|Walk 3 - Hall Barn to The Pike via Wilderswood|
|Starting Point - Hall Barn, Rivington, (Grid Ref SD633145) .|
|This is a walk that takes you on lesser trodden paths, but includes the summit of one of the most popular hills in the county. Suitable clothing should be carried.|
With your back to the entrance of Hall Barn, turn right and follow the path behind the barn. At the first intersection of paths take the right-hand route, and at the second interchange take the left turning through a gate and begin a gentle ascent. As the path levels out, take a right turn before the stile, onto a wide unmade road. Stay on this track for half a mile and you will reach a metal gate and stile. Ignore the path to the left.
Continue ahead descending gently. After 60 yards several paths meet. Take the left-hand path and pass the house on your right-hand side. You are now on an avenue of trees. Stay on this. You will pass a house called "Higher Derbyshire's" set back on the left and later Rivington School will appear through the trees to the right.
At the end of the avenue you reach a T junction. Turn left and start to ascend steeply (but only for 30 yards) and the road swings to the right. You will reach a metal gate - go through it and after 20 yards go over the stile on the right. Follow the path which will start to arc left. Here, after periods of rain, the thundering sound of a river can be heard.
Shortly, a gate, stile and steps are reached. Turn right and descend the steps, cross the footbridge over the River Douglas and climb the steps on the other side. You will come to a gate. Go through it and turn left onto a concrete track.
Stay on this all the way to a barn. Fifty yards prior to the barn there is still evidence of an old tramway crossing the path. This was to take minerals to the works down the hillside.
At the barn (ignoring the track to the left), continue straight ahead (sp Wilderswood). The path descends after a short while to a stone bridge. Turn first left and begin to climb a wide stony track Ignore steps to right of the bridge). Stay on this track, ignoring any paths to either side.
The track suddenly turns right through large stone gateposts. At this point we continue straight on up a marrow path (do not go through the gateposts). Continue along this narrow path and climb the steps when you reach them. At the top of the steps turn right.
You will arrive at a gate where we turn sharp left. From here excellent views are to be had. Continue along this stone road and when Pike Cottage is reached continue ahead, ignoring paths to either side. The road is descending now. Look out for the old boundary stone on the right. Brown Hill looms in front and here begins a sweeping left to right turn.
Shortly after the road has straightened out, a footpaths appears on the left, but to the right is a track with metal gate and a wooden pedestrian gate.Take the right hand path and go through the gate. The Pike comes into view. Make your way to the top.
From the summit views extend as far as the Lake District and Wales. Nearer still, Winter Hill and the cairn on Crooked Edge Hill are evident. Also much closer, is a tower called the Dovecote or Pigeon Tower, and was built by Lord Leverhulme. Lady Leverhulme used to sew in the uppermost room whilst pigeons were housed below.
To descend, take the steps down and follow the wide stony track till it reaches a fence with two wooden gates.
Upon reaching the gates, turn left ignoring the driveway turning acutely to the right, but take the path through a "kissing gate" just the other side of the track . Descend the steps, crossing two roads and continue downwards.
A "Y" junction is met, take the left fork and continue down the path. Cross the concrete bridge and the "Lagoon" is to the right. Follow the path round the lagoon and on the left is a fenced off tunnel. Climb the bank immediately after the tunnel and descend the steps on the other side of the banking. Turn left and follow the wide track to a metal gate Turn right here on to a small path.
This section of the path is like an alpine road and there are a series of hairpin corners. Keep taking sharp left and rights until you come upon a stone road. Take the road downwards and you arrive at a "kissing gate". Continue a little further and go through a second "kissing gate". Turn right after 15 yards onto a wide track. Shortly a track forks off to the left - ignore it and continue forwards. Continue on this for half a mile and after a short climb bear left and down to Hall Barn and the car park.