Approximate length: 20 kilometers.
Duration: From 5 to 6 hours.
Slope: Maximum height: 840m. Minimum height: 790m.
Places of interest: Villa de Cuéllar and Mirador de San Cebrián (Zarzuela del Pinar)
Botanical notes: Alder (Alnus glutinosa), Birch (Betula alba), Hazel (Corylus avellana), Poplar (Populus nigra), Fresno (Fraxinus angustifolia), Willow (Salix sp.), Pine resinero or negral (Pinus pinaster), Pine wild (Pinus silvestris).
DESCRIPTION OF THE ITINERARY
This itinerary begins at the Segovian Bridge located on the A-601 road and just 3 kilometers from the town of Cuéllar.
For some years it was decided to condition the right bank of the river for the enjoyment not only of the fishermen but of those people who love nature. The conditioned route is divided into 7 sections that add up to a total of 16,5 kilometers. We will travel all this route and link in the final part with another signposted path: the Manzano-Sotocivieco path.
Our entire path runs along the river that will guide our steps through this riverbank forest. From the first meters, the leafy vegetation that on both sides forms the gallery forest surprises us. In these first stretches the poplars abound, but so do ash trees, willows, and alders, species that accompany the rivers and that need a high humidity in the soil that they populate, being always linked to the water courses. But these will not be the only plant species that we can find along our itinerary. Soon we will be surprised by the presence of the hazel tree, which, in a relatively large number, has settled on these banks. In autumn we can contemplate its fruits.
A few 2 kilometers from the bridge where we began our journey we will encounter the first birch trees. The presence of this tree is not rare in the province of Segovia but its scarce populations are found in the upper courses of the rivers, in the most shady areas of the valleys of the Sierra Segovia, so the exceptional of its location in the canyon of the middle section of the Cega river.
Like the birch, it also surprises the presence of specimens of Scots pine, not only in the route that occupies us but also in a specific area known as Los Valsaínes, referring to the mountain town of Valsaín and which gives its name among the people from the nearby towns to such elegant and slender pine.
At the end of our last section that runs alongside the river, we go up the slope of land by means of steps set with wood, to a small recreational area formed by tables and wooden benches where we can take a break or take a bite to the content of our backpacks.
Our path now continues along the edge of the canyon, obtaining an aerial view of the course of the river. During these last kilometers we will walk in the domain of the pine resinero seated on an immense sand. Here we can see the work done by the resineros in the trunks of the pines to extract the precious treasure of the resin.
At the height of the place known as El Manzano-Sotocivieco we will come across an old house of resiners of a characteristic white color that they used to take shelter from the inclemency of the weather and also to store their tools. From here we can only follow the signposts of the path in the direction of the road just one kilometer. In the small parking lot next to this one we will finish this itinerary that has given us to know one of the best preserved river stretches in Europe and it is everyone's obligation to keep it that way.
Where: the beginning of this itinerary is located on the Segovia Bridge in the A-601 from Segovia to Valladolid to 3 kilometers from the town of Cuéllar.
When: any time of the year is good for this linear itinerary and without marked slopes, of approximately 20 kilometers and of low difficulty. If the distance of the route seems excessive we can make some stretches of river and return through the pine forest.
Who: itinerary suitable for anyone and especially recommended for school groups for their environmental interest.
Mapping: sheets 401-IV and 429-II scale 1: 25.000 of the National Geographic Service.
Curiosities: 1616 and 1656 prohibit fishing in the river Cega due to the decline of existing fish populations as a result of the use of a plant: the Mullein. Very abundant throughout the province, it has chemical substances, saponins, very toxic for cold-blooded animals. That is how the green sticks were used when they were in flower and the surface of the water was hit with them. (Emilio Blanco Castro. "Segovian Ethnobotany").
Tour of the route-continuation