Lake District Forests & Forest Trails

There are four main Lake District forests with public access and recreational facilities, all with online trail guides which can be found below. These are managed by the Forestry Commission.
 
Whinlatter forest is England’s only mountain forest and is located near Keswick in the North Lakes, Grizedale forest is situated in the South Lakes near Hawkshead and is of lower altitude, Ennerdale forest is the most westerly, near Ennerdale Water, and The Dodd wood covers a hill between Keswick and Bassenthwaite and overlooks Bassenthwaite Lake.
 

lake district forests, the Dodd

Dodd Wood

lake district forests ennerdale

Ennerdale Forest

lake district forests grizedale

Grizedale Forest

lake district forests whinlatter

Whinlatter Forest

Of the Lake District Forests only Whinlatter and Grizedale forest have (very popular) visitor centres and many outdoor adventure activities while The Dodd has an Osprey viewing point and a tearoom and Ennerdale forest is the most remote and tranquil.

Lake District Forest Trails

Keswick / Bassenthwaite – Dodd Wood

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Starting point : Dodd Wood car park opposite Mirehouse 

  • Douglas Fir trail – distance 1 mile – allow 1 hour
  • The magnificent Douglas Fir trees on the lower slopes of Dodd Wood are the prominent feature of this trail. These trees are selectively thinned to create gaps on the forest floor so that natural regeneration of Douglas Firs takes place. This is called continuous cover, which means there is no clear felling required. Leaflet & Map >>
     

  • Sandbed Gill trail – distance 1.5 miles – allow 2 hours
  • This trail gently traverses northwards through areas of conifer and broadleaved woodland crossing Sandbed Gill. There are fine views to be seen of the northern end of Bassenthwaite Lake. The trail returns to the car park and tearoom through areas of semi-natural and mixed woodland. Leaflet & Map >>
     

  • Skill Beck trail – distance 1.5 miles -allow 2 hours
  • Skill Beck provides water to the Old Saw Mill Tearoom and Mirehouse. The trail climbs over 300 metres crossing the beck and following its course back to the car park and tearoom. Excellent views of Bassenthwaite Lake and surrounding fells can be seen along this trail. Leaflet & Map >>
     

  • Dodd Summit trail – distance 3 miles – allow 3 hours
  • The summit of Dodd Wood gives unrivaled panoramas which encompass Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite Lake, the Solway Coast and even the hills of Dumfries and Galloway. This steep circular trail passes through wooded slopes, dramatic open hills and spectacular scenery. Leaflet & Map >>

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Keswick / Braithwaite / Lorton – Whinlatter Forest Park

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Starting point : Whinlatter Visitor Centre car park

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Ennerdale Bridge – Ennerdale Forest

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Starting point : Bowness Knott car park

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Hawkshead / Coniston – Grizedale Forest Park

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Starting point Grizedale Visitor Centre to collect map – see map below.

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