Where can I ride a mountain bike?

Ordinance Survey map sample

Calderdale is a great place to mountain bike with many bridleways, tracks and cycle routes. It’s easy to access the hill tops and see Calderdale in a whole different way.

If new to planning mountain bike routes it can be quite difficult at first. You need to know where you can or can't ride your bike. It can help to cycle with a group of individuals who have local knowledge of the trails available. Alternatively, use a map such as Ordnance Survey (OS) Explorer 1:25000 or Landranger 1:50000.

Where can I ride?

  • Roads
    You can ride on most roads. Some dual carriageways prohibit cyclists, usually high speed sections. It is illegal to cycle on a motorway.

  • Drives, tracks and paths
    These are displayed on an OS map with two parallel black solid or broken lines, and are subject to the landowner granting access. These can be minor rural roads and farm tracks with byways, bridleways and footpaths within them. You can access the majority of tracks and paths without issue in Calderdale.

  • Public rights of way
    These include bridleways, byways, footpaths and roads used as public paths. Footpaths are marked with a dotted green line on OS maps - you cannot cycle on these. Bridleways can be ridden on, but sometimes a bridleway will change to a footpath.

    Byways are open to all traffic, though access may be difficult to vehicles, and are sometimes also classed as bridleways. We believe there are no roads used as public footpaths in Calderdale.

  • Other public access
    Other forms of public access include National Trails, permitted footpaths, permitted bridleways and off road cycle routes. They can also be described as other routes with public access and are highlighted on an OS map using large green dots spaced apart.

    National Trails are highlighted using large green diamonds spaced apart. This can create confusion - the Pennine Way and The Pennine Bridleway both display the trail in this way. You can ride a mountain bike on the Pennine Bridleway, but not on sections of the Pennine Way that are made up of footpaths. Sections of the Calderdale Way are also made up of footpaths.

    Permitted footpaths and bridleways carry the same path style as footpaths and bridleways but are coloured orange. These facilities are not considered as rights of way and the landowner can withdraw the agreement. Off road cycle routes continue the orange theme and are highlighted with large dots spaced apart.

For more information on cycling facilities in Calderdale, including bike racks and public toilets, see Calderdale Data Works