Haslingden Grane
Most walkers starting from the Clough Head Café head downhill to enjoy the pleasant shores of Ogden and Calf Hey Reservoirs. This hike, while it ends on the reservoir shores explores first the head of the Grane valley and experiences the wild and empty moorland close to Hog Lowe Pike a fine hill top giving a taste of all the differing aspects of the West Pennine Moors.

Fact file
Start: Clough Head café and information centre. BB4 4AT
Distance: 6 miles
Time: 3 - 4 hours
Grade: Strenuous
Map: OS Explorer 287 The West Pennine Moors

 

Map by kind permission Johnston Press 

Directions.
Pass in front of the excellent little café and follow the cart track round to the right. When the track turns left head right across the field to a gate which leads into a wood. Follow the path through the trees onto the well signposted Rossendale Way. Pause to look to the right for a view of the massive Jamestone Quarry which is still in operation continuing the valley's long tradition of providing paving stones and building materials.

 

Turn left and follow the Rossendale Way for half a mile passing a ruined farm building,

 

keeping a wall on your left. After passing a copse of trees the Way goes left but you stay with the wall climbing on the narrower and sometimes wet path. Ignore a signed path to the right which goes towards the Rushy Hill wind farm and continue along with the wall until it turns left and crosses a small field to the road.

You are now very close to the top of the Grane Road and crossing this busy thoroughfare is the most dangerous part of the walk. Cross to where a large sign marking the Rossendale Borough boundary once stood. The sign now lies in the ditch near a stile and a footpath sign post which indicates the way forward.
Looking over the stile at the high grass it would appear at first sight that this path had been untrodden for ages. However once in the field the narrow trod is there and will lead you to another dilapidated stile from where the faint path will lead you downhill fairly steeply to a road junction.
The next stage involves some road walking. Cross the road and almost immediately turn right onto a smaller road leading towards Hoddesden which crosses a deep valley. After about a quarter of a mile as the road descends you will pass a small Congregational Chapel with its graveyard which commands extensive views across to Darwen Tower. It is a most pleasant place for a coffee break.
The road makes a sharp turn to the right after the Chapel but your route continues straight on along an unmade road between a number of residential properties. Stay with this road for about three quarters of a mile until it rises to meet the moorland road. Turn right and follow the road for a short distance until you reach a gate and a footpath sign to the left.
This is the start of the moorland crossing of Edgerton Moss so follow the path which climbs gently until you reach a tall stone.

 

Turn right at the stone on what is initially a solid old industrial path which will lead eventually to the top of Hog Low Pike which is now a little over a mile away. The rounded top will soon become clearly visible, which is just as well as the solid start of the path does not last long and it narrows considerably especially when a small stream is reached. Crossing this moor without the aid of a path is extremely difficult and is far from fun so if you are unfortunate enough to go a little astray stop and go back to find it again and let it led you to the summit.

Hog Low Pike summit (383m 1257')

 

is unusual in the way its rounded top rises suddenly from the flattish moorland. With an up thrust of some 50 to 60 feet there seems to be no obvious explanation as to why this has occurred. There is no evidence of any underlying geological change. There has been some speculation that it may be a man-made bump but no sign why that would have happened. There is a similar larger rise at Knowl Hill on Scout Moor a little further to the east which is also enigmatic. Either way it is a fine place to visit and it is good to drop down from the top to find a sheltered lunch spot.

Having visited the trig point descend along the fence to a stile and take a path to the left which crosses a small stream and follows its right bank towards the valley. A milder moorland than Edgerton you will find plenty of edible bilberries in July and August.

 

The path becomes quite steep as it enters woodland. When the slope eases look for a narrow path to the right which takes you through a few more tree before emerging on the open hill side with Calf Hey reservoir below you - hopefully sparkling in the sunshine, This delightful terrace path brings you slowly down to the Rossendale Way again for a few yards before a left turn (beautifully signposted by the Northern Footpath Society) takes you down to the reservoir dam.

Cross the dam and then follow the signed path through the trees to the Grane Road. Cross again with extreme care and you are back at the start where hopefully you will have time to visit the café and look back on a good day's walk.