Cycle routes in Cornwall

January 19, 2015 by becca.lazar No Comments

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Reservoir runs, mineral tramways, coast to coast pathways and clay trails: there are oodles of picturesque cycle paths in Cornwall, making for gratifying two-wheeled days out. Whether you’re out for a gentle, family friendly ride, or are looking for more of a downhill MTB (mountain bike) experience there’s something for everyone.

1. The Bissoe, Coast to Coast, trail

The Bissoe Trail is an 11 mile, mostly off-road trail that runs from Devoran, near Falmouth all the way to Portreath. The cycle route is built upon two old transport routes: the 1812 horse-worked Portreath tramroad, built to take copper from the mines around Scorrier to the docks at Portreath; and an old railway line which linked Redruth and the mines around Gwennap, then the world’s richest copper producer, to the port of Devoran.

Along the way, you cycle past old mine houses and areas of outstanding natural beauty. For the more adventurous rider, there are a variety of short downhill MTB trails that lead off the main path, using the old copper quarry.

2. Goss Moor

This meandering, circular route is great for a relaxing afternoon ride. Goss Moor is the largest remnant of the Mid-Cornwall moors. The mixture of wetland, heathland and scrub is the result of the activities that took place throughout the centuries and the view hides a labyrinth of marshes and waterways.

The 7 mile trail is mostly off-road and flat: perfect for novice cyclists and is even accessible to wheelchair users. There are food and toilet stops in all the neighbouring towns and villages, as well as sites of historical interest to round off a mid-Cornwall day out.

3. The Camel Trail

Snaking around the River Camel, The Camel Trail is one of the most popular cycle routes in the county. With a wide, friendly path and views that attract bird watchers as well as tourists, the most popular stretch of the trail is the 5.5 mile section between Wadebridge and Padstow. Parking at Wadebridge, the family friendly path leads straight into Padstow where there are a wide variety of eateries to lunch at, including Rick Stein’s popular Fish and Chip restaurant. It’s a bit of a foodie paradise.

The whole Camel Trail is 18 miles long, stretching from Wentfordbridge, near Bodmin to Padstow.

4. The Bodmin Beast

Set in Cardinham Woods, this one is for the mountain bikers among you. Although there are lots of family friendly paths, The Bodmin Beast itself is a 7.5 mile single track MTB run for moderate ability riders (blue with red sections, for those in the know). There are exhilarating downhill sections, exciting rollers and exposed, tight bermed corners. At the end of your ride you’re going to want to reward yourselves at the Woods Café, too.

There is a handy trail map online here.

5. Penrose

The Penrose estate is run by the National Trust and stretches all the way from Helston to Porthleven. The path leads you through Cornish woodland, past the manor house’s old stables before opening out on the wide expanse of Loe Bar – a section of beach, which cuts the lake off from the sea.  From here Porthleven is a short cycle along the coastal path and is another great Cornish foodie haven.

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