Pages

Chipping Eight MTB

Chipping Eight, Lancashire

Route Information

Stats: 11.25 miles and 930 feet of ascent

OS Map:

Refreshments

The cafe at Beacon Fell is perfectly situated halfway round.

Character

A varied switchback across the pastures of West Lancashire with a play in the woods to boot. Try to pick a day during a prolonged dry spell or a hard frost, as the section crossing the Brock can get squelchy. This area is richly-populated with ground-nesting birds such as lapwings and curlews so please take care not to disturb them. Perhaps relatedly, it is also rich in stoats. I usually have at least one close encounter with them on this ride.


Route

1. Head out of Garstang down the High Street heading south. Passs Sainsbury’s on your right, go over the bridge then left at the mini-roundabout into Dimples Lane.

2. Cross the humpback over the canal and turn left at the end, over the M6 and right into Sandholme Lane.

3. Turn left at a bridge overhung by trees and climb Butt Hill Lane. Turn right into Gonder Lane and take the next left into Bleasedale Lane.

4. As the climbing eases, turn right into Snape Rake Lane (now the off-road fun begins). Follow this steeply down to a watersplash (you’re going to get wet coming back, so why not?) and a challenging climb out of the Brock valley.

5. Turn left at the end into Oakenclough Lane and, after a short climb, right into North Nook Lane (Brown sign to Beacon Fell).

6. Turn left at the top. You’re now on a tarmac, one-way road that loops around Beacon Fell. There are legitimate trails in the woods on your right, that lead right up to the summit. Have fun.

7. When you’ve been round the trails, admired the views and supped at the cafe, retrace your tyre-tracks back to Snape Rake Lane, past the entrance to Waddecar Scout Camp.[If the ground is really soft, you might be better retracing your route along the whole of Snape rake Lane to point 4)]

8. Just before the track starts descending steeply, turn right onto a rather squidgy bridleway. Zig zag down to the river and splash through it to pick up the steep rake sloping up to the right.

9. At the top, follow the wall north-west (I once had a stoat scream at me, just a couple of feet from my face, from inside this wall) and drop down to a bridge before reaching the road at Tootle Hall.

10. Cross the road with care (awkward bend) and take the permitted bridleway (marked Delph Lane) north-west to Broadgate Farm then zig-zagging up to the left to join Delph Lane.

11. Follow tarmac north (with great views) for a while, dipping to the hamlet of Oakenclough and passing Grizedale Lea Reservoir. At Grizedale Bridge, turn left onto bridleway, though a sheepfold system and rising to the right. Pick up a good track dropping towards Fell End Farm but bypass the farm on the left.

12. After the farm, turn left on a good, gated track and follow this past Grizedale Reservoir and down the valley itself. When you run out of bridleway, turn left on Higher Lane, right into Keeper’s Lane and right again into Delph Lane.

13. After the motorway, go straight on into Forge Lane where the road dinks right at a duck pond. For good measure (and to wash the mud off the bike) splash through the ford and up Wyre Lane, turning left at the end back to Garstang.




click below for gpx file

Todmorden West MTB

Todmorden West MTB

Route Information

Stats: 14.8 miles & 2685 ft of ascent

OS Map:
Refreshments

Todmorden has a good choice of eateries, including great veggie options. Bikes shops in the area are renowned for their service, and the place is all around friendly. Nearby Youth Hostels provide cheap accommodation options, and the town has several B&B options as well.

Character

Great little route around the valley, taking in some excellent singletrack, with a few testing climbs along the way.


Route

1. From the town head into Bankside and begin the climb, taking in the bridleway that ascends Shoebroad Lane to the junction with Long Hey Lane. Follow this until it joins Lumbutts, turning left for a short distance, then picking up the Pennine Bridleway on the right.

2. Take the Pennine Bridleway as it rises and then falls to Walden, along some excellent tracks.

3. At Walden cross the road from St Peters Gate to Inchfield Road opposite, climbing this epic steep road, and giving yourself a pat on the back if you clean it, then riding the continuation into Foul Clough Road, along the mixed track as it rises and skirts the hills, before climbing steeply again, all the way to the trig point.

4. Go through the gate and across the tricky ground now, where technical singletrack guides you down the valley and onto the double track of Limers gate (BW). Descend this all the way to the scrubby and difficult to locate track junction above buildings on the right. If you hit the new fencing, then you’ve gone too far

5. Turn down right to the A646 Bacup Road, and head right before dinking off left onto the indistinct and tricky to follow moorland bridleway that rolls along the moor beneath the wind farms, crossing Acre Nook Clough, as you head on singletrack to the junction with Tower Causeway – turn left here.

6. Now race down this bridleway, eventually joining the A646 west at Cornholme. A short distance along the A646 a car park is seen on the right. Take this and pick up the bridleway that rises and falls and rises again, all the way to the village of Shore, passing Brown Birk’s Farm along the way.

7. At Shore a sign for Raw Hey Farm is seen on a post by a 5 bar wooden gate. Opposite this on the right is Shore Green (Cul de Sac) – take this. The bridleway is picked up at the left fork, after passing white washed buildings on the right.

8. The left hand fork dinks up left again before the cottages, then dinking right into the bridleway of Bluebell Lane a short distance further on.

9. Stay on this bridleway to Dyke Farm, then heading left for a short distance, to a T junction of tracks, taking the right hand turn and descending this excellent track all the way to Hole Bottom (Yes, Hole Bottom folks) and back down to Todmorden.




click below for gpx file

Two Roses MTB Route

Land of the Two Roses

Route Information

Stats: 25.7 miles & 2880 ft of ascent

OS Map:
Refreshments

Todmorden has a good choice of eateries, including great veggie options. Bikes shops in the area are renowned for their service, and the place is all around friendly. Nearby Youth Hostels provide cheap accommodation options, and the town has several B&B options as well.

Character

A long route that takes in the tracks above Todmorden and to the south and south east. A mix of surfaces, with a long stretch in the middle that follows the contour around the valley, before a great descent to Cragg vale. One final climb leads to the reservoirs, before a downhill finish via Mankinholes and back to Todmordern.


Route

This ride starts in the Upper Calder Valley town of Todmorden and dips two wheels firmly in the counties of Yorkshire & Lancashire. Featuring 5 challenging climbs of mixed terrain and variety of natural trails this mid distance mountain bike route is superb.
The best time of year to ride this route is in spring or summer or when there’s a ground frost.

1. From the town head into Bankside and begin the climb, taking in the bridleway that ascends Shoebroad Lane to the junction with Long Hey Lane. Follow this until it joins Lumbutts, turning left for a short distance, then picking up the Pennine Bridleway on the right.

2. Take the Pennine Bridleway as it rises and then falls to Walden, along some excellent tracks. At Walden stay on this track as it heads down to the A6033 at Bottomley Clough Road and the A6033 road, where a left turn is taken.

3. A short distance on, turn off right onto the track that runs parallel with the A6033 before re-joining it higher up the valley. Cross over the road onto the Pennine Bridleway, up to the A58, and then turn left and then left again off the road onto the bridleway that leads to Blackstone Edge Reservoir.

4. Time now to pick up the Pennine Way itself for a short distance, before dinking off right as the PW continues left. Skirt White Holme Reservoir and onto the road at Blackstone Edge, dropping to Cragg Vale.

5. By a group of 3 and 4 storey stone terraces, a minor junction on the left is signed for ‘St John’s Church’. This lane and track leads past Withens Clough Reservoir and along, heading down the super steep cobbled sets to Mankinholes and then again through the woodland of Height Wood. Just before the river crossing into Height Wood there is a technical rocky section that seems to change as the loose rocks move around on the trail floor, aim to get to the gate without ‘dapping’. to Mankinholes.

6. From Mankinholes pick up Le Bottom Road and head down to the towpath back to Todmorden and sample what the town has to offer. You may want to take a short detour at the end of the ride to check out the Cycle Factory Bike Shop.




click below for gpx file

Foxes Den MTB Todmorden

Above the Foxes Den

Route Information

Stats: 15.5 miles & 2500 ft of ascent

OS Map:
Refreshments

Todmorden has a good choice of eateries, including great veggie options. Bikes shops in the area are renowned for their service, and the place is all around friendly. Nearby Youth Hostels provide cheap accommodation options, and the town has several B&B options as well.

Character

A route that climbs out of town to the Pennine Bridleway, taking in good double track and some excellent singletrack as it rolls up and down and around the valley. Nothing too technical and a great short spin for everyone.


Route

1. From the A646 Halifax Road, turn right onto Woodhouse Road, then crossing the small bridge by the old mill. Climb all the way to Lumbutts Road, turning right to the Shepherds Rest Inn.

2. From the Shepherds Rest Inn, follow the signs for the Pennine Bridleway south west. The track climbs and turns into large cobbled sets for 1km. Continue on Pennine Bridleway, down large cobbled sets for 0.8km. At the gate keep left and follow Hollingworth Lane uphill to gate and houses on the left.

3. Filter right off road and follow Pennine Bridleway on large cobbled sets for 1.7km. The bridleway exits through houses, turn right and fork right through gate and descend. At the canal bridge turn right onto towpath and follow for 1.4km.

4. At the Church on your right, turn left onto St Peters Avenue. At the crossroads head straight on to Inchfield Road opposite, climbing this epic steep road, and giving yourself a pat on the back if you clean it, then riding the continuation into Foul Clough Road, along the mixed track as it rises and skirts the hills, before climbing steeply again, all the way to the trig point.

Go through the gate and across the tricky ground now, where technical singletrack guides you down the valley and onto the double track of Limers gate (BW). Descend this all the way to the A646 road.

5. Turn down right to the A646 Bacup Road, and head right before dinking off left onto the indistinct and tricky to follow moorland bridleway that rolls along the moor beneath the wind farms, crossing Acre Nook Clough, as you head on singletrack to the junction with Tower Causeway – turn left here.
The road eventually turns into a track, which is followed for 1.4km. Take the right bridleway path uphill and continue north east for 0.8km to the trig point. This section can be overgrown at times and may require a short carry.

5. At the trig point go through the gate and take the right hand bridleway over moorland. After 0.5km follow the bridleway right off the moorland (this is easily missed).

6. The bridleway links into Limers Gate track, which is followed for 2.5km to the main road (A681). Turn left and follow A681 for 0.5km and turn right onto the track (Flower Scar Road OS Maps). Follow Flower Scar Road for 2.5kmincluding the descent to Flower Causeway. Turn left into Tower Causeway and follow for a further 2km. At junction turn right onto A646 and follow for 1km.

7. Turn left onto Pudsey Road, which climbs and becomes Shore New Road and follow as it climbs for 1.8km. Turn right onto the bridleway and fork left at the farmhouse.

8. Follow this bridleway south east ignoring all major right turns off the BW. It eventually becomes the track of Scraper Lane (by Gally Hall Farm), descending down to a junction, where you take the left hand track down through the golf course, joining the roads and heading back into town to finish.




click below for gpx file

Todmorden Reservoirs Ride

Todmorden Reservoirs

Route Information

Stats: 20.5 miles & 2460 ft of ascent

OS Map:
Refreshments

Todmorden has a good choice of eateries, including great veggie options. Bikes shops in the area are renowned for their service, and the place is all around friendly. Nearby Youth Hostels provide cheap accommodation options, and the town has several B&B options as well.

Character

A typical Pennine trip, with steep climbs and rolling moorland trails, finishing with some great descents. Be prepared to work and to get the benefit of doing so. A great introduction to Pennine Mountain Biking.


Route

1. Start on Jumps Lane, by the large railway viaduct, climbing the lane, entering the treeline as you do so. Once the climbing eases off, near to Dyke Farm on your left, turn onto the bridleway on the right (Sager Lane) and ride this to the road.

2. Turn left on the road and continue along (Long Causeway) until joining the Pennine Bridleway on the right, as it crosses the moor and passes first Cant Clough then Hurstwood Reservoir.

3. At the T junction of the bridleway, turn right onto Gorple Stones bridleway and climb on the excellent track, before descending to Widdop Reservoir and the road – turn right at the road.

4. At a car parking area to the left of the road, a track is seen opposite on the right (by green gates), leading to the bridleway which crosses the damn wall of Gorple Lower Reservoir, heading over the moor and dropping you down to Edge lane as the bridleway continues, eventually joining the Pennine Bridleway and descending on doubletrack, becoming tarmac as you pass farmsteads, heading along to a track/ lane junction on the right – turn sharp right and follow the Pennine Bridleway down ‘School Land Lane’.

5. A small stone bridge crosses the river down this lane, where a fork is reached. Continue around to the right, on the tarmacked lane until it leads into the mixed track after passing farms (Salt Pie Farm). The track climbs alongside meadows, then heading to moorland scrub and descending to the Long Causeway.

6. Turn right at Long Causeway/ Kebs Road until a bridleway signed on the left (metal gate) just before an auto repair garage complex. 200 yards along this bridleway a junction is taken on the left, joining the superb bridleway that drops down on mixed trails to Hole Bottom and across the Golf Course and into Todmorden for tea and medals and cake – lots of cake.




click below for gpx file

Hebden Bridge Reservoirs Ride

Hebden Bridge Reservoirs

Route Information

Stats: 25 miles & 3131 ft of ascent

OS Map: Refreshments

The Lamppost Cafe, just off Bridgegate, is an excellent spot for riders. However, the choice is varied in this great little Pennine town. Car parks and cafes abound, as do great sandwich shops and pie shops – commonly known in the north as your local butcher.

Character

A little bit of everything, terrain wise, from this route starting and finishing in the characterful little market town of Hebden Bridge. Some steady fire-road climbing initially followed by farm roads and rolling tarmac through some beautiful countryside. The route turns more off-road on reaching Widdop Reservoir after which a steep switchback climb will take you to the highest point on the route offering great views. You’ll then be rewarded for your efforts with some fast, rocky descending, nothing too technical, a couple of water crossings and views of the fascinating Limestone Hushings in Sheddon Clough. After gaining more height on the road, some further, entertaining descending on mixed terrain takes you down to the valley bottom after which the Pennine Bridleway below Stoodley Pike will take you back into Hebden Bridge.

Start in Hebden Bridge itself, where there are excellent facilities.


Route

1. From Hebden Bridge take the A6033 Keighley Road. Turn off left along Midgehole Road towards Hardcastle Crags after the bus stop.Pass the first Hardcastle Crags visitor car park and take the next right turn towards pay and display car park. Climb straight ahead for approx 1.5miles.

2. Turn left up steep Calder/Aire Link climb signposted just before derelict farmhouse. Go through the gate and continue along Calder/Aire Link following wall on left, another gate, then descent on the field track to farmstead at Walshaw.

3. Straight ahead through farmstead and follow the farm road which becomes a newly surfaced road. The road ‘S’ bends left then right, over cattle grid and then climbs to a junction. Fork left, then left again and join the Pennine Way, passing trees on the right. A short descent is enjoyed on the road, then turn right to join Ridehaigh Lane.

4. Turn left at Widdop Reservoir car park and cross the cobbled dam wall. Go through the gate and follow the trail which soon becomes a very steep and loose switchback climb.

5. Passing rocks at the summit, follow the track straight ahead, becoming a fast, loose, descent with several jumps for approximately 2 miles. Following this, turn left at a gate and drop down to Hurstwood Reservoir.

6. Passing Hurstwood Reservoir, turn left by the pylon (taking either track) and climb steadily, passing views of The Hushings to your left, then take a short drop down to Cant Clough Reservoir. Go through the gate, along the dam wall and through a further gate.

7. Follow the obvious trail to the walled bridge over Sheddon Clough stream, then ride through the stream itself and over a small bridge (or through stream again). The trail then climbs again, before a fork to the left, later emerging in a carpark.

8. Turn left out of the carpark and follow the road, ‘The Long Causeway’, for approximately 2 miles. Turn right down Mount Ln signposted Shore and then left on bridleway Delf Lane. Follow obvious trail straight ahead for Approx 2 miles.

9. On reaching a road crossing after Brents Wood head straight across and up steep walled climb. Follow for a further half a mile past golf course – please respect the golfists 😉 before emerging in golf course carpark.

10. Head straight through the carpark and turn right at the road. Turn left at the road junction, passing a church, and follow road until Bean Hole Head House. Turn right down bridleway behind. Follow bridleway until in joins farm track Baulk Head Lane and turn right.

11. Turn right into farmyard (please respect the residents) and follow the bridleway between houses, into the left corner of the yard. Descend the zigzags into carpark and picnic area.

12. Turn left along the main road and then right signposted for Youth Hostel. After the bridge turn right and cross another bridge over the canal. Follow the road to the right and begin to climb Shaw Wood Lane. Turn right at switchback junction, again signposted Youth Hostel. Follow straight ahead New Road / Cross Lane / Mankinholes Bank until sign for Pennine Bridleway left.

13. Follow Pennine Bridleway straight ahead, traversing Stoodley Fell, becoming Kilnshaw Lane / Jumps Lane and the cobbled descent Spencer Lane before turning after houses and descending further through woods to the railway bridge. Exit Hebden Bridge railway station onto the A646 left back into Hebden Bridge.
Now take a look at some more images by photographer, Ed Sykes here




click below for gpx file

Tour de Rings MTB

Tour de Rings – South Downs

Route Information

Stats: 17 miles and 1900 feet of ascent

OS Map:

Refreshments

Dropping off the north face of the South Downs just after you’ve passed Chanctonbury ring on one of the bridleways, will spit you out into the typical Sussex villages of Steyning and Bramber. Here there are plenty of tea rooms and oak beamed pubs to refuel at, but beware of the climb back up to finish this route – or take the Downs link cycle path that hugs the river back to your car. Check this out on the OS map. At the end of the ride, leave the car by river and amble into nearby Shoreham By-Sea to sample the cosmopolitan cafes and riverside bars

Character

A locals favourite on this part of the South Downs. It’s very much a smorgasbord of undulating and varied bridleways in this neck of the woods with a multitude of loops and extensions. This 17 miles takes in the two iron-ages hill forts of Cissbury and Chanctonbury rings with the perfect mix of what the South Downs does best. Rolling undulation, fast white singletrack, sea views and long challenging but rewarding climbs and flat out XC!


Route

1. Leave the car at Cuckoo Corner car park on the Coombes road which is free but does have a height restriction. You could leave the car in nearby Shoreham By-Sea as many of the residential streets are quiet and without restrictions

2. Turn left out of the car park back onto Coombes road and take the first right that is the entrance to the Hogwarts style Lancing College. Continue to ride up the college entrance road past a row of houses and the first Bridleway will be coming up on the left just past the houses

3. Once through the gate continue the gradual climb for the next 1.7 miles taking in the views of the exclusive college on your right as you run parallel with the A27. Losing the views to the enclosed trees eventually you roll out to into open downland with the sea on your left

4. Descend down as you hug the contouring ridge line of Steep Down with its chalky ruts that have plenty of features for pumping and finding your flow

5. At the bottom of the chalky shoot you’ll come to a crossroads of bridleways, turn left to start your roller-coaster of flat out double track before the fast climb towards the Bostal Road. At the top cross the road and go through the adjacent metal gate before you continue down another fast double track bridleway towards Canada Bottom

6. Blink and you’ll miss it, but continue straight through the next bridleway crossroads, into the steepest but shortest descent of the ride as you rattle on towards Canada Bottom. Keep your momentum high as you seamlessly roll onto “Hateful Hill” (namely on Strava) as you approach the car park at the foot of Cissbury ring.

7. Once at the top of the “hateful” drag you’ll go through a metal gate into a small carpark for Cissbury. Take the gate on your immediate left and follow the wide snaking white road of chalk as it cheekily makes you grind up to the top before exposing the sea views and ancient hill fort

8. Stay on the chalky road with the sea directly in front of you, you’ll bear to your right on a sweeping curving fire-road which throws you into a fast flinty descent before another cheeky lung burner as you make your way around Cissbury Ring from East to West

9. Through the gate at the top of that kicking but short climb, take a breather to enjoy the sea view and green flanks of Findon Valley

10. Continue your circumnavigation of Cissbury by following the bridleway signs round its western flank past Shipdens Holt. Hugging the treeline you’ll pass through a gate before open grassland gives you a full view across Findon Valley

11. Continue on but stay high on the obvious grassy trail, through a second gate

12. Up next, is one of the finest pieces of South Downs singletrack as it winds across the contours with tight twists and an almost perfect flow that eventually spits you out back at the North side into the carpark

13. Head due north on the main bridleway/farm track for 0.5 miles before turning left into what feels like you are entering some fields. After 0.1 mile take the right hand fork and begin the long and gradual descent that hugs a hedge line before rattling you down a rooty fast treeline channel and delivers you out at a farm house on your left

14. Continue past the house on the tarmac and spot a bridleway pointing across a cambered horse paddock. Through the gate and across the field. Once out the other side repeat and go through one last field before picking up a gravelled and flint laden road as you turn left after shutting the last gate out of the second field/paddock

15. Once up the steep but short climb turn right at yet another crossroads of bridleways and begin the gradual climb from the valley side to intersect the South Downs Way before reaching the top and Chanctonbury ring with its perch on the North edge of the South Downs ridge

16. Once at Chanctonbury enjoy the views across the low weald as you peer Northwards and on a clear day a view of the Isle Wight can be enjoyed as you complete your 360 degree panorama

17. Continue on the South Downs Ways, straight into a super fast grassy and flinty descent which is a big reward for the climb up to Chanctonbury. Still going after 2 miles of undulating fast cross-country you’ll come out on the apex of the Bostal Road. Take care when coming out and turn right onto the road and continue on

18. Do not miss the South Downs Way sign on your left as you leave the road and begin the drawn out but fast descent across the upper grasslands, past the high pig farm towards the final race towards the river basin. As the gradient steepens past the pigs it’ll bear right and funnel you into a flat out bumpy finish where the brakes will earn their keep before the gate

19. You’ll exit onto the Coombes road, turn right and take the casual 2 mile pedal back to the car at Cuckoo Corner.




click here for gpx file

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.




click below for gpx file

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.




click below for gpx file

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.




click below for gpx files