5 Best Cornish Cycle Trails
Cornwall is blessed with a stunning coastline as well as rolling countryside, woodland, moorland and rivers, so it goes without saying that Cornish cycling trails are as varied as the beautiful county’s landscape – and the perfect way to take in all that scenery at your leisure. Whether you are a seasoned mountain biker or a family looking to pootle along with small children in tow, there is the perfect cycle trail for you. Here we have selected some of the best cycle trails that Kernow offers. So what are you waiting for? Saddle up!
The family-friendly Cornish experience: Camel Trail
The nation’s best-known former railway cycle path is also one of the loveliest. Running between the historic town of Bodmin and the fishing port of Padstow, this 18-mile trail follows a disused railway line through the Cornish countryside and along the stunning Camel Estuary. It’s popular with families because you can cycle for 17 miles one way under the cover of a canopy of trees and the flat terrain makes it perfect for young children. With a range of bikes available, there’s something for all ages and abilities: ‘tagalongs’ for children who’ve just started cycling, trailers for toddlers and tandems for adults. With plenty of pubs, shops, and restaurants to visit along the way, and cycle hire available from Padstow, Wadebridge and Bodmin, this ride encompasses flat, safe paths, amazing coastal scenery and plenty of places to pick up a pasty at the end.
Coast-to-coast Cornwall: Mineral Tramways Project Portreath
This historical trail enables you to cycle from one side of the county to the other in just 11 miles. Portreath is a great starting point to see the old mines scattered across the landscape as you pedal along – the tramway used to provide the mines their transport route to the sea. A lovely ride that gently inclines for family-friendly fun, it gives a great insight into the mining history of the county. There are also extra loops and demanding sections for more advanced riders.
Woodland estate: Lanhydrock, Bodmin
The National Trust property and estate provides a range of flat and hillier routes through beautiful ancient woodlands. Bikes for adults and trailers for small kids are available to hire and there is a range of green (easy), blue (moderate) and red (challenging) trails to explore. There is also a new skills area and balance bike track where you can practice over rollers and jumps, banked corners and drops. For smaller cyclists, the balance bike track is a small loop with gentle bumps and corners, ideal for getting children used to riding on uneven terrain.
Experienced cyclists: Bodmin Beast, Cardinham Woods
For the more experienced cyclist who requires an adrenaline-fuelled trail, this 12km ride ticks all the boxes. Located on the outskirts of Bodmin, Cardinham Woods boasts a range of specially built cycle trails. Known as the Bodmin Beast, the route winds through the woodland valley, offering technical climbs – perfect for proficient mountain bikers – as well as several family friendly routes. Cardinham Woods offers cycle hire, and also has the award-winning Woods Café serving delicious homemade food using local ingredients – a great pitstop to rest and refuel.
Wildlife lovers: Mevagissey Pentewan Trail
This is the route to pick if you love spotting wildlife: seven miles of wild flowers, wooded countryside and lovely views. This ride takes you along a flat, former river valley from St Austell to the beach and harbour at Pentewan. From St Austell you can carry on through the town to the China Clay museum at Wheal Martyn. From Pentewan, detour to the Lost Gardens of Heligan, an enchanted Victorian pleasure garden full of sleeping giants that feels like a fairytale glade. Or carry on to the unspoilt fishing village of Mevagissey.