Peak District Walk Black Hill from Crowden, Derbyshire
Black Hill is a fine mountain and this circuit enables you to see it at its finest - or wildest if the weather is bad. The route starts at Crowden and follows the Pennine Way up the mountain returning along another ridge.
Start from the car park just below Crowden Youth Hostel. An exit at the back of the car park takes you to a small lane alongside the small campsite - follow this up past the campsite. Continue straight on and then branch left, which takes you into the grounds of Crowden Outdoor Centre. The path goes right across the front of the centre and exits via a stile on the far (west) side. From here climb steadily up the hillside to eventually join the route of the Pennine Way.
From here the route follows the top of the valley side for a while before beginning a gradual descent back to the stream, with which it is reunited about 2 km north of Laddow Rocks. It then follows the stream for another kilometre or so, and this section can be very boggy in wet weather. So can the next section where the path turns north-east to cross Grains Moss to Dun Hill, but this has been paved almost all the way to the summit to prevent further damage to this delicate environment.
The route now returns along the ridge between Crowden Little Brook and Heyden Brook. It is very tempting to head towards the landmark of Holme Moss TV mast, but resist this temptation. The route heads on a bearing of approximately 120 degrees across the quaintly named Tooleyshaw Moss - a new cairn has been erected and if the visibility is good you will be able to see it on edge of the summit plateau. The ground here is very rough and any path is very indistinct, but once you pick up the line of small cairns things become rather easier. After about 500 metres you enter a series of small groughs and the path becomes more distinct - if you can't find it immediately then just try to stick to the top of the ridge.
Head straight down the end of Westend Moss, about south-south-west, to reach Hey Moss. Here you have a choice - either follow the crest of the ridge south and then south-west down to the quarry workings at the end, or make a gradual descent down the west side of the hill to reach a landrover track which contours around the hillside below. If you follow this southwards then it arrives at the track which leads from Crowden up to the quarry. Descend steeply down this path to arrive back at your starting point.
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