With its breath-taking vistas, the Dove Stone area of Saddleworth offers visitors the chance to explore part of the Peak District National Park. There is an extensive network of footpaths and considerable moorland area with open access. In addition, there is a wheelchair circuit around the reservoir and a permanent orienteering course.
Dove Stone Reservoir is the best place in Oldham to see plantation woodlands, which contain a mixture of conifer trees and alike.
The walk I am featuring is an extended route which leaves the reservoir circuit at the south eastern corner and makes its way up the well-marked lane to Chew Reservoir. This is a little more demanding but anybody with basic walking skills should find this route easy to navigate.
Dove Stone does tend to get busy at a weekend and on bank holidays, and this is rightly so given the natural beauty of the area. Dove Stone is one of three reservoirs that lies at the convergence of the valleys of the Greenfield and Chew Brooks, the other two being Yeoman Hey Reservoir and Greenfield Reservoir.
To start the walk, head up to the top of the car park and take the steps on the left, which will then lead you past the sailing club also on your left. Follow the well-marked path until you reach the corner of the reservoir, at this point you can either follow the path to the left which will take you on a low-level circuit of the reservoir back to the car park. This is the popular choice for most walkers, but my extended route will lead you right, up Chew Road which leads to Chew Reservoir.
The Road winds its way slowly uphill with Chew Brook to your lower right, and part of the Oldham Way. You can actually follow the Oldham Way, given it leads you on to Chew Road further up this route. The way follows the brook and past a boulder field before crossing the brook and back uphill on to the road.
Once at the top of Chew Road you will take the route to the right which will lead you up onto Chew reservoir, where you will get a good view across the water towards Long Ridge Moss. The moorland is very bleak and barren surrounding the reservoir and to my knowledge you can’t walk around it. I could be wrong but my OS map stated the only path was to the right which leads you down towards Crowden via the Pennine Way.
Once you have viewed the reservoir, head back down Chew Road until you come back to Dove Stone and follow the path to your right. The path will take you back to the car park, but not before you have passed through woodland, and reservoir furniture.