This natural spot will be ideal if you are looking for an interesting route in a fresh, open-air environment. Get ready for all your expectations of a day in the Asturian forests to be fulfilled. This trail can be done both by bike and on foot as its division into sections is strategically prepared for it. You can also count on the indispensable idea of bringing your pet or spending the day with the whole family. We will tell you how to access these possibilities, but first we want you to know where “the bear’s path” starts.
This green trail is located along the tracks of a former mining train. This route ceased to be used around 1964. Twenty years later, when a poacher killed a mother bear, the need arose to give her cubs a home. They could not adapt to life in the wild and were handed over to the Asturian Animal Fund for their protection. Since then, their home has been on the bear’s path. Paca and Tola, the two bear cubs live in semi-freedom, on a piece of land halfway along the path.
How to walk the path
You can adapt your schedule to the hours you have to relax. You can also take into account how many people are going to make this journey with you. The options are wide: There are strollers, trailers and half-trailers for babies. The route is even adapted so that at least 90% of it can be done in a wheelchair in total comfort. If you choose to do the route by bike, located at the first exit (Tuñón) you will find rental shops that have all the transport we have already mentioned to facilitate your journey. Don’t forget that if you take your pet as a travel companion you should be prepared with water along the way. And if your furry friend is quiet or elderly, keep in mind that you can rent a trolley to tow him (from the bike) on those parts of the trip when he gets tired.
You can start the route in the recreational area of Tuñón (Km. 18), in Villanueva (Km. 23), Proaza (Km. 26) or from Caranga (Km. 31).
Sections into which the route is divided
Option 1: from Tuñón to Cueva Huerta.
At first, you will walk along the river Trubia from its left bank for about 3.5 km with a small fork that will make you change sides until you reach a stone bridge. This medieval stone bridge indicates that you have reached Villanueva and that you will return to the left side of the river. 1.5 km later, you will arrive at the Proaza recreational area (the main attraction of the trail) where the bears Paca and Molina are living in semi-freedom.
They recommend that if you want to enjoy seeing them, you should plan to get there around noon. Since the bears are fed at this time, this is the time when you can best see them in contact with humans. After this delightful stop for animal lovers, 4 km further on you will find a fork. It will allow you to decide if you want to go to Entrago (which is an extra 10 km) or if you want to go to Santa Marina (16 km). We have to emphasize that the last option allows you to extend the path to enjoy a reservoir with a recreational area called Valdemurrio.
Here you can rent canoes and make your sport experience complete. At kilometre 6 of this section you will have reached Proaza, here you will see a hydroelectric power station that works from a wonderful waterfall. And then, 4.5 kilometres further on is where the paths of the Bear’s Path really fork. Taking the path on the right, at kilometre 20 you can rest in an area prepared for this purpose and regain strength to continue. Only 9 kilometres more and you will have reached Cueva Huerta.
Option 2: from Proaza to Teverga.
The total distance is 14 km and is stipulated to take about 4 hours, was inaugurated in 1996. You pass through the mountain range of Caranga, peña armada, sillón del rey and the gorge of peñas together.
Option 3: from Proaza to Quiros.
Total distance of 8 km and 4 hours. This route ends in Sta marina. It was inaugurated in 1999 and starts after the gorge of peñas juntas, passing through the village of Caranga de abajo (Proaza).
We know that the path may seem a bit complicated in its basic explanation, so we want you to know a few points that will make you decide to carry out this path. First of all, is perfectly signposted with constant clarifications that refer both to the directions and the precautions to be taken. Secondly, we have not talked about the natural wonder that we will have in front of our eyes. From the salmon in the river to the moss-lined tunnels to the greenness that floods the magical landscape of the bear’s path. You won’t regret it if you are a nature lover, especially if you are interested in learning about the famous bears and their history. Cheer up!