Macclesfield Forest is a beautiful mix of forest, lakes and moorland with extensive variety of wildlife. The forest is a workplace which produces timber, the Ridgegate and Trentabank reservoirs are a source of drinking water. Macclesfield Forest was once the centre of a Royal Forest created by the Norman conquerors for the purpose of hunting game such as deer, wild boar and wolves. This particular forest stretched from the modern Disley down to the River Dane, and was the preserve of the Earls of Chester.
Way-marked trails in the forest follow public footpaths, concessionary paths and bridleways. The way-marked trails in places are also designated as concessionary paths and bridlepaths, which may be used for horse-riding or cycling. The five way-marked trails are colour-coded, and may actually be followed without a map – at each ‘junction’ in the route there is a colour-coded marker post just before the junction, and one just after the junction.
- Yellow route (1km) is a short walk on steep paths.
- Blue route (5km) is a route taking you steeply uphill through the forest to the moorland edge.
- Red route (9km) is a route taking in both sides of the forest.
- Green route (1km) is an easy access route through the forest with one very short uphill section.
- Brown route (2km) is an easy access route around the side of Ridgegate Reservoir.
If you want advice about access to Macclesfield Forest, please contact the Peak District National Park Authority warden for Macclesfield Forest on 01260 252832.