There are three waymarked trails, starting from the main car park.  These are colour coded – please follow the waymarker posts.  A fourth trail, starting near the entrance at Hookergate/High Spen, takes visitors off the tarmac road and away from traffic through the Wood to the main car park – this is waymarked with orange arrows.  A “Cruck Frame” by Malcolm Lemmon is sited on the entrance trail.

Please, for you own safety, don’t walk along the Powerline Cycle Trail – this route is for mountain bikers only.

Download the Chopwell Walking Trails leaflet from the Forestry Commission website:

Chopwell Walking Trails Leaflet – (PDF)

Heritage Sites – 1 to 16 – Map shown below.

Easy Access Trail 0.4 mls (0.6 km) Funded by the “Friends”, a circular route around the pine woodland next to the main car park with  a specially laid level surface, making it accessable for wheelchair users (horse & bike riders are requested not to use this route).  The “Woodland Spirit” and “Orchid” sculptures can be seen.
Easy Allow 20 mins +
Old Railway Line Trail 1.5 mls (2.4 km) A level, moderately easy route, along wide forest tracks.  This incorporates parts of the old railway line used to carry coal from Chopwell and High Spen to the staithes on the River Tyne, near Derwenthaugh. Two restored Railway Wagons are on the line.
Easy to Moderate Allow 45 mins
River Valley Trail 3.5 mls (5.5 km) A more demanding route taking in many scenic views of the Derwent Valley.  It passes through tall stands of Douglas Fir and skirts alongside the Oak woodland which cloaks the cliffs overlooking the river.  It also passes near to the “Bird of Prey” sculpture.
Moderate to Strenuous Allow 2 hours
Boundary Trail 4.5 mls (7.2 km) Our longest route along tracks and forest paths.  Explore cool pine, dappled beech woods, open glades and views.  The route passes two sculptures by David Gross – “The New Hands” and “The Bat”, and one sculpture by Richard Caink – “The Guardians”.
Strenuous Allow 3 hours

The Forestry Commission recommends waterproofs and hiking boots when walking in Chopwell Wood.

Horse riders and cyclists are welcome to use the firm-surfaced routes.  However, some unsurfaced paths are not suitable for horse riding or mountain biking.  The Easy Access Trail in particular has been installed especially for the less able, and this short circular route has a special surface which is not suitable for horses and cycles.