Red XC, Black DH
Healey Nab is a small piece of woodland situated just to the East of Chorley in Lancashire. It has some fun trails, built by Rowan Sorrel, which are great for an afternoons thrashing if you are nearby. If you're planning a visit, there are a few things that you should know before you go.
First off you need to be aware just how small this is. The Red XC trail (which is the longer of the two trails) is only 2.5km long so this is not the place to come if you are after an all day epic. Secondly, finding the trail is a little difficult. To get to the wood itself you have to follow the bridleway in. There are no facilities on site, not even a car park, so make sure you come prepared. There is parking at Anglezarke Reservoir but this is a little way away; the locals seem to park in the lay-by on Moor Road situated at the bottom of Heapey Fold Lane (the access bridleway). Please be aware also that Google Maps shows Heapey Fold Lane as a road but this is not the case so don't expect to drive straight up to the wood.
The red route in itself is a great little trail. The trail follows a figure of eight from the trailhead found at the top of the woods. This is also the start point for the black graded trails as well. The red criss-crosses the black trail down the hillside to begin with before heading off on its own, bringing you all the way to the bottom of the wood. The whole wood, and especially this lower section, seems to hold water so expect it to be muddy and wet if you are heading up to the Nab, unless you have had a good spell of dry weather beforehand. After a little meander back up the hill, the red trail takes you past the remains of the quarry in the centre of the wood. You then have a tricky rooty climb before coming back past the trail head for the final fun section of the trail.
The black trail is about 300m in total and is more downhill orientated. In general it is quite rocky, well armoured and as with most of Sorrel's trails, scattered with berms. This may not be the steepest or longest downhill run (about 45 seconds we reckon) but it is great fun. The only downside to this trail is the number of options on the lower half just after the tight drop to berm. Whilst the rest of the trail is reasonably well signposted this section seems to be a bit of a free for all. This is ok if you are a regular to this site, but if you are new it can be baffling as to which way you want to go. First run down it's worth just taking your time and sussing it out properly on the push back up, which helpfully runs back up next to the black trail. On the plus side this does give you a bit more trail to work on your downhill skills though. It's also worth noting actually that the red trail meets up with the start of the push up so if you're a beginner wanting to practise your downhill skills then this is quite easy to keep pushing up and riding down the red if the black is a little too challenging.
Overall Healey Nab is great if you are local to Chorley, but is probably not worth embarking on a massive road trip to get to it as there simply isn't that much trail here. It is however, great if you're short of time and need a quick fun blast or as beginner/intermediate downhill venue. Make sure you have your map with you as you will need to know how to get up to the woods from the road!
If you need a trail map or more info try the following websites: