The Peak Forest Canal, is a narrow (7 feet (2.13 m) gauge) locked artificial waterway in northern England. It is 14.8 miles (23.8 km) long and forms part of the connected English/Welsh inland waterway network.
The canal consists of two level pounds, separated by a flight of 16 locks, which raise the canal by 209 feet (64 m) over the course of 1 mile (1.6 km). The two pounds of the canal are generally known as the Upper Peak Forest Canal and Lower Peak Forest Canal. Whilst there is no evidence that these names were used historically, the designation Lower Peak Forest Canal was used in the British Waterways Act 1983, which redesignated the lower part of the canal as a Cruising Waterway.
The Lower Peak Forest Canal heads south from Dukinfield Junction at Dukinfield in Greater Manchester,where it makes a junction with the Ashton Canal at the southern end of the Tame Aqueduct through Newton, Hyde, Woodley, Bredbury, Romiley, before crossing The River Goyt on Marple Aqueduct, alongside a railway viaduct, to the foot of Marple Locks, a distance of 6.9 miles (11.1 km). The environs are largely rural, passing woods and fields, with some industrial premises encroaching towards the Dukinfield end of the pound.
Whilst the 1 mile (1.6 km) section through Marple Locks is legally a part of the Lower Peak Forest Canal it is often considered as a separate section, raising the canal through 209 feet (64 m) in a partly woodland, partly municipal park, and partly urban setting through the centre of Marple. to connect with the Macclesfield Canal at Marple junction.
The Upper Peak Forest Canal is on the same level as that of the upper Macclesfield Canal, allowing boats to cruise from Whaley Bridge or Bugsworth all the way to the top lock at Bosley without having to use a lock. The canal is perched halfway up The Valley-side with extensive views of Furness Vale, and the Peak District beyond from Marple through Strines, Disley, New Mills, Furness Vale and Bridgemont. It terminates at Bugsworth Basin, Derbyshire, a distance of 6.9 miles (11.1 km). The Village was renamed Buxworth in Victorian times.
Recently, the extensive basin has been reopened, and is now a popular venue for visiting boats. There is also a short branch from Bridgemont to the centre of Whaley Bridge, once the site of a connection to the Cromford and High Peak Railway, which ran across the Peak District and joined up with the Cromford Canal.