Discover the well-kept secrets that are Cornwall’s beautiful off-road cycle trails…
Cornwall may be beautiful, but with the hills, rugged cliffs, and narrow winding roads, it’s not necessarily seen as an ideal county for cycling. In recent years, however, more and more cyclists have been discovering the well-kept network of off-road trails, where pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders can enjoy our countryside away from the dangers of traffic. An increasingly large network of trails which are ideal for anyone who wants to venture out on a bicycle in safety are being created around the county.
Here is our guide to some of the most popular cycle trails to enjoy while you are in Cornwall.
For keen mountain bikers
The Bodmin Beast cycle trail
This 12km cycle trail explores the slopes of the Cardinham Valley and as the name suggests, it calls for more than a little skill and courage. Setting the benchmark for singletrack trails in Cornwall the Bodmin Beast has keen mountain bikers and experienced off-roaders in its sights and those up to the challenge will face exhilarating climbs and descents, exciting technical tests and exposed snaking trails. But fear not, Cardinham Woods also offers plenty of less strenuous trails and there’s always the tempting Woods Café.
For nature lovers
A short circular ride or walk around the delightful Seaton Valley Countryside Park on the Cornish Coast at Seaton, near Looe. The route begins at the parking facilities and takes you on a tour of the park which includes a riverside stretch along the River Seaton, and a coastal stroll by Seaton beach. There is also a sensory garden and a nature reserve with otters, kingfishers, dormice and butterflies.
This fantastic new bike trail offers a variety of trails for all abilities. The most gentle ride takes you deep into little explored woodland on the estate. Suitable for families and beginners the trail is wide, well surfaced and has no challenging technical features. This trail is also suitable for trailers, tagalongs and disability bikes. If the kids have any energy left after their bike ride they can blow off even more steam in the new adventure playground which is located near the Park Café and the car park.
Families flock to the Camel Trail for its easy going, off-road credentials. Following a former railway line it means there are no inclines – the whole 18 miles is just lovely and flat, perfect for those that have recently mastered two wheels or for grown-ups carrying precious loads. And the best bit about this route is that it stretches from Wenfordbridge near Bodmin, to the foodie heaven of Padstow, so great for refuelling the family.
The Tamar Trails Centre is the starting point for exploring 25km of trails through the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site. Explore the remains of old mines or jump off your bike and try your hand at one of the trail activities. Swap two wheels for a paddle and see the Tamar Valley from the water with a canoe session or channel your inner monkey by swinging from the tree tops with ‘Tree Surfers’.
Don’t want to bring your bikes with you? Hire them from here: http://www.cornishcyclehire.co.uk/ where they can be delivered directly to your front door at Longhedge.