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First opened in 1804, the Rochdale Canal was the first trans-Pennine canal and one of the country's most spectacular waterways. An ambitious restoration programme resulted in the canal reopening along the entire 32 mile length in 2002. The canal runs from Manchester city centre, along the whole length of the borough of Rochdale from Middleton, through Castleton and Rochdale, then climbs high into the Pennines to Summit, above Littleborough. From here it descends again into Yorkshire, through Todmorden and Hebden Bridge to Sowerby Bridge. The canal is a valuable habitat for wildlife and flora, and provides quiet areas of countryside close to the urban areas of Rochdale. The towpath provides easy walking, and most of it is being upgraded to a cycle path. There is easy access at many points along the route. The 'Rochdale Train Trail' leaflet is available free from Rochdale Tourist Information Centre, giving a self-guided route from Rochdale railway station, through the town centre, and out into the countryside following the canal towpath to Smithy Bridge or Littleborough stations for the return journey by train to Rochdale. Regular events are held on the canal, including the annual Rochdale Canal Festival in the summer - check with Rochdale Tourist Information Centre for details.