Could anyone advise how far the canal towpath south of Lancaster is cyclable towards Galgate? I'm in Lancaster on Sunday, and we would like to cycle down the canal towpath, then cut across near Galgate towards Glasson Dock, and come back up along the river (labelled as 7006 on opencyclemap). Google maps (!) suggest the tow path is cyclable about half way to Galgate then suggests using road.
We have have road/hybrid bikes, not mountain bikes. I've done a little bit of the canal towpath north of the Lune & the aquaduct, but would like to know how what it's like to the south of Lancaster as far as Galgate.
Unless it has changed radically in the last couple of years, it is cyclable. However, it goes from being a good path to being quite narrow and bumpy in places, especially on a very rigid road bike. You can do that route along the canals and then come back from Glasson along the river on a good path. Pleasant circuit, but you won't be able to go fast on parts of the tow path. If you're wanting to go faster and have good legs, a better circuit might be to go out to Quernmore and then to Galgate via Bay Horse Road. Nice cycling, with some steep bits but also quite a lot of pleasantly rolling hill on quiet roads through farm land.
I think at this time of year it should be fine. The towpath through Lancaster and north up to Carnforth is a recognised cycle path and has in the past been surfaced even if it's pretty messed up now. But south of the city is just a regular earth towpath and is quite bumpy when dry and pretty gloopy in the winter.
The marked cycle Route 6, from Galgate to Conder Green isn't the nicest road as it's narrow and surprisingly busy. Instead, just stay on the canal footpath for a little way beyond Galgate and take the spur canal towpath downhill to Glasson Dock where there are cafe's and icecream.
The old railway line back to Lancaster along the edge of the river is very ridable but a little rougher than when first completed. But work seems to have started on an up grade and the first mile out of Glasson Dock towards Conder Green seems to be being tarmac-ed at the moment.
Keep an eye out on the river and other patches of water as a pretty rare Temminck's Stint has been seen recently.
Many thanks for the info and tips: very useful indeed. Had a great ride on sections of the towpath north and south of Lancaster. Cycling in Lancaster is such a joy with all its cycle paths.
A joy you say? Just wait till it's winter and lashing it down - windy too! - and you're trying to get to work but someone who in other contexts might be quite reasonable, even kind, has decided that murdering you in the gutter under the wheels of their SUV is the most pressing priority of their morning...