Decoy Country Park Circular Walks

Aug 21, 2018 | Easy, Featured Articles, Walks


Starts/Finishes: Decoy Country Park Car Park, TQ12 1EB (GR: SX866702)

Distance: 0.75 – 2 miles

Time: 45 mins – 1.5 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Terrain: Multiple routes varying from easy to strenuous

Facilities: Toilets, ice cream kiosk and children’s play area

Parking: Chargeable car park

Decoy Country Park Circular Walks

Aug 21, 2018 | Easy, Featured Articles, Walks

Decoy Country Park and local nature reserve offers a welcome retreat for families of all ages, offering a place to rest and relax, walk and explore, or play and discover.

Just off of the Penn Inn roundabout at Newton Abbot, Decoy Country Park is easily accessible on the A380 from Exeter and beyond. There’s a good amount of parking right at the hub of the park (parking charges do apply) and it’s here that you will find public toilets, a visitor information centre where you can pick up a leaflet and map, and a kiosk selling bird feed and ice creams so that you can feed yourself while feeding the ducks!

There are multiple walking trails around the country park ranging from the short, simple quarter mile trail around Decoy Lake (suitable for wheelchairs and buggies) to the two mile trail that takes you further out into the country alongside Decoy Brake before returning to the park in the eastern corner near Magazine Pond.

This month’s route focuses on the red trail – a 1.5 mile route that combines the lake, ponds and the dense foliage of Devon Wildlife Trust’s nature reserve, Wolborough Fen.

From the car park make your way towards the visitor kiosk, passing the impressive children’s play park equipped with a water jet splash pad, climbing nets and more, as you make your way towards Decoy Lake. On a sunny day the water will be glistening as the sunlight reflects off of the water casting silhouettes of the many ducks and swans gliding from side to side.

Turn right at this point to travel around the lake anti-clockwise, taking the gravel path that sweeps slightly uphill and past the numerous picnic benches alongside the lake. As you continue all the way around the lake under the cover of the trees you’ll see monkey bars dotted along the route for children to burn off some excess energy while you enjoy the many rest stops overlooking the water. Enjoy a voyeuristic view of the ducks from wooden platforms tucked away in the bushes – make sure you’ve got your duck feed handy for any that come close!

As the path starts to move further away from the lake you’ll meet a wooden marker post marking the blue trail straight on or the red trail to the right. Here you can choose to head back around the rest of the lake to where you started, or to continue around the nature reserve of Wolborough Fen.

Taking the red route, you’ll follow a straight path alongside a naturally formed gulley on your left and see grey squirrels darting up and down trees. Follow this path all the way until you reach a wooden gate. Turn left before you go through the gate, heading over the bridge and past a small waterfall.

As you make your way along this section the terrain gets quite rooty and also stays quite damp even in summer. Although the official information says this part is wheelchair accessible, I wouldn’t advise it.

You’ll feel like a real explorer along this part of the route. Large leaved plants of different varieties encroach over the path and small ponds filled with pond skaters line the edges on either side to give a jungle-like feel.

As you emerge back into more familiar woodland you’ll see a marker post guiding you to the left as you continue along the red route. Here you will descend down some steps to the humble tranquility of Magazine Pond; taking its name from the 19th century explosives store – used to supply local quarries with blasting powder – that was situated nearby. Here, you can stand along the boardwalk and spend time spotting a wide variety of fish, bird and insect species that call this pond home. Mallard Ducks, Golden-ringed Dragonflies and Kingfishers can all be found here if you bide your time. You can also admire wooden carvings on the fences created by pupils from Decoy Community Primary School.

Continue along the gravel path, heading back towards the car park, as it skirts around a huge playing field. There’s plenty of room here for picnics, ball games and general summer fun even during the busiest summer days!

Wheelchair users and prams can access the Magazine Pond by following this path in reverse.

See more like this

Burrator Reservoir Accessible Walk

This manageable there and back route offers easy walking and wheeling along the eastern side of the reservoir and to the dams, plus additional access to the wildlife trail in the Burrator Arboretum

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