The cycle track between Nailsworth and Stroud is well used by walkers, joggers and cyclists alike and last year all the rough bits (eg most of it) were resurfaced with an experimental surface made largely from old car tyres.
Previously it was a mud bath in the winter which stopped a lot of people from using it.
For those not in the know, the track uses the route of the old Midland Railway (it was mostly the GWR in these parts) that terminated in the car park at Egypt mill.
The Nailsworth to Stroud cycle route is all through trees, so if you walk rather than cycle you can hear lots of bird song depending on the time of year. You tend to miss that on a bike due to the wind noise!
I use the cycle track often as the traffic on the A46 between Nailsworth and Stroud is pretty awful at the best of times and just gets worse.
So, now the new surface has had a year to bed in what’s it like to cycle on?
It’s really good, you pretty much glide along it. Well, you do on a mountain bike that has fatter tyres than a road bike. I’ve read comments from joggers saying it’s good to run on as well, presumably due to it’s rubbery build.
Cycling from Dudbridge to Nailsworth is slightly up hill. Not a steep hill, but it’s easier to cycle in the other direction. The old mud and bedrock surface of the past made it more obvious you were fighting gravity which the new surface has made a lot easier.
If you factor in all the hassle of traffic jams and parking in town (Nailsworth or Stroud) cycling journey time isn’t much longer than using a car plus you get to ride in a great scenic woodland setting which you just don’t get on the A46!
In terms of time, I can get from Nailsworth to the cycle racks at Stroud railway station in just over 20 minutes. The cycle parking at Stroud station is pretty good as it’s a proper covered one and it has CCTV.
If you’re going in the other direction, there are a number of places to lock a bike up in Nailsworth.
An Update November 2023
A play area for children has been built near the development at Rooksmoor Mills. This is more or less next to the little off road cycle area. Its made from timber and has slides and swings etc along with insect hotels.
The new surface of the track has been in place a couple of years now and its become very bumpy for bicycles. As it’s a rubbery surface I presume during hot weather it’s gone soft and taken the shape of the underlying bedrock.
For a typical family bike ride or walk it’s not a problem. For a regular quick commute it might drive you nuts.
It’s also acquired a few nasty potholes that are easy to hit when it’s dark and they’re pretty jarring on a bicycle!
That said, it’s preferable to using the main road and is very well used.
Egypt Mill have blocked off the handy access to it from their car park, so you have to take the longer back road to get to it.