Rhyd Ddu Snowdon

Rhyd Ddu Snowdon

Route Information

Stats: 14 miles (not all uphill!) With 4219 feet of ascent

OS Map:

Refreshments

Cafe at the Snowdon Summit, and a train that goes up, but it’s not as much fun as riding and mountainbikeneering up this one. Our own Garry coined the phrase ‘mountainbikeneering, and he’s Welsh, so knows exactly what it means! Great bike shop in Llanberis for fixing things afterwards! There are lots of places to stay, including nearby Youth Hostels.

Character

It goes up, and then it goes down! It’s tough going up, and it’s a real whizz going down, with lots of tricky and fast sections that you’ll need to take care on. Awesome mountain day though. Just remember to adhere to the mtb restrictions:

‘Between the hours of 10am and 5pm between 1st May and 30th September, mountain bikers should not use the Snowdon bridleways’


Route

1. We’ve started this route from the village of Rhyd-Ddu which has a pub – reason enough for us I think. However, Llanberis is a good alternative, if a little full of tourists at times. If starting from Rhyd-Ddu, there is a forestry car park at the back of the village, up the minor road, just behind the pub (Cwelyn Arms).

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Rhayader Classic MTB

Rhayader Classic MTB

Route Information

Stats: 21 miles 3376 feet of ascent

OS Map:

Refreshments

Rhayader and the Elan Valley have several good cafes, a visitor centre and a wealth of accommodation choices at all price points.

Character

A hilly ride with plenty of technical descents to test your skills and grab some grins, together with lung busting climbs, mixed with amazing scenery and a stunning finish to top things off.


Route

This classic route is taken from What Mountain Bike and remains a great ride in any book. We simply can’t improve on it, so it seems sensible to stick to it.

Start/Finish Clive Powell’s bike shop, at grid SN969/679 Maps OS

Landranger (1:50,000) No. 147 Elan Valley & Builth Wells. Or Garmin GB
Discoverer 1:50K Southern England and Wales (GPS).

1. From Clive Powell’s bike shop, turn right out of the door, along the B4518, down and over the bridge out of town. Take the road on the right (just past the cycle path on the left), signposted Mountain Road, Aberystwyth, uphill for 4km to the top. Turn left onto a clear track that drops to a ford and small dam.

2. Cross the dam and bear sharp left to cross a boggy section and pick up a stony track, climbing steeply to the top, where a waymark directs you right.
Continue on a grassy track that climbs past the trig point, and bear right at a fork. Continue down to a gate. Continue through fields, bearing left through a gate on the bridleway, past a house and stream, then uphill past a house (on your left).

3. Turn left on the bridleway, climbing steeply to/right at a fork, to/ahead at a crossroads on flatter ground. A track joins from the left, cross a boggy section (numerous options), joining the better stony track shortly. Ford a stream and keep left at a fork, following the main track downhill to a drive.

4. Bearing right, then left by/into the woods on a bridleway, fast singletrack descent. Turn right on the road at the bottom. Keep left at fork, past a cottage to a bridleway turning on the right through a gate. Climb uphill gently.

5. When the hills get steeper, just beyond a gate, cross a stream and turn right on very faint track (not left on more obvious track), up the steep valley (walk) with stream on your right. At the top, bear to left around a boggy section, then right, downhill on good singletrack, bearing left across a stream uphill, then steep drop downhill, with a technical rocky bit at the top.

6. Turn right on the road at the bottom, by the reservoir edge, then fork right on the NCN route to climb into the trees. Keep left at a fork, passing the dam, alongside the reservoir, passing Craig Goch dam (to your left). The track starts to climb steeply uphill, becoming faint but improving at the top. Drop down to a ford and back up to a road.

7. Turn left on the road for 1km to a wide track at the top. Continue on this taking in one small climb. Follow the red arrow markers (left then right), downhill all the way to a house and keep ahead, through a gate to a road. Turn right on this, then left at the T-junction, to the B4518 and turn left on this, over the bridge and back into Rhayader.




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Pont Scethin

Pont Scethin

Route Information

Stats: 13 miles and 2600 feet of ascent

OS Map:

Refreshments

Great little pub in village. Nearby Barmouth has a few more options. If you’re staying in Snowdonia, lots of little places to stop off and eat at.

Character

This is one of the classic routes for North Wales. It brings you long climbs on excellent hard packed tracks, with epic descents to make you grin all day long. This is a fantastic mountain route on old pack-horse trails, with rocky technical sections to test your handling. The route mixes wide tracks with narrow sections, rutted tracks and rock gardens, giving you a taste of everything, along with some superb views.


Route

1. Start from The Ysgethin Inn or the Car Park opposite and steady along residential road Llywn Ynn. At the end of this road it forks – take the fork around to the right and into the tree line.

2. There is a track in the trees running alongside the river – Afon Ysgethin ( keep the river on your right at this stage )

3. Approx 1/2 a mle along this track is a crossroads – go left and head towards Ffordd Gors and ride along this road for around another 1/2 mile, going through Corsygedol Farm, heading for Ffordd Ffridd Isa ( right turn 160m to farm ).

4.Pedal along the track through the trees and over the river,and further along the track for around 150m turn right and follow the track along the wall line for another 1 1/2 mile to Bwlch y Rhiwgyr, then continue for a further 3/4 mile, take a right and hit the double track. Go left on the double track towards the Forestry ( Cerrig y Cledd ). On this section there is a a fair bit of climbing (approx 2 miles) on loose track, with some parts maybe needing a bit of a walk due to the rocky terrain in places.

5. Keep the trees on your right and continue along until the double track turns to single track for a further mile, then take a sharp left. Then it’s uphill along single track following a wall line which should be on your left – though a gap in the walls and an old building on your right continue on with the wall on your left ( until 7 1/2 mile mark where you cross through the wall and it’s now on your right.

6. You’re going to climb for around 2 miles – but it’s worth it, across and over Braic, then downhill onto Pont Scethin at speed. At the bottom of the gulley cycle over an old stone bridge along singletrack until you hit solid double track again.

7. Stay on this double track all the way back to Ffordd Ffridd Isa and turn left. When you get to the buildings further along the track take a right turn into the trees and follow the track down longside the river back to the track that you began to the route on and onto the car park / Ysgethin Inn.

8. Cold wet one and something to eat.




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Penmachno Trail

Penmachno Trail

Route Information

Stats: : 27 km / 16.6 miles with 719 feet of ascent

OS Map:

Refreshments

Plenty in Betws Y Coed

Character

The Penmachno Trails are the hidden gem of North Wales biking; 30km of singletrack and forest trail with spectacular views and the feel of a proper mountain biking adventure.
The trails are split into two loops that can be ridden individually or as one amazing 30km ride.

Be warned, if you do ride the complete circuit, just as you get your breath back from the descents on Dolen Machno the views on Dolen Eryri will take it away again! Once you’ve ridden the trails don’t forget to ‘pay back your dirt’; the trails are managed by a local community group (Menter Bro Machno), and are funded by donations from bikers and maintained by volunteers. Donations can be made at the trailhead box or through the website – www.penmachnobiketrails.org.uk

The Penmachno Trails are remote with some very exposed sections and limited phone signal, so please ride prepared with adequate spares, clothing, fluids and foods.

Start: Through Penmachno village towards Cwm Penmachno for approximately 0.5km. The trailhead is up on the right, up a forest track.


Route

The Penmachno Trail consists of two great trails: the Dolen Machno (19km), and the Dolen Eryri (11km), both of which can be ridden individually, or even better together to form this great route.

Boardwalks, rocks, drops and technical sections await you, on a fantastic days riding. This is a superb mountain route in the Snowdonia National Park area, mixing singletrack descents with forestry roads. We’ve attached the pdf of the trail map for you (see below). All that’s left is to get you and your bike to the start at Penmachno and follow the signs and grin!




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Marin Trail Wales

Marin Trial (Gwydir Mawr)

Route Information

Marin Trail was revamped a while ago, and now goes by the name of Gwydir Mawr. It’s a cracking spot to ride still, and has even more epic twists and turns. Just go ride it

Stats: 17 miles with 3280 feet of ascent

OS Map:

Refreshme

There are options for starting points for this route. Betws Y Coed is one that we like, and of course Llanrwst, both of which are super, and at the heart of North Wales adventure. There are ample places to stay at all price points, and some excellent places to eat and drink. Our own choice in the town is The Vagabond Bunkhouse and Bar.

Character

Brilliant mountain riding, with big climbs, big descents and awesome singletrack. Most of the uphill is on forest tracks, with the singletrack fun going down when required. A technical and fun route for all to enjoy.

The Marin Trail was one of the original mtb trails, built back in the day. It’s a true classic and it’s no surprise that it’s so popular and held in such high regard by many local riders. Big climbs, big descents, brilliant singletrack and truly awesome scenery make this a trail to remember.

Most, but not all, of the climbs are on forest roads and tracks giving you time to take in the views of the mountains of Snowdonia, and all of the descents are on the sweetest singletrack.

The singletrack varies from very tight, technical and rocky to wonderfully open and flowing, from dark forest to exposed ridgelines.


Route

1. Start the route in the car park near to the train station and head up the road towards the junction on the right signed for ‘Trefriw’ which goes over the bridge.

2. Immediately over the bridge turn left into the narrow lane, passing the outdoor shop on the right, climbing steadily up this lane, passing ‘Tan Dinas Country House’ on the right some way up, before taking the next narrow lane on the right, which climbs into the forest. There is a small gravelled area opposite this junction.

3. Climb onwards and upwards and eventually join the trail in the woods above.

4. Enjoy. Return to Betws Y Coed.




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Brecon Gap

Brecon Gap

Route Information

Stats: 22 miles and 2439 feet of ascent

OS Map:

Refreshments

Nearby Brecon has all that you need, including The Bridge Cafe, a great spot to chill out, which also does bed and breakfast.

Character

The terrain is rideable in all seasons but beware in bad weather conditions.

The Gap takes you up to 600m above sea level and is very open and windswept. It is essential to take food, adequate clothing and tools before you attempt this route.

Technically, the going is mostly straightforward, with a tricky ravine halfway up the Gap road and some big rock steps on beginning the descent from the Gap itself.


Route

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Berwyn Mountains

Berwyn Mountains

Route Information

Stats: 17 miles & 2919 feet of ascent

OS Map:

Refreshments

Pistyll Rhaeadr Tearooms at the car park provide what you need. Lots of accommodation opportunities in the area.

Character

A cracking route with some long and epic descents that won’t trouble you, but which will get you grinning and wanting to return to the area for more routes.

This route is taken from our friends at Singletrack magazine, the best mag in the universe. If you don’t subscribe to them, you really should, so click this link and subscribe today. We haven’t even tried to improve on their route or description from where we first saw the route, it’s so good.


Route

1. Starting from the road head at the base of the falls, head back towards Llanrhaeadr until you see a minor road bearing off to your left, follow this uphill until you pass some buildings on your left, with a track besides the second set.

2. Turn left and climb the steep and stony track as it winds up along the side of the valley. Over the top of the climb a less defined grassy track bears left, follow this track. This becomes singletrack, crossing the open moorland and heading eastwards to the right of the trees. Keep following this until you come to a well-defined farm track, which you follow down to the gates.

3. Go through all the gates and stay and follow the track down through the deserted farmyard, watching out for the hidden gates on the descent. This track will eventually drop down to meet a minor road. Look out for the sharp right hand bend too.

4. Turn left along the road and follow it for about 500 metres, then turn sharp right and follow the road along the valley side, keeping right at the junction, until a hair-pinned bend takes you sharply back to the right.

5. Bear left, just off this bend, and pick up the stony farm track. Keep following this track up, then in a straight line along the valley side. After a descent the surface becomes Tarmac. Keep following the road until you come to a crossroads.

6. Turn right and descend to Llanrhaeadr, watch out for the sharp bend in the dip. Go straight ahead, through the village and climb the steep road out of it.

7. Over the top of the hill turn right along the minor road, besides the white house. Follow this lane up hill, bearing left at the forked junction by the bungalow. Follow this uphill as it turns in to a stony track, then to a steep farm track, which climbs to the valley top. Stay on the same track as it traverses the valley side, keeping to the grassy track to the left after a water splash, and then continue on to a sheep pen and a bog. Go through the bog and on to meet a single track.

8. Turn right at this track and join the steep and well-defined farm track which then steeply descends, through a load of hairpin bends to the valley floor and then down to the farm.

9. Go through the farmyard, then keep left and climb the drive up to meet the valley road, turn left and head back to the waterfalls.




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