Canal towpaths

Birmingham is well known for its extensive canal network which provides traffic free routes through many parts of the city.

Working in partnership with Canal and River Trust, we have resurfaced over 50km of canal towpath in the city with a clean, well-drained, grippy grit surface.

Getting onto and along the canal is easy too, with improvements at access points and the opening up of towpath gates and barriers. And we're making the lighting in key tunnels better too.

Whatever your age or cycling ability, taking to the towpaths on two wheels is a great way to escape rush hour traffic, get some exercise and enjoy a little bit of the countryside in the city.

To help you make the most of these fantastic routes, we have created six downloadable maps, each highlighting a key canal route in the city.

Download our canal route maps

Occasionally, sections of towpath have to be closed for maintenance or improvements. All temporary closures are posted on the Canal and River Trust website.

The towpath code: share the space, drop your pace

Canal and River Trust welcomes all users and encourages you to respect the serenity of the local environment and each other.

Our waterways can be very lively spaces. You could see cyclists, walkers, boaters, anglers, kayakers and even horses pulling boats along the water. To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, Canal and River Trust has worked with canal users to develop a common sense guide to sharing the towpath and what to expect of others:

  • Share the space
    Towpaths are popular places to be enjoyed by everyone. Please be mindful of others, keep dogs under control and clean up after them
  • Drop your pace
    Pedestrians have priority on the towpath, so be ready to slow down; if you're in a hurry, consider using an alternative route for your journey
  • It's a special place
    Our waterways are living history, with boats, working locks and low bridges so please give way to waterway users and be extra careful where visibility is limited.

Read more tips on the Canal and River Trust website.

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