Jan 03

Enjoy Some of Englands Best Hikes in Yorkshire Hiking Country

Yorkshire hiking trails in Great Britain

Britain has some of the best hiking destinations in the world, and among those, some of the most majestic are to be found in Yorkshire. But Yorkshire’s a big place, so if you’re trying to decide exactly where to walk it can be hard to know where to start. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Here are five of the best walks you can find in Yorkshire, whether you’re starting out on your first walk or looking for a really challenging hike.

Aysgarth Falls

This walk starts out at the Aysgarth Falls National Park Centre, and is actually a pretty easy stroll compared to most routes. Starting from SE012888 on your Ordinance Survey (you’ll need your Ordinance Survey maps for all of these walks), the walk will take you 2.2 miles in one or two hours, and is perfect for family outings.

The route will take you through charming woodland, scenic looking fields and eventually turns around to take you through Low Force, Middle Force and High Force, the three beautiful cascading waterfalls that visitors love. It’s a relatively short hike, so feel free to take your time and drink in the scenery.

Crummack Dale and Norber Erratics

This walk starts out from Austwick village, Ordinance Survey reference SD768686. It’ll take you 5.7 miles over two or three hours, and is just a bit more of a challenge than the afternoon stroll that is Aysgarth Falls.

Now personally, this is one of my very favourite walks as it goes into the Norber Erratics. If you’re a bit of a geology nerd like me this place is a paradise. You’ll find limestone and Silurian sandstone boulders, and the red and green whetstone of the Moughton Scar. There’s also some fantastic views, such as the one you can see from the top of the drop into Crummack Dale.

Catrigg Force and Attermire Scar Walk

This walk starts in Settle, where Alfred Wainwright began his legendary epic hike up to Hadrian’s Wall and back. This is more of a hike than a walk, talking you 11.2 miles over four or five hours, it’s a challenge for intermediate hikers.

This walk is a walk full of secrets. It will take you to Catrigg Force, a magical hidden waterfall that it feels great to discover. You’ll then end up following a quiet road down to Victoria Cave and the Attermire Scar, before eventually finding your way back to Settle.

Simon’s Seat and Troller’s Gill from Strid Wood

Okay, we’re getting onto the real challenges now. This hike starts out at lovely Pavilion cafe in the Bolton Abbey Estate, and goes on to cover 13.2 miles over five or six hours.

What’s more, it’s steep. The initial leg of the walk will see you climb over 350 metres, with a highpoint of 485 metres at Simon’s Seat. But it’s worth it for the breathtaking views you’ll get over the desolate Barden Fell. Many hikers prefer to stop for lunch here before starting back down to Parceval Hall and the wonderfully named Troller’s Gill. You’ll then head along the River Whafe, past the magnificient waterfalls of Strid Wood. It’s hard going, but worth every minute of it.

The Three Peaks Walk

Okay, now we’re headed into the big leagues. This walk is a legendary hiking challenge, one of those things that anyone who’s serious about their walking shout try at least nice, and anyone who isn’t should probably leave well alone.

Starting off at Horton in Ribblesdale, you’re going to walk 25 miles. If you’re quick you could hypothetically complete the walk in eight hours, however it’s not unusual for the entire trek to take up to fourteen hours. This is a real challenge for serious hikers, many of which hop over from Europe by ferry to attempt it.

There are various routes you can take, but you what’s compulsory is that you climb the titular Three Peaks – the 694 metres Penyghent, the 736 metre Whernside and the 723 metres Ingleborough. You’re going to spending a large chunk of the walk climbing and descending, so you need to be properly equipped and in good physical fitness. However if you can do it, the views are well worth it, as is the sense of achievement when you finally get to the end.

 

Featured images:

By Sam Wright

Sam Wright is a writer based in Norwich, Norfolk.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2014/01/03/yorkshire-hiking-trails/

Dec 23

5 Horse Riding Tips For Beginners

 Horse riding is a fun activity if you can afford it. It’s a skill set that you can use if you’re ever in any trouble and a horse is your only getaway. You’ll be surprised how often that situation comes up. In any case horse riding is an important skill to possess, which is why it’s taught at fancy schools where rich kids go to study. If it’s important to a millionaire’s daughter, it should be important to you as well. However, before you saddle up take a look at these important tips.

horse owner and horse

horse and rider

Spend Time with Your Horse

Riding depends on the connection between a man and his horse. If that connection isn’t strong the horse isn’t going to have any qualms about knocking you over. Groom your horse and spend as much time as you can with it. It’s not a bad idea to talk things over with your horse before your riding sessions. Bribe your horse with an apple every time you meet him, so he perceives you as a caregiver and not some moron who wants just wants a ride. A rider’s safety depends on the horse’s mood.

 A Little Warm up

training horse on sandy trail

horsemanship requires training

Before running a full sprint people usually jog. It helps them loosen up their muscles. Your horse should also warm up a little before your riding sessions. Before you test your equine companion’s horsepower it’s best to take a few laps. This will prevent any accidents halfway through your gallop. At that speed if your horse’s muscles tighten up, it could spell trouble for you. The horse will come to a sudden halt and you’ll become airborne. Where you land will be a simple matter of physics and luck. Knowing both I wouldn’t keep my hopes up if I were you.

 Follow the Rules

Rules are meant to keep you safe, not to inhibit your fun. Following them doesn’t make you any less cool. Equestrians may dress up like pompous English royals, but there’s a reason for it. The clothes make it comfortable for you to ride and the helmet prevents your head from cracking open like an egg. Also, hold the reins with both hands and keep your body in a locked position. You’re not exactly John Wayne, so riding like a cowboy is out of the question. You may try to wave to somebody while riding and end up crashing at their feet.

 

horseback saddle on fence rail

equestrian saddles require routine maintenance

Inspect the Saddle

The saddle is meant to keep you on the horse, but if it’s loose, you’ll go down with it. It’s important to check your horse saddle before each riding session. Someone could have tampered with it or unknowingly loosened it up. Either way you’ll be the one eating dust. It’s best to replace your saddle once a year. Don’t wait for the wear and tear to become apparent before making this decision, or you may not live to regret it. A large number of horse riding accidents are related to saddles, so they can be quite deadly.

 Fall Gracefully

Horse riding can be dangerous, it even injured the Man of Steel Christopher Reeves, so it’s important you know how to take a fall. The second you realize you’re going to fall your body tightens up due to instinct. You’ll need to fight this instinct and loosen up your body, because that way you’ll be better prepared. A rigid body falling on a rigid surface will end up with broken bones. Try to roll as you fall to avoid injury. Rolling will prevent the retaliation force of the ground from seriously injuring you. Keep rolling like a stone or you may accidently be trampled by the horse.

equestrian trail rides

horseback trail ride

Horse riding in my mind equates to freedom. It’s just you, your horse and the open plain. Gallop away when you feel like it and leave your worries and your troubles behind. Following the tips mentioned here will prevent accidents while riding. Few people ever get back on the horse after taking their first tumble. If you want to ride like a cowboy, you need to be fearless like one. If you happen to fall, pick yourself up, brush yourself off and then try again. And keep trying until you succeed, because that’s the only way you’ll learn how to ride a horse.

Author Bio:

The contributor of this article, John Ray, is an employee at Saddle World, well-known providers of horse saddles. John loves adventure sports and goes paragliding with his friends every now and then.

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2013/12/23/5-horse-riding-tips-beginners/

Dec 01

Great Plains Trail Featured in Bootprints

Long-distance Trail

rainbow on the plains of eastern colorado

Pawnee Buttes in Eastern Colorado

The worlds of hiking and biking are mainly set in the mountains. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but hopefully hikers and bikers will discover that America has an amazing ecosystem unlike that found anywhere else in the world. Oh sure, our mountains are beautiful, but nearly every continent and country has similarly beautiful mountains. However it’s our great plains that are extraordinarily unique and under-utilized when it comes to non-motorized recreation.

Bootprints Features Article about Great Plains Trail

Finally, folks are starting to discover the joys and scenery of the Great Plains. As the Great Plains Trail begins to take shape, hiking and biking publications are gradually starting to take notice. Recently, the online outdoor magazine Bootprints published an article about the Great Plains Trail. It’s a short but sweet article that notifies hikers and bikers that America’s greatest frontier is now open for business and recreation. Please take a moment to peruse the Bootprints article about the Great Plains Trail. It’s a nice, short summary of what’s going on in this new recreational frontier.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2013/12/01/great-plains-trail-featured-bootprints/

Nov 22

Ireland Mountain Bike Trails

Mountain Biking Trails in Galway, Ireland

I have been working in the hospitality industry in Ireland for many years and in recent years there has been huge rise in popularity of activity holidays. I work for the Drury Court  Hotel which is located in Dublin, however a lot of our guests would travel from here to Galway, in the west of Ireland for its mountain biking. Although, there is very good biking trails located in the Dublin Mountains and the Wicklow Mountains. Below I take a look at two of the most popular Mountain Bike trails in County Galway.

Derroura Mountain Bike Trail

Bike: On this trail it would be advisable to use a mountain bike with full suspension because of the terrain. However there are people that bike this trail with a range of bikes from basic to high quality mountain bikes.

Close By: The closest town to the trail car park, which has parking for approximately 30 cars, is Oughterard.  The town of Oughterard is approximately 6km away and has a variety of shops and restaurants.

The Trail: The Derroura Mountain Bike Trail is a forest trail and has quite a variable terrain and begins with a winding single track over natural granite. This leads to a steady climb which soon turns into very stoney ground, this is why we advise bikes with full suspension. When you reach the summit you will be treated to incredible views of the surrounding landscape. The descent is my favourite part of this trail and is made up of a long north shore that brings you through the beautiful Connemara bogs. This is not a difficult trail but it is a lot of fun and the country side location makes it all the better.

Derroura Mountain Bike Trail in Ireland

Derroura Mountain Bike Trail

Graph of Bike Trail Elevation for Ireland mountain bike trail

Graph of Bike Trail Elevation

 

 Portumna Mountain Bike Trails

Bike: This trail is suitable for riders of any type of mountain bike or even hybrid.

Close by: This trail is located just 1km away from the town of Portumna. This is a wonderful town and there are plenty of restaurants and bed & breakfasts in the town itself and the surrounding areas. There is also a car park and toilet facilities at the beginning of the trail.

The Trails: There are three mountain bike trails at Portumna, these are called Bonaveen, Rinmaher and Woodland. They are all relatively easy trails which makes them ideal for younger riders as well as those who may be just starting off in mountain biking. More experienced riders would definitely prefer the Derroura trail. The terrain is made up of compacted hardcore which means that it can be a little loose but it is ideal for these short and quick trails. There can also be walkers on these trails so it is advisable to visit the Portumna trails during the week when it is quieter.

The weather in Ireland can often be cold and wet, even in the summer months, so it is advisable to bring appropriate clothing if you are planning on biking in Dublin or in Galway.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2013/11/22/ireland-mountain-bike-trails/

Nov 11

Five Mountain Bike Trails You’ll Want to Ride Before you Die

Mountain biking is a great physical activity both for the family and the individual thrill seeker. It’s also happens to be one of the easiest sports to get into, as you only need a bike, a good trail and the willingness to pump your legs.

If you bought a bike it means you probably have the willingness to pump your legs, so the only thing left is a great trail. You’ll most likely start off with shorter trails near you, but eventually you’ll want to try out something more spectacular and challenging. Below we’ve listed five of the most popular mountain bike trails in the world you should make a point of riding before you die.

1.       Machynlleth, Wales

Go out as far you want on natural trail through the beautiful Dyfi forest. Different routes of varying difficulty and length can be taken directly from the centre of town. Locals maintain the trails as far as they can without damaging the natural environment, so finding your way around is easy.

This trail also plays host to the Raw Dyfi Enduro a 15km round trip with the longest descent in Wales, a massive jump and flowy turns all round.

2.       Moab, Utah

Moab is widely known as one of the best mountain biking trails, not only in the US, but also in the rest of the world.  It’s most well-known trail is the Slickrock bike trail, which is runs for 9.6 miles over boulders and various type of rock surfaces. Being next to the Arches National Park all Moab trails provide great scenery and several trails each varying in difficulty.

3.       Whistler, Canada

Whistler is a two hour drive from Vancouver and ski resort in the winter and full on mountain bike in the winter. It has a wide variety of trail, built over the years by mountain biking enthusiasts and professionals. Visited by thousands of local and tourists Whistler is perfect for group excursions and provide lodgings, food and beer all year round.

4.       Tyrol,  Austria

Tyrol Austria is a popular international mountain biking destination due its beautiful scenery and ridden out tracks in the Nordkette mountain range. Tickets are a bit on the steep side at $40 for one day ticket and should preferably be visited in the late summer time for the best riding conditions. It lacks in terms of facilities, but makes up for it in terms of sheer riding pleasure.

5.       Emerald Isle’s legendary Cliffs of Moher

Named the world’s most dangerous trail, this one is only for the adrenaline junkies with years of mountain biking experience. With its rugged coastline and vertical drops it’s by far the most scenic route your will ever take and by far the most high risk. Fly to Dublin and drive over to the Emeral Isles or make a pub crawl of it and traverse the whole of Ireland on your bike, making Moher your final destination like Hans Rey and Steve Peat.

Of course there are many other great trails around the world, which most of us won’t have the luxury of visiting in our lifetime, but the five mentioned in this post are the ones I’m most excited about finishing before kicking the bucket.

Jason O’Reilly is an avid bicycle rider, professional product reviewer and all-roud outdoorsman. You can find more of his articles at www.bicyclegarageracks.com, where he review the latest bicycle storage options.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2013/11/11/five-mountain-bike-trails-youll-want-ride-die/

Oct 25

New Zealand’s Best Bike Trails

The Top 6 Off-Road Cycling Trails New Zealand Has to Offer

new zealand trail

(Cycling through New Zealand’s breathtaking scenery is a unique experience)

Cycling is one of the best ways to explore New Zealand and have a face to face experience with what the country really has to offer. The spectacular scenery, natural beauty, and unique culture are best experienced while going on one of the numerous bike-rides through the many available cycling trails. Most of these follow paths that were established by the early indigenous settlers of New Zealand. The country has made efforts to restore and extend historic pathways which enable cyclists to stopover and visit a large number of historical and cultural heritage sites. A few of the best cycling trails that New Zealand has to offer are:

 

Soak Up the Sun Riding the Stunning Queen Charlotte Track

bike new zealand

stunning views from trail

This track is located in the Marlborough Sounds at the top of South Island. It stretches for 71 km between the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sound. The Queen Charlotte track is well known as one of the best cycling trails that New Zealand has to offer. It is renowned for its picturesque views, the sunning scenery, distinct landscape, historical sites, and native wildlife. A ride through this trail will serve as a unique and memorable experience as it traverses through lush forests, historical bays, and also along ridges that provide beautiful views of the Sounds.

 

Otago Central Rail Trail will Reveal the True Beauty of the South Island

new zealand rail trail

Otago Central Rail Trail

This cycling trail stretches for 150 km through the South Island. It runs between Middlemarch and Clyde, following the former route of the Otago Central Railway. This trail is one of the most popular tourist attractions of South Island. The towns along the trail have developed facilities to aid tourists on the trail. The Otago trail is well known for its historical value and is a tribute to human endeavor. The scenery, bridges, and tunnels along the length of the trail are what make this ride fascinating and adventurous.

 

Te Ara Ahi – Ride through an Active Thermal Landscape

This bike trail offers tourists a 74 km riding exploration through the thermal lands of steam vents, natural hot bubbling mud pools, and outstanding geysers. The trail travels from Rotorua to Lake Ohakuri and passes through four different geothermal fields, each with their own unique flora and fauna. The trail is also rich in Maori history and lore as it passes through many Maori villages.

 

The Timber Trail: Cycle the North Island

new zealand's timber trail

Timber Trail

The Timber trail at the North Island is a couple of hours away from the Te Ara Ahi trail. It travels through the beautiful and peaceful Pureora Forest and several other important ecological areas. The trail follows old tramlines, stops at old timber milling establishments and even passes through eight large suspension bridges which provide for breathtaking views across this 85 km trail.

 

This trail is within easy reach from the Te Ara Ahi trail at Rotorua, it is also a short distance away from Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington. There are many options that are available for traveling between these two cycling trails and other cycling trails across the country. One of the best options is to hire a car or book with one of the main bus companies or specialized cycle tour companies.

The Queenstown Trail – Cycle through Prehistoric Forrest

The Queenstown cycling trail stretches for nearly a 100 km within the Wakatipu Basin. This winding trail offers travelers some of the most stunning natural scenery that the country has. It also travels through the Gibbston Wine area and the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown. Hidden ruins, incredible architecture and significant bridges, such as the historic Kawarau Bridge, are also a part of this cycling trail. After finishing the bike trail there are a wide range of other tourist attractions that Queenstown has to offer.

Mountains to Sea Trail

This 317 km trail is one of the most epic traveling experiences that the North Island has to offer. The Mountains to Sea cycling trail is a combination of mountain biking trails, public road and jet boats to cross the water. Travelers start off from the Mountains of the Central Volcanic Plateau and end up near the sea in Whanganui. The cycling trail also traverses through two national parks full of natural beauty, stunning scenery and cultural heritage.

Angela Hallberg is Omega Rental Cars’ Marketing Manager – one of New Zealand’s most trusted car hire companies.  Like Omega on Facebook or follow on Twitter @OmegaRentalCars.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2013/10/25/new-zealands-best-bike-trails/

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