North Pennines, Cow Green Reservoir – England
Cow Green reservoir is a two mile long reservoir, which was built in 1971. Despite the construction, a lot of local flora and fauna has managed to survive and the surrounding area is still rich with rare alpine plants, like the local Teesdale violet. The area is not swamped with hikers either, as sheep will likely be your companion for most of a trip around this location.
This trail is easily accessible and has couple of historical towns nearby too, like Langdon Beck, which can add that extra attraction to your visit as well as provide an overnight shelter. When it comes to the trail itself, rest assured there are separate parking and public toilets facilities available. Moreover, the trail includes a couple of old mine locations, which add an extra feel of adventure and curiosity.
This public trail in North Pennines also offers a range of activities, ranging from scenic and bird watching walks to more challenging rocky areas. The latter boast the chance to view rare rock formations of sugar limestone and the Great Whin Sill.
When it comes to choosing a route, the main trail follows along the two mile stretch of the reservoir, then turns towards the dam. Although the passage way across the dam is closed, there is a path to climb down nearby to acknowledge the dam water stream from a closer angle. Following the path brings about numerous stop spots too, which demonstrate all of the rare flora and fauna, as well as rare landscape formations.
The trail also includes a considerable amount of dolerite cliffs, though bear in mind these will require some skill to climb up and down. A particular highlight of taking up the challenge though is the opportunity to admire the Cronkley Scar cliff, which stretches for almost a mile and can be a fascinating trail on its own.
Nonetheless, all of the intermediate routes in North Pennines include at least one high flow waterfall, with one of the most popular ones being Cauldron Snout with its rock-based, slippery steps down. To avoid injuries here, appropriate footwear is key. Therefore, we recommend you acquire some quality hiking boots for such landscapes from the likes of SOLETRADER or Brantano ahead of your trek. Also take note that the area is high above sea level (approximately 1,650 feet), so sudden weather changes should be expected.
These are just a couple of recommended routes though; in all the Cow Green Reservoir trail has numerous length options ranging from 5 miles to 12 miles and more. Whichever route you take, rest assured you will be on track to explore so many of the fascinating areas that the North Pennines has to offer.