THE WEATHER seems to be getting better and we're getting to the time of year to delve into the shed and dust off your bike.

Here are five of the best picturesque Bolton cycling routes:

From one river to another

FOLLOW the River Croal on this picturesque route as it joins the River Irwell on its journey into Manchester.

This track passes through no less than five different country parks, as in meanders through Bolton and Prestwich.

The First stop is Moses Gate Country Park, Farnworth to see the scenic ponds with their abundance of waterfowl.

This can get muddy in places so make sure to plan ahead.

The Bolton News:

A wonderful bridge

BEGINNING at Leverhulme Park Community Leisure Centre, this route is centred on the Meccano footbridge at Nob End in Little Lever.

Designed by Liam Curtin, the £90,000 steelwork bridge is an iconic piece of architecture.

The 8.4 mile circular route also takes in Bolton’s hidden sculptures and the Moses Gate Country Park before returning to Leverhulme park.

For those who prefer a guided ride, Let’s Ride Bolton organise their own ‘Marvellous Meccano Meander’ on a regular basis.

The Bolton News:

Climb the pike

FOR the more adventurous cyclists out there, the Rivington Pike mountain bike route takes in the beauty of Rivington Country Park in the West Pennines Moors.

Starting at the carpark by the Great House Barn café and the Information Centre, the 17.8-mile route passes the scenic Rivington, Yarrow and Anglezarke reservoirs and guides cyclists through the more challenging trails in Healey Nab woods.

Although the route includes a climb to the summit of Winter Hill, the network of bridleways present plenty of options for everybody to explore the area.

The terrain is not generally too difficult but there are a few technical sections made worthwhile by scenic views of some of Bolton's most beautiful countryside.

A fantastic journey for experienced riders and families alike.

The Bolton News:

Take a well-travelled trail

THE Middlebrook Valley Trail is one of the area’s most scenic nature trails linking Bolton town centre with Red Moss in the neighbouring Horwich.

Starting at Queens Park in the centre of Bolton, the 4.5-mile cycle-way follows the tow path along the Middlebrook river, passing the Regent Park golf course and ending at the University of Bolton stadium, home of the Bolton Wanderers.

Completely traffic-free, well signposted and with a relatively smooth path, this route is ideal for a cycle with all the family.

A historic canal journey

VENTURE outside of Bolton to follow the historic Bridgewater Canal through Worsley.

This mainly level ride follows the iconic waterway into one of the most picturesque towns in the area, with timber framed houses and two busy marinas along the route.

Suited for off-road bikes, this journey can be as long as ten miles, taking riders through the leafy suburban town.