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The Asturias Bear Path

 

The green mining valleys of Trubia, Teverga and Quirós, once so busy with mining activity, have given way to a veritable paradise of nature. A haven of peace, broken only by the people who come to discover it and follow the routes that await them here. Routes such as the well-known Greenway of the Bear Path, a route that has made the most of the mining past of this area of Asturias. This greenway was one of the first former railway lines to be fitted out as a route designed for both walking and cycling. The Bear Path, so called because it crosses the main centre of the Bear Valleys and because of the bears that we are lucky to see in the so-called Bear Enclosure, takes us through narrow gorges, endless tunnels and beautiful landscapes that separate the coal loading bays at the head of the valleys of Teverga and Quirós with the town of Trubia, although nowadays it is in Tuñón where the unofficial route begins or ends.

 

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How to do the Greenway of the Bear Path

 

The Bear Path is actually two Y-shaped railway branches. From Tuñón to the vicinity of Caranga de Abajo, where the fork is located, we have just over 10 km, a total of 22 km if Entrago is our destination or just over 24 km if it is Santa Marina on the other branch. As you can imagine, whether you decide to cycle or walk it, this is an undertaking that requires a good level of fitness if you plan to cycle the whole route and return to your starting point, which is not something that many people can do on foot.

 

The Bear Path by bicycle

 

If you decide to do it by bicycle, there are several companies in the area that rent bicycles and also have shuttle services that pick you up at the agreed point and time. In this case it is best to start from Entrago and descend towards Tuñón. Many people choose the recreational area of Buyera, past the village of Proaza, as the end point of the route as they have been able to cross the most beautiful area of the Bear Path, and even visit Paca and Moli, the two bears that live in the bear enclosure. If this is your option, be sure to go at least as far as the Valdemurio reservoir, as the whole stretch is also well worth a visit. If you want to do the whole greenway by bike, it is best to start in Tuñón, so that the return trip is downhill.

 

The Bear Path on foot

 

If you prefer walking, it is best to start in Proaza or in the recreational area of Buyera and go up towards the head of the valleys, as you will cross the gorge of Peñas Juntas, which for many is the most beautiful area of the Greenway of the Bear Path, from there you decide. Of course, there is also a taxi service that allows you to cover the entire route and return to the starting point, and there are even buses, but the frequency and timetables are more limited and difficult to arrange.

 

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How to get to the Greenway of the Bear Path

 

The Bear Path is just 40 km from Oviedo. To get there, head towards Trubia and follow the road up the valley. Along this road you will find, right in the middle of the Bear Path, several car parks that will allow you to start the route in the different usual places. Of course, on this same road you have the access roads to Entrago and Santa Marina.

 

 

 

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Itinerario de la Vía Verde de la Senda del Oso

 

From Tuñón to the fork 10,4 Km

 

The recreational area in the middle of the road just before reaching Tuñón from Trubia is the official starting point of the Bear Path in Asturias. We will have to walk along the conditioned walkway that separates the parking in the middle of Tuñón from the start of the route. After crossing the river Trubia we start to go up the valley, although we will soon have to cross the river again, something we will do on several occasions.

 

After leaving behind the car park from where the spectacular Route of the Xanas begins, we will cross the centenary bridge that leads to Villanueva.

 

After a short walk through this village we cross the river again to continue along the other side. Almost without noticing we arrive at Buyera and its recreational area, one of the main starting and finishing points of the Bear Path in Asturias. Of course, we cannot miss a visit to the bear enclosure where, if we are lucky, we will be able to see Paca and Molina. We continue our route to Proaza, from where we start the spectacular stretch of the Peñas Juntas gorge. After crossing this part of the greenway we reach the fork (2h 40min), where we have to decide our next destination.

From the fork to Entrago 11,6 Km

 

If our decision is to approach Entrago, then it is the branch to the right that we should follow. Both options run parallel, one on each side of the river, until we reach Caranga de Abajo. Our section of the greenway barely skims this village before changing direction and starting to climb up the Teverga valley. This route takes us through the no less beautiful Valdecerezales gorge. Step by step, while enjoying the surrounding landscape, we reach the village of Entrago (6h 00min), the usual starting and finishing point of the Greenway of the Bear Path, although it continues to the nearby village of San Martín, but now by road.

 

From the fork to Santa Marina 14 Km

 

If our decision is to visit Santa Marina and its old coal loading bays, we must follow the route to the left. This branch takes us quickly to the village of Caranga de Abajo, to then visit Caranga de Arriba. From here we enter the Cuevafurada gorge, another of the spectacular spots in this part of Asturias. After crossing it, we reach the Valdemurio reservoir, which we cross over a wooden bridge to walk along the other side. The route leaves the reservoir to follow a succession of villages, Vega, San Salvador and Bárzana, which make this part of the route more pleasant. The route ends in the village of Santa Marina (6h 30min), or rather in the loading bays on the outskirts of the village. As in the other variant, the old route extends to the villages of Ronderos and Ricabo, but by road.

 

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Tips for do the Greenway of the Bear Path

1-Although the rest of the route also has its charm, the most spectacular area is concentrated between Proaza and the Valdemurio reservoir on one side and Entrago on the other. To do this area in a single day is around 40 km round trip or 25 km one way.

2-The best times of the year to do the route are spring, summer and autumn, although in summer it is best to get up early to make the most of the early hours of the day.

3-Along the route you will find several picnic areas, as well as benches where you can rest and recharge your strength..

4-The touristic nature of this route allows you to adapt the route to your tastes and needs in advance, the difficulty is marked by the distance and the means you choose to travel it.

 

 

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Waypoints of the route

1-Tuñón 0h 00min 150m 0Km 30T 258059 4797552
2-Villanueva 1h 05min 175m 3,7Km 29T 743310 4795580
3-Proaza 2h 05min 195m 7,2Km 29T 742099 4792797
4-Fork 2h 40min 245m 10,4Km 29T 740587 4790440
5-Entrago 6h 00min 440m 22Km 29T 736000 4783803
6-Caranga de Abajo 3h 00min 260m 11,5Km 29T 740589 4789498
7-Caranga de Arriba 3h 25min 295m 13,2Km 29T 741125 4787801
8-Valdemurio Reservoir 3h 55min 335m 14,8Km 29T 742990 4787110
9-Vega 5h 10min 390m 18,9Km 30T 256628 4784644
10-Bárzana 5h 55min 440m 21,7Km 30T 258210 4782430
11-Santa Marina 6h 30min 485m 24,4Km 30T 259623 4781404

Coordinates UTM Datúm WGS84

 

Slope acumulate. 430m  Slope positive. 395m  Slope negative. 35m

 

Maximum altitude. 485m   Minimum altitude. 150m

 

Profile of the Greenway of the Bear Path

 

Profile of the Greenway of the Bear Path

 

Profile of the Greenway of the Bear Path

 

Map

Map of the Greenway of the Bear Path

This sketch of the route is not made to scale nor does it contain all the information relating to the area, it is merely indicative.

 

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THE WEATHER
CURIOSITIES

¿Did you know that...

 

This greenway, as well as the association of councils through which it runs, is named after Selva and Charli or, as they are better known, Paca and Torla, the first inhabitants of the bear enclosure.

 

Don't miss out...

 

The Bear House in Proaza, where a series of guides and activities will help you to learn more about the life and characteristics of bears.

 

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Route information updated on 07-06-2021. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.

All the times are approximate and take an orientative character, the stops have not been taken into account, no matter how small they are. All the information related to the route, texts, images, videos, maps, diagrams, tracks, towns, and places of tourist interest are published as a guide, and may not coincide with the current state of each place. Before undertaking any activity, assess your technical knowledge, your physical condition, find out about the weather and the variations that the route may undergo, equip yourself correctly, be prudent and responsible at all times, and do not exceed your capabilities. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse or inappropriate use of the comprehensive guides of its routes and/or publications as well as its electronic guides, nor for any variations in their descriptions for the aforementioned reasons, and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. We also encourage you to read books and specialised guides to complement the information described above.

 

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