The Stover Trail is one of Devon’s family friendly cycle trails. It links Newton Abbot and Bovey Tracey using traffic free paths and quiet country lanes. It links to the cycle trail through Mill Marsh Park and into the grounds of Parke, before becoming the Wray Valley Trail onto Dartmoor.
Whilst the main start of the Stover Trail is in Newton Abbot, there isn’t an obvious place to park. Options are to pay and use town central car parks some distance from the start, use the hospital pay & display car park or to seek limited spaces on nearby residential roads.
With parking in mind, we started a short distance into the trail at the free car park next to Teigngrace level crossing. This allows you to get young cyclists set up and ready to start in an unpressured way. To start the trail you need to cross the road from the car park but there are 2 cross g pints with footpaths connecting you to the trail.
This section of the trail follows the Templer Way and is a great surfaced, traffic free multi use path. There are links with local footpaths as well as a possible diversion to visit Stover Country Park.
The path runs alongside the now disused Stover Canal to the Ventiford Basin, where there is a small picnic area, info board the trail briefly joins a lane with traffic.
Whilst this road is not hugely busy, and the route is clearly signposted, care is still required to get children the short distance onto a back lane and then back onto the traffic free path.
Here the trail crosses the A38 via its own bridge (pretty exciting!) before entering its last section towards Bovey Tracey. This tree-lined traffic free path runs behind Heathfield and is particularly beautiful in autumn, with a thick carpet of leaves.
As you reach Bovey Tracey, you reach the only busy section of the route which takes you into the centre of the town and the yummy Cafe 3 Sixty which has a play corner, indoor bike park and impressive array of cakes.
There are 2 play areas in Bovey – one you will pass as you head into town, next to the fantastic outdoor pool and one at Mill Marsh Park. The House of Marbles is an easy diversion off the cycle trail too.