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Birds and trains is the theme for this ride. Part of the wonderful Exe Estuary Trail that snakes its way around the Exe Estuary, this section is completely traffic free.
Running beside the RSPB’s Goosemoor and Bowling Green Nature Reserves , a large section of this ride is a fun rumble along a wooden boardwalk. With openings at various heights to spy on the bird life, it’s the perfect place to stop a while and take a goosey gander at what you can see.
The imposing metal bridge that spans the Clyst River is the perfect view point to check out some more aquatic life and boats resting in the mud.
There are a few little ups and downs but nothing too scary to put off our budding riders.
Further along the trail, you ride alongside the railway line to Exmouth. Try racing a train or wave at the passengers as one passes by.
The main starting point is from Bowling Green Road, EX3 0AX which is off Elm Grove Road in Topsham.
Free parking is on the side of the road just over the railway bridge. Walk or ride down the hill and the gated entrance to the off road section is on your left.
The very start of this section is tarmac as you pass under the railway bridge. It only lasts for about 150 meters before you are onto the boardwalk.
Once you are on the boardwalk, the kids will love the rumbling sound their bikes make on the boards which sends vibrations up through their bodies. It’s one long rumble strip!
All the way along, there are viewing points to stop, have a rest, and see if you can spy any bird life out on Goosemoor Reserve.
Towards the end of this section, you ride up and over the metal bridge that spans the Clyst River and gives you gorgeous views out across the top end of the estuary.
You then roll down the other side and the boardwalk ends just before a 3 way junction. This part is about 550m in distance one way.
The path from the left comes in from Darts Farm via a narrow path that wends it way past houses and industrial areas.
The remainder of this ride is back on tarmac and runs right alongside the railway line out to Exmouth.
There is small metal bridge half way along this section that makes a cool echo as your ride over it.
High hedgerows in this section provide great shelter and at the end, there is a tight left bend with a seat and views out over the estuary. A good spot to have some food and drink to refuel.
Just around the bend, you meet the gate which marks the end of the traffic free part of the trail.
This gate is the turnaround point for the ride and this section is about 600m one way.
Head back the way you came to complete the ride.
For those bikers that might like to go a little further, you can turn left out of the finish gate and head down Bowling Green Lane (open to traffic) towards Bowling Green Nature Reserve (250m) and further down the water and the start of Goat Walk Path (500m). RSPB’s Bowling Green Nature Reserve viewing building is currently closed but do check this before you head out because it may have opened up.
Devon Daze has written up a lovely article about Goat Walk Path if you want to continue further which can be viewed here. Cyclists must dismount though for this walk though.
There aren’t any public toilets or cafes in the immediate area but Topsham does have cafes that are currently doing take away at the time of writing.
Happy riding! I’d love to hear how you went.
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