Bicycle Island's family friendly Red Squirrel Trail is perfect for cyclists who prefer car-free cycling on mainly flat, gentle routes. Most of this trail is based on smooth cycleways which were created from disused railway lines and make for a lovely leisurely cycle through the heart of the Island’s countryside.
Click on the map to the right to be taken to the ViewRanger website. Download the ViewRanger app to your phone and search for Red Squirrel Trail to follow the map on your phone as you ride!
The route allows you to see some stunning wildlife habitats, from woodlands to wetlands and farmed countryside. It also takes you along the Island's coastline - the seawall path from Sandown to Shanklin is a breath-taking ride and an excellent spot for an ice cream stop! To add a bit of variation to the mainly flat, off-road route, the Red Squirrel trail also has a couple of slightly more challenging passages which wind along bridleways over varied terrain and gradients.
To make the most of the Red Squirrel Trail, take two days to enjoy the whole route at a leisurely pace with an overnight stop along the way - possibly in the beachside accommodation of the Sandown and Shanklin bay area. We can’t guarantee you will see an elusive Red Squirrel on your journey, but keep an eye out, they ARE there!
The Red Squirrel Trail will take you through 23 miles of glorious Isle of Wight Countryside, taking in woodland, farmland, estuaries and a stretch of the Island's fantastic coastline. The trail is perfect for a two or three day tour, but can be done in small stretches too. Families and bike lovers will enjoy this route. For more information see the Red Squirrel Trail website.
In 2003 some of the Isle of Wight's disused railway lines were turned into smooth cycleways to create safe passages for cyclists. These paths are perfect for family groups of cyclists and beginners. Take in the stunning countryside as you ride the routes that cars can't access.
As you're cycling along the Red Squirrel Trail, keep a look out for the route's namesake! These allusive little characters are relatives of the grey squirrel but can only exist on the Island due to the fact that no greys live here.
On the Red Squirrel Trail you will travel through red squirrel inhabited woodland, so the chance of catching a glimpse is pretty high! Don’t be too disappointed if you don’t see one though - they are notoriously shy. The best place to see them is at Alverstone Mead Nature Reserve. The red squirrels there are used to visitors, so take them some snacks to get really close and snap a selfie with our red residents!
Want to learn more about the Isle of Wight's Red Squirrels? Click Here!