High Peak Trail

High Peak Trail offers stunning views of the limestone Derbyshire countryside and is a haven for cyclists and walkers.

A former railway line between Cromford Canal and Peak Forest Canal established in 1831, the High Peak Trail was purchased by the Peak District National Park in 1971.


High Peak Trail is a 17.5 mile trail from High Peak Junction, near Cromford to Dowlow near Buxton.

Let’s Pedal

The High Peak Trail is 17.5 miles long and suitable for people of all ages depending upon fitness. The trail is suitable for hybrid bikes, mountain bikes and cyclocross bikes.

It is recommended that cyclists start the High Peak Trail at Middleton Top Countryside Centre and Cycle Hire and head west.

By starting at Middleton Top, you will avoid the section between High Peak Junction, Black Rocks and Middleton Top where there are three very steep inclines. Adults and children alike will have to push bikes to the top of each incline as they are too steep to ride unless you are exceptionally fit and have very good low gears on your bike. The three inclines are rated 1:8 (12.5%) and is 3/4 of a mile long (1.2 km), 1:8.5 (11.8%) and is 1/2 mile long (0.7 km) and 1:14 (7.1%) and is a 1/4 of a mile long (0.4 km). Cyclists are strongly advised to dismount when riding down these inclines due to a loose surface and interspersed railway sleepers across the path placed to help prevent erosion.

High Peak Trail is a single, wide path which extends for the total distance and joins Tissington Trail at Parsley Hay.

The High Peak Trail is managed by Peak District National Park.

Route Distance

FromToDistance (Miles)Distance (Km)
High Peak JunctionBlack Rocks1.52.4
Black RocksMiddleton Top1.63.2
Middleton TopMinninglow6.510.5
AlsopParsley Hay2.54
Parsley HayHurdlow23.2

From Hurdlow the trail extends for another 1.5 miles to Dowlow.


  • High Peak Junction
  • Black Rocks
  • Middleton Top (Refreshments on trail and nearby public house)
  • Parsley Hay
  • Hurdlow (Public House)

Other refreshment stops and public houses are available in the nearby villages of Cromford, Brassington and Parwich. You will need to leave the trail to access these stops.

Please note there are 11.5 miles (18.5 km) between Middleton Top and Parsley Hay with no refreshment stops on the trail in between.


Toilets available at:

High Peak Junction, Black Rocks, Middleton Top and Parsley Hay

Cycle Hire available at:

Middleton Top and Parsley Hay

Tourist Information available at:

High Peak Junction, Middleton Top and Parsley Hay

How to get here

By Car

High Peak Trail is located in the Peak District. There are a number of former stations which have their own car park. The easiest way to get there is to enter a car park postcode into your satellite navigation – see table below. Village names and grid references have also been provided for those navigating by OS map.

Car Parking

Pay and Display parking available next to the trail at these locations:

Car ParkLocationPostcode
High Peak JunctionNear Cromford WharfDE4 5AA
Black RocksNear WirksworthDE4 4GT
Middleton TopMiddleton by WirksworthDE4 4LS
MinninglowMinninglowDE4 2PN
FridenFridenSK17 0DY
Parsley HayParsley HaySK17 0DG
HurdlowHurdlowSK17 9QJ
Derbyshire County Council Car Park – Middleton Top, Lea Bridge (High Peak Junction) and Black RocksCars and minibusesup to 2 hours£1.60
up to 4 hours£3.00
all day£4.80
Blue badge holders (display badge)Free
Peak District National ParksCars and minibusesup to 1 hour£1.50
up to 4 hours£3.50
all day£4.50
Blue badge holders (display badge)Free

By Cycle

National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 68 from Buxton then joining NCN Route 54 (High Peak Trail).

Join NCN Route 54 at Bolehill near Cromford (High Peak Trail).

Alternatively, NCN Route 68 from Derby (via Tissington Trail (13 miles) or Carsington Water – see map).

By Train

Buxton, Cromford, Whatstandwell and Ambergate.


  • Distance (miles): 17.5
  • Distance (km): 28.2
  • Start: High Peak Junction
  • Finish: Hurdlow
  • Type: Disused railway line
  • Surface: Tarmac, gravel, earth
  • Sat Nav: DE4 5AA


  • Car Park
  • Cycle Hire
  • Free Entry
  • Picnic Site
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets
  • Tourist Information

Cycle Hire

Middleton Top Cycle Hire

Middleton Top Countryside Centre
Middleton by Wirksworth

Parsley Hay Cycle Hire

Parsley Hay
near Buxton
Derbyshire SK17 ODG

Opening Times

Open all year round except for any temporary closures due to works.


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The information provided on this page is believed to be correct and is given in good faith. Please be aware that it may have changed since our research. Use of the information on this page is at your risk, we cannot accept any liability for any problems or incidents arising. The maps are based on the postcodes of the centres. The postcode provided for Sat Nav is the nearest postcode to the start of the trail or car park and is therefore not 100% accurate to the entrance of the location. Postcodes are provided as a guide only. We recommend that you confirm the location and other details before travelling.

Cycling With The Kids is not responsible for the content of third party websites, and travel times, prices, routes and providers are correct at the time of writing, but may alter at short notice.

Spot something incorrect in the information provided? Let us know!