A Secretary of State-appointed member leading on biodiversity and recreation, Mr Nickolds served on the authority for the maximum eight years.
Cllr David Chapman is the new deputy chair of the authority. His appointment runs until the annual meeting on July 3.
Thanking Mr Nickolds for his contribution, Cllr Lesley Roberts, who chairs the authority, said: “Geoff Nickolds has had a huge impact in partnership working for the conservation, restoration and enjoyment of the national park for everyone.”
Mr Nickolds chaired major projects including the Peak District Raptor Initiative and the Moors for the Future Partnership, along with the Pedal Peak District project which re-opened the Monsal Trail tunnel for cyclists, riders and walkers.
There are 30 members of the national park authority, 16 are appointed by county, district, city or borough councils and 14 are appointed directly by the Secretary of State.
Of the 14 Secretary of State members, eight are appointed because they are specialists in issues that affect the national park, six are parish councillors selected through a ballot of parish councils and parish meetings.
Mr Nickold’s leaving created a Secretary of State vacancy on the authority. Penny Anderson has been appointed by the Secretary of State for her expertise in ecological and biodiversity issues.