The area has one of the best rights-of-way networks in Britain and several national way-marked trails pass through its dramatic and varied scenery.

Britain's first and best known National Trail, the Pennine Way, passes close by. It follows a 270 mile route from Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders to Edale in Derbyshire. It is one of only 12 formally designated National Trails in England and Wales.

The Calderdale Way, a 50-mile (80 km) circular route around the Calder Valley, skirts the town. It is one of the most popular local routes either for walking in chunks or as a more serious two day hike.

A growing network of bridleways are making excellent mountain-biking and horse-riding routes, including 42 mile Mary Towneley Loop which passes through Calderdale, Rochdale and Lancashire and has become a favourite with walkers, off-road bikers and riders. It was the first section of the Pennine Bridleway National Trail to open, and features wild moorland, hidden reservoirs, ancient packhorse trails, valleys, gritstone walls and mill chimneys. The Pennine Bridleway itself will extend nearly 00 miles from Derbyshire to Northumbria.

A walk up to Horsehold at Hebden Bridge shows a little of the formation of the Calder Gorge or gap in which the town nestles. Gouged out by glaciers, the hills rise steeply on either side, littered with villages and settlements that grew up when the valley floor was an impassable quagmire.

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