THE RANGER AND EARL’S RIDE
Degree of Difficulty: Medium
Length: 4 ½ miles
Appoximate Time: 2 hours
Start at Oakamoor car park on Station Road (public toilets available)
Turn left out of the car park and follow the road to the junction with the Red Road.
Keep ahead on the road as it begins to climb Stoneydale. The gradient gets steeper!
At the top of the hill, turn left off the road onto a tarmac track signposted Youth Hostel
Enjoy the views along the ridge top and follow the track as it crosses a cattle grid and turns right to the Youth Hostel.
Walk past the Youth Hostel buildings and take the path continuing on to a gated stile.
Cross the clearing, enjoying fine views across to Alton Towers in the distance and come to another gated stile.
Continue down the hill keeping the wall on your right until some steps take you down to the lakes in Dimmingsdale.
Continue between the 2 lakes and then turn right to follow the Forestry Commission track with the lake on your right.
Continue as the track winds steadily upwards leaving the lakes behind.
Spot the milestones denoting the distance from “Alton Abbey” – this is one of the Earl of Shrewsbury’s “ Rides”
After the second milestone, and a right turn, look out for a squeezer stile in the wall on your right
Pass through and follow the path diagonally left across the field, then as it swings right down the hill to the road at Old Furnace
Turn right onto the road which will take you back to Stoneydale and Oakamoor
ITEMS OF INTEREST
Watch out for wildlife: woodpeckers, jays, buzzards, sparrow hawks, nuthatches, goldcrests, treecreepers, kingfishers, little grebes.
Spot some trees: ash, oak, beech, elder, spruce, silver birch
Spot other items of interest: mill race, milestones, former Churnet Valley Railway tunnel