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Explore Gisburn Forest
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.3/5)

Welcome to Gisburn Forest, an amazing place for biking with far reaching views of the Forest of Bowland.

Gisburn Hub logoGisburn Forest Hub

The new car park, viewpoint, trails, toilets and cafe are now fully open. Ride the new Skills Loop and visit the new Forest Den Café (over the winter open weekends only 10am to 4pm).

Gisburn Forest Hub is located at: Stephen Park, Gisburn Forest, Slaidburn, Lancashire BB7 4TS.

Gisburn Forest map and trail information.


At Gisburn Forest Hub explore the all ability trail that leads to a panoramic view of Stocks Reservoir and the Forest of Bowland. The forest is criss-crossed with lots of footpaths and there is a reservoir walk that starts from School Lane car park.

Gisburn Forest bike trails 

Gisburn Forest has two fantastic mountain bike trails, the moderate graded Bottoms Beck for younger or novice riders and the red graded 18km "The 8" for those with a higher level of experience and skill. At Gisburn Forest hub you'll find a new Skills Loop to practice riding mountain bike trail features.

Forest Den Cafe

Come in for bacon butties, a wide range of sandwiches & paninis, hot fresh ground coffee, home baking & more. Great for hungry bikers! Forest Den Cafe menu. Open Friday 11am - 4pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm and all public holidays.

What do other visitors say?

3 Stars 3 Stars

Ok for a wet day, trail did not feel very natural.

Needs signs so that bikers are aware that walkers can use parts of the trail.

Cafe too far from car park so would not have been able to keep an eye on car and bikes so we didn't go in.

Expected to have to park up the road to avoid parking fees like I normally do, but was happy to pay when we saw it was only 3. Well done again to the Forestry Commission for not trying to rip us off, please educate the National Trust.

Mick, 10/Nov/2014
5 Stars 5 Stars

We came today, 22/10/14, four of us who at most had done 15 mile on the leeds liverpool canal. We did the blue trail and two of our group did a little bit of the red trail. I found the blue trail fun with just the right about of challenge for an asthmatic novice. Really enjoyed our time there and will definitely go more frequently and build up towards the red trail and the Orange stunt trail. 5 out of 5!!

Sophie , 22/Oct/2014
2 Stars 2 Stars

I visited the forest yesterday with my partner and our dog to walk the circular route from Cocklet Hill car park-via the culvert and around by Hesbert Hey and Stephen Park. As we headed off the road into the wood at the end of the culvert, we were confronted by a group of mountain bikers who informed my friend and I that we were on their trail and should not have been. I informed them that I was not aware that walkers were not allowed on this section of the circular route and I would be interested to know who has a right of way as my understanding is that as that section is a 'bridle Way', all people have a right of way. I'm getting rather fed up of some of these very 'pushy' mountain bikers who appear to see the forest as 'their' pleasure park rather than an amenity open for all. What makes things worse is now we have to pay to park and we don't mind this as the costs of maintaining the park are obviously considerable. Perhaps the answer is to make the signage a little clearer as to who can go where and on what track. In future, my friend and I will have to consider whether we visit this lovely forest again.

Alan Richardson BSc (hons), 13/Oct/2014

The circular route from Cocklet Hill was originally conceived and created as a cycle trail. It is a concessionary route and does not have the legal status of bridleway. Some parts of the cycle route follow public footpaths. The sections of built cycle trail by the causeway (culvert) have been used by some walkers since they were created in 1996; we are aware that there is now some tension and differing expectations between users here and we are working on a solution that we hope will enable cyclists and walkers to enjoy the forest together. The car park charges were introduced to help pay for maintenance of cycle and walking trails and to pay for the cleaning and upkeep of the new toilets at Gisburn Forest Hub.

Forestry Commission Response
More user comments

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What's Here?

  • Cycling
  • Picnic
  • Viewpoint
  • Cafe
  • Forest Den Cafe
  • Mountain biking
  • Skills Loop
  • Easy Access
  • Easy access trail at Gisburn Forest hub.
  • Parking (chargeable)
  • 3 All Day
    1.50 - 1hr
  • Trail (easy)
  • All ability hub trail leading to a viewpoint.
  • Toliets
  • Located at Forest Den Cafe
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SD745560
Postcode: BB7 4TS

Get directions


Opening & Parking

3 All Day
1.50 - 1hr
Discovery Pass
Get free parking for a year at Gisburn Forest Hub, Cocklet Hill and School Lane car parks, with a Discovery Pass for only 30.
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified