OS grid reference:- SE 855 878
Dalby Forest, which covers 8000 acres, is situated on the southern slopes of the North York Moors National Park and lies 2 miles northeast of Thornton le Dale. The southern part of the forest is divided by a number of valleys creating a 'Rigg and Dale' landscape whilst to the north the forest sits on the upland plateau.
The forest is used for recreation as well as timber production. There are several car parks, hiking trails and mountain bike trails, a 'forest drive' throughout the forest and a Go Ape centre. A toll is charged to enter the forest by car, although parking is free. The main eco-friendly visitor centre has a café and shop, a bike shop and various craft workshops. The Visitor Centre sells maps and booklets about the various walks and cycle trails within the forest and is also the new home of the Dalby Astronomical Centre where events are held throughout the year.
Dalby Forest is home to badgers, roe deer, fox, stoat, weasel, wood mouse, shrew and nightjars, which migrate to the area every year from Africa. The woodland is mainly comprised of pines and spruces but there are also beech, alder, ash, oak and hazel. Flowering plants include primrose, bluebells, yellow archangel, wood anemone, cow-wheat and violets.
The route of The White Rose Way, a long distance walk from Leeds to Scarborough passes through the forest.
Mountain Bike Trails
*Two green trails, one starting from the visitor centre and one from Dixons Hollow. The green trails follow forestry roads and are suitable for families.
*Blue trail commencing from the visitor centre.
*Red trail starting from Dixons Hollow. This is the longest trail and explores much of the forest. It passes nearby the visitor centre and can be accessed from it. The red trail is technical in places and requires a high level of fitness and technical proficiency.
*Black trail starting from Dixons Hollow. The black trail is highly technical with some extremely severe descents requiring a very high level of skill and fitness. Please be advised that on the newer sections of the trail there are a number of blind 3-5 ft drops which can cause serious injury if approached unaware, or at a high speed.