Woodhead is part of the Longdendale chain of reservoirs on the River Etherow in the Longdendale Valley in north Derbyshire. The five reservoirs were completed in 1877, at which time they were the largest artificial expanses of water in the world.
The Longdendale Trail, a 10.4 km (6.5 mi) footpath suitable for walking, horse riding and cycling, runs along the the old Woodhead Railway Line. It passes all five reservoirs en route, beginning at Hadfield and ending at the disused railway tunnels at Woodhead, just past Woodhead Reservoir. The trail is well-maintained by owner United Utilities and suitable for wheelchair and pushchair access; it also forms part of the Transpennine Coast to Coast long distance footpath.