There is an Easy Access trail near the main car park.  There are two colour coded trails from the car park – please follow the blue or green arrow waymarker posts.  A trail from 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 was sited on the entrance trail, but had begun to rot and was removed in 2019.

Be aware that the Heritage “Aad Man’s” Bridge on the old Red trail is now closed as it is unstable and the wood is rotting.  The path either side leading to the bridge has also been closed.

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

A new Walking Trails map leaflet available FREE to download from here.  A further update to this trails map will be here soon, as an additional waymarked trail has been added.  For now follow the yellow markers on the 1 mile circular Pitman’s Walk starting just south of the car park.  There is a temporary Wellbeing Trail on this route for the summer.

Chopwell Wood Walking Trails map

There is some additional information available for visitors on the Forestry England website, and the leaflet is also available for download there   https://www.forestryengland.uk/chopwell-wood

Easy Access Trail 0.3 mls (0.5km) 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 accessible for wheelchair users (horse & bike riders are requested not to use this route).  The “Woodland Spirit” and “Orchid” sculptures were on this trail but have been removed as they were rotting at the base.
Easy Allow 20 mins +
Old Railway Line Trail
Blue arrow waymarkers
1.4 mls (2.2km) 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
Sorry but this trail is no longer maintained and markers have been removed.
3.5 mls (5.5km) 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.
The Heritage Bridge on this route has now been closed, as the supports are unstable and the wood is rotting.
Moderate to Strenuous Allow 2 hours
Boundary Trail
Green arrow waymarkers

North Loop
2.2 mls

South Loop
3.4 mls

Total length
5.6 mls (9km)
Our longest route along tracks and forest paths.  Split into two loops, enjoy either half or both. Explore cool pine, dappled beech woods, open glades and views.  The North Loop crosses the old stone railway bridge, and the South Loop passes the little coal  tubs, and four sculptures by David Gross – “The Bird of Prey”, “The Bracken Crozier”, “The New Hands” and “The Bat”.
Difficult Allow 3 hours or more for the complete trail.

Forestry England 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.