Destination: Penmachno, North Wales
Another bit of classic Old Skool trail building that has aged wonderfully and is now perfect fast and flowing XC riding at its best. There’s a real wild feel to the trail and it’s as near to natural riding as a man-made trail can be.
Don’t come expecting plush facilities or big jumps and drops but do expect great views and even better riding.Photo © Dan Jones
How to get there
From Betws-y-Coed head east along the A5 and take the B4406 to Penmachno. Drive through the village and carry on for about 1km. The trailhead is up the forest track on the right.
A car park and sheep at the trailhead. 3 km away is the Conwy Falls Cafe who serve great cakes and love muddy bikers. In Penmachno, you’ve got the equally biker friendly The Eagles pub. The bright lights of Betws-y-Coed are 7 km away.
Two loops, Dolen Machno (Loop 1) and Dolen Eyri (Loop 2) totaling approximately 30 km of riding. All the trails are red graded but it’s more a case of distance and climbing rather than technicality that has earned the grade. If you’ve got strong legs and are vaguely competent, you’ll be fine.
There’s some boardwalk, but nothing high or scary and most of the rocky sections have been smoothed by the passage of time and thousands of tyres. On the whole, sweeping and flowing are the main adjectives you’ll be using. The trails are exposed and remote though, so carry adequate spares, clothing, fluids and food.
Nearest bike shop
There’s an honesty box to contribute to trail maintenance. £2 should be the minimum donation with an extra 50p for every rear wheel lock and skid. Link up with the Marin Trail for a truly big day out.
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