If you go down in the woods today… you just never know! Sherwood Pines Great Bear Hunt No1 is the first in a series for young adventure seekers with inquisitive minds. These are shorter routes, stepping off the beaten path.
Sherwood Pines is home to a wide range of beautiful birds, insects and little furry creatures. Sometimes, early in the morning, if you’re really slow and quiet, you may even get a distant glimpse of a deer family too!
Some say, Sherwood Pines may also be home to a larger animal. Some say, they’ve seen possible evidence of a bear! Unusual paw prints, unexplained snapped branches and even stinky fur caught on rough tree bark.
Last time I went scouting, my route led me deep into the forest. There were a number of things that seemed strange. I recorded my route, so I could revisit one day. I also saved a GPS copy, so you can explore it too.
The route starts at the Pines Cafe and we take the path down to the woods. It’s an easy stroll until you reach the little covered picnic area. Turn left here and head into the trees (remember, one thing bears love, picnics!)
The path that leads into bear territory…
Make your way through the trees (see photo) and keep an eye open for any signs that bear might have been through. You eventually reach a path that twists around a corner, leading you deeper into possible bear territory!
Up here you’ll travel a path with a clearing either side (see photo). Stay alert here, keep your eyes and ears open! This is perfect for a bear trap… long rows of close pine trees provide great cover for any roaming bears.
Remember though, the bigger the bear, the easier they scare. Just never corner one!
Try to walk quietly through here and ALWAYS stick to the path!
If you have stinky egg, tuna or cheese sandwiches, keep them in your bag for a while. Bears love sandwiches!
As you leave bear territory there’s a steady climb to the top of this trail. A picnic table waits for you at the top. A welcome sight if little legs are getting tired, but it’s all good… and mostly downhill from here on.
Goldfish! … urm?
Turn left at the top and follow the trail for a few hundred meters. Sooner or later you turn left again and head back into the trees. Here you find a pond with warnings all around. It’s VERY DEEP! nobody actually knows how deep.
This is one place you don’t want to fall in, so stay close, well away from the edge. Last time I walked past, it was full of goldfish, hundreds of goldfish! If you have any crumbs left in your bag, see if they’ll surface for you?
Dense forest and fast shadows…
Just after the pond the trail narrows and the forest gets very dark. The last time I walked past, I heard something rustling deep in the trees on the right. I stopped, reached for my camera, then as I looked up I saw a little dark brown shadow moving through the trees.
I can’t say it was a bear for sure but it was much bigger than a squirrel and fast! It left a funny smell like a stinky wet dog. I couldn’t follow it very far because the wood was so thick, but I did find broken branches and a patch of mushrooms that appeared to have been trampled by – something!
Continuing on the trail, the path widens and the trees open up. There’s lots of places to scout around here and before long you’ll arrive at the far side of ‘Robin Hoods Hideout’.
All paths now lead to the main trail and back up to the Visitors Centre, or Cafe for a well earned break!
You made it! Well done…
If you found any evidence of bears I’d love to hear from you.
Drop me a message or post a comment below and we’ll keep all our evidence together
I’ll be heading out to Sherwood Pines again soon. I’ve heard reports that a fallen tree has some strange scratches, in it. If I can find the tree I’ll post photo’s and share that route for you.
Thanks for helping with the great bear hunt! I hope you have a lovely time.
PARENT CARER NOTES
Rolling 2½ miles this route has a moderate ascent for little legs. It’s therefore perhaps best suited to those 5+ in years, in suitable ‘bear hunt’ attire. It’s not an wise cycle route, with blind corners and patches of rougher terrain.
The standing pond is deep and an obvious hazard. A little fish food may be welcome and occasionally stir up a mini feeding frenzy. Keep an eye out for brambles across trails and the odd slippery stump.
Average Pace 2.5mph
Duration Estimate 01h 00m
Total Ascent 246ft
Surface Type Fire trail & forest path
Surface Condition Seasonally variable
Steepest Ascent +8.9% (at 2.1mi.)
Steepest Descent -11.1% (at 1.8mi.)
Total Uphill 1.3mi. (51%)
Total Downhill 1.0mi. (42%)
Grid Reference SK 61136 63708
Start Latitude 53.166990
Start Longitude -1.0869625
Nearest Post Code NG21 9JL
This is a beautiful route through Sherwood Pines Forest Park stepping off the beaten track, taking in a wide variety of surrounding and features. The outward path is a gradual ascent making the return more gentle on feet. It’s a moderate distance with very little terrain challenge and therefore suited to most 5+ years of age.
This rating is subjective and out of 100, taking into account a unique set of criteria. Whether it’s a walk or ride I consider; Terrain Condition, Variety, Seclusion, Services/Pub, Exploration, Photography, Wildlife, Points of Interest, Natural Beauty & Wild Camp Potential. I assess difficulty based on distance and elevation profile (above).