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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
|30T 258059 4797552
|29T 743310 4795580
|29T 742099 4792797
|29T 740587 4790440
|29T 736000 4783803
|6-Caranga de Abajo
|29T 740589 4789498
|7-Caranga de Arriba
|29T 741125 4787801
|29T 742990 4787110
|30T 256628 4784644
|30T 258210 4782430
|30T 259623 4781404
Coordinates UTM Datúm WGS84
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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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.
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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.
From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go.
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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.
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