My Favourite Cannock Chase Stepping Stones Walk

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What do you do on a cold, rainy day in the Midlands? You get even colder and wetter of course! Hiking isn’t always our go to miserable weather activity. But if you’re already a bit wet, you may as well go the whole hog. The Sherbrook Valley stepping stones walk on Cannock Chase is a wonderful one for some wet play, whatever the weather!

You’ll know from previous posts (like this one about our war memorials walk) how much I love exploring Cannock Chase. We try to get over there at least every couple of weeks. One of my favourite walks with our dog and daughter is the stepping stones walk. There are a few options for this walk ranging from super easy and perfect for toddlers to more of a challenge – ideal for when you have a few hours to kill.

autumnal bracken bordering a hiking trail

Sherbrook Valley Stepping Stones Cannock Chase Walk Route

As you can tell by the pictures, we did this route on a wet day so it was a little muddy and slippy. Make sure you wear sturdy mountain boots or wellies, especially if you want to jump in the river.

two girls in yellow rain coats

If you follow the A513 away from Rugeley towards Milford, you’ll find a large carpark on the left, just before you reach Shugborough. Begin the walk here at the aptly named Punch Bowl Carpark. Ignoring the minor trails to your right, follow the path for around ten minutes until you reach a T junction. If you just want to reach the stepping stones, then take a left. Or to add a longer loop, take the straight/right hand option and head into the forest. Follow the path round to your right which is the Heart of England way and you’ll see Mere Pits, a small pond. Keep this to your left and follow the path as it starts to climb up into the forest.

small pond covered in tree algae
Mere Pits Pool

Before you reach the road (it’s handy to have google maps open at this point), turn left, climbing consistently higher until you reach a clearing in the forest. Here you’ll find a sweet man made, natural structure, perfect for sheltering from the rain and taking a small breather. Follow the smaller trails back down the hill through trees and bracken eventually making it down to the river and to the stepping stones. This part is all a bit vague I know and does require a good sense of direction. But follow your nose and keep heading down – you’ll make it to the right place! It helped me to keep checking on my phone that we were heading in the general direction of the river.

walking through rainy woodland

This is a good place to stop for a picnic on a dry day as there are a few picnic benches. It’s probably best to pop dogs back on a lead here as it’s a popular bridleway. Once you’ve had a paddle and a play it’s time to head back to the car. Stay on the side of the river you arrived at and head back along the main path. The walk back to the punch bowl should take you around 15 minutes.

girl in yellow coat standing on stepping stone
Stepping Stone, Cannock Chase

The Easy Version

Having done the stepping stones walk on Cannock Chase several times with my daughter when she was younger, all she wanted to do was jump in the stream. To do this, remove the loop and stay on the main trail to the river and back. Signposts will point you in the right direction. It should take around twenty minutes each way and is pretty flat.

Make it harder

For a longer circular walk to Stepping Stones, park at Seven Springs Carpark – postcode ST17 0WT. Follow the Pepperslade Route over on Chase Trails for the details.

Stepping Stones Walk Details

Parking: Park in the free and spacious Punchbowl Carpark. It can get pretty full on a glorious summers day – you’ll be fine in the rain. Postcode is ST17 0XA.

Facilities: There are no toilets on this walk. Visit Birches Valley or the pub at Milford for the nearest toilets.

Duration of Walk: This walk took us around two hours to complete. Although you can easily make it longer or shorter.

Refreshments: There are no places to stop for food or drink along the route. We tend to drive the two minutes to Milford Common and either get a drink at the Barley Mow pub or if we’re hungry, a cheeky Wimpy burger.

wet brown dog in the rain

If you’re after an easy walk on Cannock Chase, try the Fairoak Trail which begins at Birches Valley which is a fabulous spot for a family day out. For something a little longer follow this loop from Shugborough to Great Haywood and back.

Another of our favourite places to walk along a river for a paddle is at Three Shires Head in the Peak district. It’s a lovely spot with a great 5 mile circular route. Perfect for a sunny day.

Make sure you pin for later to plan your next walk to Sherbrook Valley Stepping Stones on Cannock Chase.

cannock chase stepping stones pin image
stepping stones circular walk pin

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