The Don Valley way is a long distance footpath – 29 miles long. The entire length can be explored on foot. With easy access to railway stations it can be split into a series of easy shorter walks. If you are feeling up to it you can do the whole trail in one go and return to the start by train too.
Along the way you pass a number of weirs where new and existing fish passes have been constructed to allow the salmon and other fish access up the river. You also pass nature reserves, a castle, amazing viaducts, fascinating industrial heritage and quite a few pubs. All the time you are close to the River Don and to the canal that runs parallel to it, providing importunities to watch boats navigate their way through the locks.
The Doncaster end of the trail follows public footpaths with a number of stiles. The surfaces may be muddy in wet weather. The trail stays close the river, diverting slightly to pass through Newton village, then back to the river where it meets the Tran Pennine Trail at Sprotbrough Viaduct, just before passing under the A1.
From Sprotbrough Ings to Conisbrough Viaduct the trail follows the Trans-Pennine Trail and is barrier free and can be cycled. This section can be accessed from Boat Lane at Sprotbrough. It provides a wonderful summer stroll.
At Conisbrough Viaduct, which is a sight worth seeing in itself, the trail heads off up a steep bank and then follows tracks high above the river offering fabulous views over to Conisbrough Castle. These tracks are surfaced but have some loose material. Mobility scooters can access this part of the trail from Denaby Ings nature reserve.
The trail follows a small, steep and sometimes muddy path alongside the River Dearne to Mexborough low lock where it picks up and follows the Sheffield and South Yorkshire navigation into Mexborough then re-joins the River Don. The path alongside the canal here is barrier free and has a firm tarmac surface.
The trail diverts slightly away from the river at Swinton, taking a route that follows the railway line for a short section before following the river again to Kilnhurst. Beyond Kilnhurst there is no access to the river, the trail follows a country road and the A630 before heading into Thryburgh Country Park. The trail takes you through the park, alongside the lake then on quiet streets to regain the river at Dalton.
From here the trail stays close to the Don all the way through Rotherham and into Sheffield.
From Rotherham to the end of the Trail the route is barrier free and provides access for all along the entire route.