Tucked in the hills of Peak District National Park, this fun path crosses a the Chee Dale stepping stones as the Wye River hugs the steep sides of the gorge. This is a lovely walk and since it’s not as popular as some of the other nearby walking trails, there are far fewer people on the trail and you may even have the path to yourself.
We loved visiting this beautiful hiking trail. Below you can find everything you need to know to visit the Chee Dale Stepping Stone hiking trail beneath the Monsal Trail including a map as well as other things to do in the area.
Quick Look at Hiking the Chee Dale Stepping Stones Trail
There are several loops and trails you can take to make the a nice hike that includes the Chee Dale Stepping Stones. This hike is described below as a 4.3 mile loop walk with a moderate 850 foot elevation gain.
Distance: 4.3 miles Elevation Gain: 850 feet Difficulty: Moderate
There are several places to park, but the easiest lot is right off A6, you can also park at the Millers Dale carpark. We started the hike at Miller’s Dale as we were staying here. The loop can be hiked in either direction but if you hike the trail in a counterclockwise direction, you will do the steepest section on the uphill. The trail includes a path through Chee Dale Gorge with the Chee Dale stepping stones and Monsal Trail.
The Chee Dale Gorge trail is by far the most challenging section as there are slippery rocks and the path is windy and muddy. This is a very pretty walking path and kids will love hiking this trail. The trail follows right along the edge of the River Wye and crosses several small bridges in addition to the stepping stones.
The Monsal Trail on the other hand is a flat, wide trail that makes easy walking. This is an interesting and fast walk with several bridges and tunnels.
Note that if the river is running high the Chee Dale stepping stones may become submerged in water. The trail that runs along the river can also become quite wet, so you are best off wearing waterproof boots/shoes.
Map of the Chee Dale Circular Walk
Below is a map of the Chee Dale stepping stones loop hike. Note that there are many other trails to adjust the length of the hike if needed.
Things to Know about the Chee Dale Walk
How to Get to the Chee Dale Stepping Stones
The Chee Dale stepping stones hike is easily reached from Miller’s Dale. There are several places to park including the Millers Dale carpark ( postcode: SK17 8SN) or the parking lot along A6. All day parking here is £4.75 paid in cash. You can also pay with a Peak District annual parking pass to display.
The Chee Dale Nature Reserve
The beautiful Chee Dale Nature Reserve is a 54 hectare reserve with biking and hiking trails. There is no entrance fee, but there is a parking fee. The main feature is the 200 ft deep Chee Dale Gorge carved from limestone. You will find abundant wildlife, specifically birds.
How Hard is Walking Through the Chee Dale Gorge?
The Chee Dale stepping stones circular walk is a moderate hiking trail. The portion of the walk on the Monsal Trail is quite easy, while the part of the hikes that descends into the gorge and follows the river is more challenging. The trail can be slippery and has a steep section.
Looking for exactly what to bring with you on your Chee Dale hike? See our hiking gear guide.
Our Hike on the Chee Dale Stepping Stone Loop Hike
We hiked the Monsal Trail and Chee Dale Stepping stones loop on our first day in England on a 10 day England and Wales Trip. We flew into Heathrow airport, rented a car and drove up to Miller’s Dale for a few days. This was the hike we were most excited about. After meeting up with a friend, we spend started the hike on the Monsal Trail before descending down into the gorge.
We loved this part of the hike and our kids (ages 10, 10 and 7 at the time) enjoyed the fun rocks, beautiful River Wye, and the stepping stones. The stones are evenly placed and flat and made for easy walking for our kids. With very young kids, these stepping stones may be a little more challenging.
After reaching the end of this part of the trail, we ascended steeply back out of the Chee Dale Gorge and back onto the easier Monsal Trail. We all enjoyed this hidden gem of a hike and loved the variety this trail has to offer.