Camel Trail, Cornwall
The Camel Trail is a multi-purpose trail in Northern Cornwall. The 17.3 mile trail runs from Padstow to Wentford Bridge, via Wadebridge and Bodmin. The trail is used by hikers, cyclists and horse riders; it is relatively flat, which makes it fully accessible to those with disabilities.
The trail follows the paths of two former rail lines, a section of the North Cornwall Railway and most of the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway. The railway was originally used to transport sand from the Camel estuary, used for fertilizer on inland farms, and later to ship slate and china clay from inland quarries to ships in Padstow.
The Camel Trail runs through a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), as well as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). For those interested in fauna and flora, there have been several sightings of otter, bats, dormice, kingfishers, and Little Egrets on the trail, as well as the Marsh Orchid and Marsh Marigold.
There is bike hire available in Padstow, Wadebridge or Bodmin for those who don't have their own bikes with them.
The trail is divided into 3 main sections:
1) Padstow to Wadebridge section is approximately 5.5 miles long and enables you to saunter along the banks of the River Camel, while visiting the villages of Padstow and Wadebridge. This section is popular with birdwatchers; the Peregrine Falcon is often spotted on this section of the trail.
2) The Wadebridge to Bodmin section is 5.7 miles long. This section skirts along Bodmin Moor with its tors, bogs and majestic granite landscape.
3) Bodmin to Wenfordbridge is 7.5 miles long. You are lead up to Poley's Bridge, which then passes through some magnificent woodland. This woodland contains native trees such as oak, beech and ash, with a dense understory of hazel and holly.
For those who want a short easy ride or stroll for the whole family, Shell Woods, situated between Bisland and Helland, is the perfect opportunity. This beautiful wooded stretch of the trail follows the meandering course of the river.
There are a selection of shops, cafes and pubs on or near the Camel trail, where one can relax and indulge in a meal and quench their thirst. Treats on trikes can be found on the trail at Penquean Quarry, serving hot or cold drinks, homemade cakes and delicious Cornish ice creams.
The Camel Trail has a strict Code of Conduct to ensure the safety of all users, as well as allowing the natural habitat of the area to thrive.