Tees Barrage Walk
This waterside walk in Stockton-on-Tees explores the riverside paths next to the River Tees Barrage. The 3.5 mile circular route runs on nice flat trails on both sides of the river.
The route starts from the car park on the northern side of the river near to the Tees Barrage. The barrage is used to control the flow of the river, preventing flooding and the effects of tidal change. It consists of a river barrage, road bridge, footbridge, barge lock, fish pass and white water course. The area is used for watersports such as canoeing, jet skiing, dragonboat racing and incorporates a 1 km rowing course.
You start by crossing the river on the barrage footbridge before heading west along the path to the impressive Infinity Bridge. The bridge links the Teesdale Business Park and the University of Durham's Queen's Campus in Thornaby-on-Tees on the south bank of the Tees with the Tees Valley Regeneration's £320 million North Shore development on the north bank. The name derives from the infinity symbol formed by the bridge and its reflection.
The route continues past the University Colleges to the Victoria Bridge where you cross to the other side of the river. Here you can pick up the Teesdale Way and follow it east along the northern side of the river, back to the car park.
You can extend the walk by heading east from the car park and visiting Maze Park on the southern side of the river. The nature reserve is rough grassland, supporting herbs and broad-leaved plants and has three landscaped viewing mounds giving panoramic views of the Green Blue Heart of the Tees Corridor. There's some attractive flora and fauna to see with birds including blackcap, chaffinch, grasshopper warbler, grey partridge, kingfisher, sand martin, skylark and sparrowhawk. The park is directly opposite Portrack Marsh Nature Reserve where you can enjoy a nice wetland area and a wildflower meadow.
You could also pay a visit Coatham Woods where there some more nice nature trails to try.