It's hard to appreciate it now, but during Cornwall's mining era this quiet port would have been the busiest shipping centre on the north coast. Vast quantities of Cornwall’s mineral ore were shipped out from here to Swansea for smelting. In its heyday in the mid-19th century around 100,000 tonnes of ore passed out of Portreath’s harbour every year; in order to streamline the process a mineral tramway was built from Portreath to connect the harbour with the local mines. The tramway is long disused, and now the basis for the 11-mile Coast to Coast Cycle Trail east across to Devoran.