Stepping Stones & Wild Flowers Walk
Stepping Stones and Wild Flowers is a circular 3 mile walk following the East Okement River through Ball Hill Woods, before climbing to East Hill revealing splendid views of the high Tors of Dartmoor.
The route includes woodland tracks, paved surfaces, and uneven moorland crossings, which can be wet and muddy particularly after prolonged rain.
- The walk starts in Simmons Park, Okehampton and is marked by a plaque by the bridge in the car park.
- Follow the path on the right hand side of the river until your reach the third footbridge. Cross this and follow the wall keeping it to your left.
- After the stone barn, continue through the wooden gateway until you reach the leat. Turn right here and go through the gate, signposted to Fatherford.
- Follow the signs to Fatherford through the woods until you reach a railway viaduct. This used to carry the Southern Railway main line to Plymouth. More recently it was used to carry stone from nearby Meldon Quarry and it runs as a weekend passenger service between Exeter and Okehampton.
- Go under the viaduct and cross the river by the footbridge. Turn left and walk under the A30.
- After emerging from under the bypass, follow the footpath straight ahead up the valley. This is a beautiful river valley, full of wild flowers.
- After a short walk you will reach a footbridge. Turn right just before the bridge and follow the path uphill beside the stream, crossing a stile.
- Follow the edge of the field until the path sign leads you to the top of East Hill. From here there are superb views of Dartmoor to the south and over Okehampton to Exmoor to the north.
- Walk down the hill with Okehampton to your right and the town’s army camp straight ahead of you until you reach the tarmac road (beware – this road is not immediately visible from the hill). At this point, turn right and cross a cattle grid. This lane meets another road, where you turn right walking downhill until you come to a hairpin bend.
- Here on the bend there are two gates. Go through the one on the left with the stile. Walk across the field, turning right at the bottom, and take the footbridge over the dual carriageway.
- At the far side of this bridge, turn left and continue to a gate. Go through the gate, and down the hill, under a bridge and past Okehampton Station.
- Approximately 100m past the station, on the right hand side is a narrow path. Follow this path to some steps which take you back into Simmons Park.