The Five Pits Trail is great for walkers, pram pushers, cyclists and horse riders. This five-and-a-half mile off-road surfaced route takes you from Grassmoor Country Park to Tibshelf Ponds.
You can extend your route to seven and a half miles by exploring the route through Williamthorpe Ponds local nature reserve and Holmewood Woodlands.
There are car parks at various points along the trail (see the Five Pits Trail map in the related documents section of this page) so you can plan your route to take in the full trail or a shorter route.
Steeper slopes may limit some people’s access in places (look out for the slope symbol on the map), but there are no stiles or steps and you will find seats along the way to stop and rest and enjoy the views.
The trail mostly follows the route of the Great Central Railway. Since the large collieries and smaller pits along the railway closed, the landscape has changed dramatically. Parts of the land were opencast and most of the original railway line removed.
Look out for the large site maps showing some of the heritage and wildlife along the trail.
If you fancy exploring further, why not try one of the four circular walks that loop from the trail, linking you to local towns and villages and taking in some of the striking countryside in the area.
The trail is great for cyclists of all abilities and if you want to try testing yourself then have a go at our adventurous cycling route. You’ll find it on the Williamthorpe Local Nature Reserve alongside the trail. The track is a similar standard to a blue grade mountain bike trail and is suitable for anyone with basic off-road riding skills. We built the track to add a little fun and adventure to your ride. Our conservation volunteers and local cycling groups spent nearly 300 hours working with countryside staff to create the track and we are proud to showcase an example of how the service is working to give users a variety of cycling experiences across our sites and trails.
If you fancy exploring further, why not try one of the four circular walks that loop from the trail, linking you to local towns and villages and taking in some of the striking countryside in the area. These waymarked walks follow public footpaths and are a great introduction to walking in the wider countryside, so get your boots on and give them a go.