Recommended Cornish cycle rides
In total, there are 10 routes, all with excellent views of the former mine sites. Here's a list of the Heritage Site's top three rides for this summer...
Trail 1: Devoran to Portreath: The Coast To Coast Trail
Distance: 11m (22m round-trip)
Bike hire: Bikes can be hired at both ends of the trail – either from the Bike Chain at Bissoe (www.cornwallcyclehire.com) or from Portreath’s Bike Barn (www.elmfarm.biz).
Linking the historic north coast mining harbour of Portreath with the waters off the south coast at Devoran, the Coast to Coast trail slices across central Cornwall, following the route of two 19th-century tramroads. For anyone of average fitness, the main trail though the Bissoe Valley is manageable and relatively level, offering spectacular views of the landscape. Those seeking something more will find an optional, more challenging route, with plenty of steep inclines and downhill leg-savers.
Trail 2: The Great Flat Lode Trail (circular)
Distance: 7.7m Skill level: something to suit all abilities
Taking in a mixture of farmland, heathland and old mine sites, the trail circulates around the granite peak of Carn Brea, with its 14th-century castle. Starting at South Wheal Frances, Dolcoath Mine or King Edward Mine, cyclists can head out across to the remains of Cornwall’s last tin smelter at Carnkie or take in the sight of South Crofty, Cornwall’s last working tin mine. The off-road trail is fairly hilly, winding its way through heath and farmland with some steep sections.
Trail 3: Caradon Hill: The Copper Boom Trail
Distance: 10m Skill level: Intermediate +
Disused rail and tramways make for atmospheric rides through the bracken-covered countryside, with moorland tracks passing former miner’s cottages and stone-walled farmsteads. Winding its way alongside a picture-postcard stream the trail spills out into a steep quarry area with the uneven ground providing plenty of ramps and inclines. Further downhill, there is plenty of opportunity for flat-out racing. For something less challenging: nearby Siblyback Reservoir has level circular trails around its picturesque banks
Click here for more information.