Gisburn Forest sits at the north-eastern corner of Lancashire, close to North Yorkshire. Indeed, the forest was in West riding of Yorkshire up until 1974. The area is vast, nearly 3000 acres – making it the largest forest in Lancashire.
Travelling around this Area of Outstanding Beauty under your own power is a great way to find the hidden gems that are around every corner, whilst experiencing a sense of space and freedom.
At the edge of Gisburn Forest is Stocks Reservoir, created in 1932 by the flooding of Dalehead valley. The River Hodder runs into the reservoir making it an excellent spot for fly fishing. Visit Bowland Game Fishing Association for more information. There is also a fantastic circular walk around reservoir here.
As for walking around Gisburn Forest, there are many routes you can take. One walk we took a while ago went to seek out a hidden waterfall on Bottoms Beck. Another day we went to explore the highest point of the area, which is small hill with a trig point, known as Whelpstone Crag.
Also, if you are fascinated by the night sky, maybe consider visiting at dusk? The area is a recognised Dark Sky Discovery Site, which means there is so little light pollution you can witness a brilliant view of the stars. More information on Forest of Bowland Stargazing can be found here.
Gisburn Forest is perhaps most famous for the Mountain Bike Trails. There are many tracks ranging from beginner to intermediary and we have a page dedicated to Gisburn Forest bike trails here.