An easy and enjoyable walk around the Black Rock area. You can divert to climb the rock, giving spectacular views.
Wildlife/livestock – there are sometimes cows in the area heading up to the trig point towards the end of the walk. They have never been a problem but there is an alternative route which is cow-free.
Stiles – none
Water – a pond by the side of the trail near the start (clean).
Other dogs – quite a few on the High Peak Trail on weekends or during holiday periods. Both on and off lead.
Refreshments – there is a kiosk at the car park selling drinks and snacks.
Roads – none
The paths on this walk are not very clear on the OS map, so the route is a little rough. It is shown more accurately on this map:
You can walk up to Black Rock from the cottage, but if you are driving, park at the Black Rock car park shown on the map. If there is space in the area just after the bridge (before turning right to the main car park, this is free!)
1. Walk from the car park onto the High Peak Trail and turn left. You will see Black Rock looming above you on the right. You can take a detour to climb it now, or come back via the Rock at the end of the walk.
2. Walk down the High Peak trail for half a mile or so, passing a strange sunken area on your right and a bicycle shed on your left.
3. You’ll see a path to the right signposted “Cromford Moor”. You have the option of taking that path, which you may want to do if it is busy and you would like to get off the trail early. Otherwise stay on the trail for some lovely views over to the left.
4. You’ll pass a small pond on your right (your dog may be in it!) and approach an area with picnic benches and an old engine house (the engine was for pulling trains up the steep “Sheep Pastures Incline”).
5. Just before the engine house, take some steps ascending steeply to your right into the woods. If you start heading down the incline, you’ve gone too far.
6. At the top of the steps you’ll meet the path you would have taken if you followed the sign to Cromford Moor, coming in from your right.
7. Go straight ahead, following a path through woods.
8. Ignore the first right turn (unless you want a slightly shorter walk – it is a nice path!) and continue on the path through the woods.
9. You’ll pass a gate on your left and another footpath to the left through the gate. Ignore this and continue on the path through the woods.
10. After half a mile or so, you’ll meet a wide forestry commission track. Turn right and walk along the track.
11. After a few hundred yards, you’ll reach a gate on the left allowing access into an attractive rocky, brackeny area which may have cows. (The path I mentioned if you wanted a shorter walk comes in from your right here.) If you want to avoid the cows, keep straight on and this track will take you back down to the High Peak Trail. If you are OK with the cows (I have never had a problem with them here) go through the gate and take the left hand path. (For a shorter walk you can take the right hand path which avoids the trip to the view point and takes you through woods to the top of Black Rock.)
12. Follow the path upwards with woods on your left, until you reach a trig point which gives lovely views all around, including down to Wirksworth and its quarries.
13. From the trig point take the left path which leads back towards Black Rock.
14. Pretty much any path will take you back to Black Rock now. I tend to take the left fork where the path divides, then the second wooden gate into the woods on the left. This takes you to the left side of Black Rock, and there are obvious paths up onto the top of the rocks.
15. Once you see the rock on your right, you can follow any of the well worn paths back down to the trail and the car park.