Adrenaline Hike 20-09-2017 – Leader Dougie

Adrenaline Hike 20-09-2017 – Leader Dougie

On his first walk since returning from France, Mark turned up in a T-shirt with a camera logo on the front, and got what he deserved, nay – craved – the camera for the day.  Of course, he got his own back by giving yours truly 147 pictures to distil down to 40 – a difficult task, but the results do him great credit.  They also do justice to Dougie’s well-named Adrenaline Hike through what is now called (in marketing speak) the Adrenaline Valley, aka Rossendale Valley.  The combination of nice weather, dramatic natural and man-made sights, and Dougie’s compendious knowledge made this a day to remember.

Setting off from Futures Park, today’s 17 walkers headed south up the rocky path into Lee Quarry, which is now – with Cragg Quarry – a major mountain biking centre – adrenaline indeed!  As we walked up the path, we could see on the hill top ahead of us a splendid sculpture of a Frond.  Shortly after, the group picture was taken on another sculpture called the Ferroterrosaurus, both works of art being part of the Irwell Sculpture Trail.  Very soon, we were walking on what was a river bed 30 million years ago, which was soon followed by precipitous views of the great man-made crater of Greens Moor Quarry.  As we continued to climb southward, Dougie pointed out a number of coal mines, some with clearly visible adits.  We soon reached the Pennine Bridleway/Rossendale Way, with lovely 360° views from our 1500 foot altitude.

Our efforts were rewarded by elevenses on the site of the old Moorcock Inn, scene of many a fight between quarrymen, and also, Dougie told us, of cock fighting and bear baiting.  The inn’s owner, Mr Rowley, gave his name to Rowley (Rooley) Moor Road – also known as the Cotton Famine Road – along which we now travelled for a short distance.  We left the Pennine Bridleway to follow the Rossendale Way left and around a loop to a lovely wooded valley, or clough, through which ran the delightfully named Fern Isle Brook.  Crossing a footbridge at the bottom, we soon turned north to Fold Head High Barn, the first known meeting place of a non-conformist sect called the Hallfold Independents.  Along a short stretch of old tramway, and then we were at Cowm Reservoir, home of the Water Ski Academy – more adrenaline!  Works at the reservoir meant that Dougie had to re-route, much to his annoyance, but we soon had lunch at a water feature part way round the reservoir.

After lunch we climbed east across the fields to High Barn Lane, before dropping through woods to walk along a disused railway track, part of the Rochdale-Facit-Bacup line.  We followed this route for a mile or so before branching off and up again to Stubbylee, and thence back to Lee Quarry and the cars.  Refreshments were very pleasantly taken at the Sand Witch café opposite, to end a really excellent day, thanks to Dougie.  The icing on the cake was that it started raining as we left the café!

(Write up Arnold, pics Mark.  Appended here are the route stats and profile.)

Slideshow below, but if you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.


  1. Graeme Adlum

    A very interesting and informative walk by Dougie – thank you.
    The write up and photos capture what was a very good walk. Well done Arnold and Mark.

  2. Good to be back for a great walk. Thanks Dougie. As always great write up Arnold. Haven’t decided if I’m keeping the T-shirt or not yet. I even managed to get some photos of Ann.

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