Gilamoor Loop (Mountain Biking) Route Details

Route Description

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Introduction

An classic North York Moors route across the high moors. Big climbs and descents, technical singletrack, it doesn't get much better than this.

Conditions

Mostly moorland tracks and singletracks. Some parts on Hagg Common can be very boggy and wet, with huge sized piddles.

Hazards and warnings

A high moorland route, which requires you to be equipped for a long day out in the hills.

Detailed description

This route is available on North York Moor MTB routes, along with many other routes.
 
Park in the small car park at SE 685 909 and turn right up the hill. At the cross roads turn left, up the hill and look for a farm track to the right ¼ of a mile from the start.
Follow the steep concrete track up to the farm and between the hedges, past a small wood to the left. The BW which has until this point been due west, turns uphill to the left and meets a minor road.
 
At the road turn right and go downhill for ¼ of a mile until the road forks. Take the left hand fork down the dead end road, and go down the minor road until after a few hundred yards the tarmac ends at a gate. Carry on the along the track between hedges and cross the fields on an indistinct track which heads south until you arrive at a minor road.
 
At the minor road, turn left and follow the road which meanders southwards along the side of the valley, before climbing through the woods to a junction with a gravel track on the left. Carry on straight ahead along the edge of the woods for a few hundred yards after the junction when the BW breaks away from the track and descends sharply to the right. Follow the BW downwards into the woods, taking care not to follow any of the other woodland tracks.
 
At bottom of the hill the BW meets a path along the bottom edge of the woods. Turn left onto this path for 200 yards until you see a gate into a field to the right. Go through the gate and follow a faint track west across the fields to a ford and bridge at SE 658 878. Cross the river and start to climb into the woods, avoiding the bulldozed track which head straight up and instead follow the flatter track to the left. The BW then joins a forest track which heads up the hill out of the forest to a gate, and then towards Skiplam Grange Farm. Turn left at the edge of the farm yard, and head for the minor road.
 
At the minor road turn right and carry on north gently climbing for 1 ½ miles until the road turns into a farm track near Wether Cote Farm. Continue along the rough track which runs along the edge of an escarpment for a mile or so until after a trig point the track starts to descend steeply.
 
Look out for a gate towards the bottom of the hill. Once past the gate and onto the moors, the track starts to gradually climb again and you will cross a further gate and a road sign. Follow the track NNW across the moors. This section can be very boggy in places but there little that can be done to avoid this. At the old quarry make sure you take the small track heading north uphill and not the other tracks which cross here. You will gradually gain height to reach a wide ridge (the BW which heads NE at SE 616 936 can be used to shorten the route if needed although the surface is very poor), and a minor road which joins from the left.
 
Carry on in the same direction on the minor road for just over half a mile. There is then a junction with a track just before the road descends. Technically the BW actually runs 100 feet further east parallel to the track, but there is little sign of something you can actually ride over. Heading north you will climb gently on Bransdale Ridge to the top of this wide, flat hill. Just before the stump of a moorland cross on the left, at SE 607 981 there is a junction with a BW to the right marked by a series of small stone cairns. The BW is at first very narrow, but gets slightly wider, but a lot more technical as it heads downhill. Follow the BW down the very steep hill to cross the minor road we left earlier and over a boggy bit to reach a further minor road. The BW resumes at the gate on the opposite side of the road to the north of the farm. Go through the gate, and head across fields through a few gates to cross the stream at Bransdale Mill.
 
At Bransdale Mill, pass through the farm yard and take the BW which heads uphill along a rough concrete driveway. You will join a road in the elbow of a bend, and need to turn right and steeply uphill. After ¼ of a mile look for a farm track climbing away from the road to the left opposite Cow Sike Farm (don’t confuse with the BW just before that).
 
Climb steadily onto the moors in a SE direction passing by several other tracks and paths which cross the moors, until 1.1 miles after leaving the road you meet the well used Old Drovers’ Road at SE 640 974. You’ll know it’s the Drovers road as you’ll have descended slightly and crossed a small stream before getting to it, the other track you can confuse it for is before the small stream and blocked by a barrier.
The next section is a real treat for those who like a technical downhill. Turn left and head south down the Old Drover’s Road for a third of a mile until a BW cross over the Drovers Road just before a line of grouse butts Turn left and follow the single track along the line of grouse butts, until the slope increases and a fine downhill section starts. Take care on as there are some rocky surfaces which might send you off the path and down one of the steep drops. The combination of narrow single track, fine views and tricky obstacles makes this one of the best descents in the moors.
Before you know it you will arrive at a gate. Go through the gate and descend to the left, until you reach a footbridge on the valley floor. Pick up the rocky farm track which descends along the valley and follow it until you reach Horn End Farm. A BW turns right at the farm yard and heads downhill into the woods. After a short but hair-raising decent to the stream, cross the stream and enter the field via the narrow gate. The BW then climbs up to a farm track along the hedge line.
 
At the track, turn left down the valley, passing through Keysbeck farm and arriving at a minor road. Turn right onto the road for just over half a mile until the road starts to climb and a farm track BW heads off to the left. Take this track, which involves less climbing than the road, and follow it along the side of the valley, through Park farm, until you rejoin the road. Turn left at the road and descend to the bridge. After a short climb past the edge of a wood you will see a junction at which you turn left to arrive at the car park.

Route Map

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