Tourism is a large contributor to the economic growth of Wadebridge and is due in quite a large part to the Camel Trail, a cycle way almost 20 miles long that stretches from the moor at Bodmin into Padstow along a disused railway line, forming part of the national cycle network.
The trail hugs the banks of the estuary between Padstow and Wadebridge along a line once used by the London and South West Railway and then turns inland passing through wonderful countryside including the Camel Valley before joining another historic disused line ending at the foot of Bodmin Moor near Blisland, a pretty moorland village.
Cyclists completing the whole length will have passed much of the County's industrial heritage in one way or another from fishing to agriculture, china clay workings to former quarries and of course one of the first railway lines in the world! The Bodmin and Wadebridge Line was the first steam hauled railway in Cornwall and the first line in the West of Britain to carry passengers. It was officially opened on Tuesday 30 September 1834 and was really intended to carry cargo - sand, mud and coal, out of the town and granite, tin and copper in. The second part of the route, Wadebridge to Padstow, was opened in 1899. The line was finally closed in 1966 in common with many others due to the 'Beeching Axe'. The buildings however, lived to see another day. Where the Library now stands, wagons were once being loaded and unloaded, the supermarket stands on the sidings and at the Betjamin Community Centre, the old booking office and waiting rooms can still be seen.
In 2006 a new walk to work route was established at the Bodmin end of the route.
The Camel Trail is managed through a Partnership sharing responsibility of the maintenance and upkeep involving Cornwall Council (with the Town and Parish Councils through whose areas the trail passes). The Partnership also includes a Commissioner from Padstow Harbour Commissioners and representatives from English Nature, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission. Rangers are employed to patrol and manage the trail and cycle hire is available in each of the three large towns along its length.