Lonesome Pine Trail head, Kielder

Thursday 2nd September we drove up to Kielder Water from the coast to sample some of Kielder’s mountain bike trails. One in particular, the (rated Red) route Lonesome Pine.

The trail head is situated on the south shore of Kielder Water between Kielder Village and Kielder Waterside Park. If you view any of the Forestry Commission provided maps they state that the trail begins at the car park situated at Kielder Castle. However, you ride for several miles along the south shore on the Lakeside Trail before getting to the true trailhead.

We chose to park at the Waterside Park (Leaplish) rather than park near the castle riding past Hawkhirst Scout Adventure Camp to reach the trail head. Parking can be paid for in advance so you don’t have to carry cash for the parking ticket machines. At the time of writing, the charge is £5 for the day.

The last time we attempted this route, several years ago, the weather was awful and we abandoned the route approximately half way up the numerous climbs. Today the weather was glorious ! We noticed that several parts of the route have changed. In particularly, recalling a scree descent that is no longer present and a single track climb which was exclusively cobblestones towards the beginning of the ride.

Another view at the trail head & North Shore at the climb summit

If you prefer your riding to be more descent based than ascents then perhaps Lonesome Pine is not the trail for you. There are certainly a ton of loose stoned climbs with plenty of switchbacks to test your slow cornering climbing skills. We took our time climbing all of the ascents taking in all of the surrounding scenery. Certainly not attempting to break any records! (The photo below doesn’t really do justice to the steepness of the climb. Trust us!)

Climbing up to Stony Holes. Much steep than the photo suggests

One of the highlights of the ride are the fantastic views of the Kielder Valley and (of course) the reservoir itself once you summit the climb. Once up there, you also have the added treat of the North Shore styled broadwalk section to ride along. Care needs to the taken on this section when wet as the North Shore’s surface isn’t covered in ‘chicken wire’ for additional grip …

Spectacular views from the summit of Lonesome Pine

Contact us if you would like us to organise a tailored Guided Ride for you.