends in our beautiful Gisburn Forest Location.

Orienteering route at gisburn
Orienteering

Try your hand at orienteering, a map reading challenge for all levels.

The aim for everyone is to navigate between control points marked on an orienteering map. If you are a little more competitive the challenge is to complete the course in the quickest time.

There is a permanent orienteering course available at the site.

There is an online map available from Humberside and Lincolnshire Orienteering (HALO)

View of forest and hills from Carron Crag trail at Grizedale

We are very pleased to say we have been able to open up some of our facilities and trails after the recent storms.

Please call in to Visitor Information for help in planning your visit.

Now open

Visitor Information 10am-5pm

Cafe fully open from 9.45am to 5.30pm every day.

Autumnal landscape with lake and mountains in background
Blog
09 September 2020
If you're looking for colourful autumn walks to enjoy near you this season, look no further! We've rounded up our favourite spots in the North West for vibrant colours, breathtaking views, and mindful moments of forest tranquility.
Kielder Forest and Water Park view through trees

Discover why trees and forests are so important in helping to slow down climate change.

Complete the activity sheet in any Forestry England woodland to gain a two hour passport stamp.

Make a poster to explain why trees and forests are important in the battle against climate change and then scan or photograph your poster and send to learning.england@forestryengland.uk.

Sun shining through the trees in a pine forest

To acquire the stamp for your passport, write up to 250 words about the challenges you did, which forests you visited, what you enjoyed and what you learned. This is worth up to three hours depending on how many challenges you have completed.

Picnic table surrounded by trees
Blog
09 July 2021
The sounds and sights of summer await you at one of these fantastic picnic spots in the North West.
Beech tree leaves close up
Article
28 January 2020
You can contact local districts directly if you have a complaint, please use the contacts below. If you’d like to know how we deal with complaints, read our complaints procedure.
Storm Arwen damage to snowy Kidland Forest
News
30 November 2021
Forestry England is urging people to stay away from its woods in much of northern England in the aftermath of storm Arwen.
Propagation
Article
Our forest plans
A plan for each local forest area sets out how we aim to manage the woodlands in our care over the next 30 or more years.
Zog trail
News
17 December 2018
Following the success of the Gruffalo, Stick Man and Highway Rat trails at Forestry Commission sites across England, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s magical children’s picture book, Zog, will be the new activity trail for families to enjoy in the nation’s forests this winter. Launching on 11 January 2019, the trails will follow the premiere of the animated special from Magic Light Pictures, on BBC One this Christmas.