We are often asked, what is the best cycle route to take that starts in Cowes?
The island is a cyclists heaven, so this question has a few answers. By far the most popular route to take from Cowes is The Red Squirrel Trail. 32 miles of (family friendly) cycling through the heart of the Isle of Wight. The trail takes in estuaries, woodland, farmland and a stretch of the Island’s fantastic coastline
This is an ideal two or three day cycling tour - take time to discover wildlife along the way and visit some of the many attractions, cafes and restaurants that are nearby. Alternatively you can easily cycle a shorter section of it for a great day or half-day out.
The Red Squirrel Trail is named in celebration of one of the Isle of Wight’s most iconic species, the native Red Squirrel. Getting on your bike in one of the best ways to experience the Island’s fantastic natural environment.
The trail runs from Cowes and follows the old railway line to the Island’s county town, Newport. Following a mostly off-road route through Newport alongside the river Medina the trail then joins another old railway line, which it follows all the way to Sandown on the coast. The trail the follows minor roads the esplanade, where you can enjoy a flat ride along the seafront for just under 2 miles, alongside some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the country. A short on-road section through Shanklin brings you to another rail-trail section to Wroxall, the start of the Sunshine Loop, so named because this area receives among the highest number of sunshine hours of any location in the country. From Wroxall you cycle through countryside near Appuldurcombe House and along a series of bridle ways until you re-join the railway line at Merstone.
Check out these great bikes you can hire from Cowes, for your exploration of the Red Squirrel Trail
Red Squirrel Trail Route Map.
Available with your bike hire, just ask when you collect your bikes