Destination: Coed y Brenin, North Wales
The original trail centre and some would argue still the best. Mixes up smooth and fast riding with plenty of slow and technical rocky fun. Not really for jumpers or freeriders but, if you’re into teccy XC, then a clean loop of The Beast is a badge of honour for any rider.
How to get there
From Dolgellau head north on A470, taking a right turn for visitor centre after five miles. Sat Nav: LL40 2HY
Massive “Yurt Style” Visitor Centre with shop, cafe, toilets and showers, bike hire, bike shop and a bike wash.
For a family tootle, the Green YR Afon’ is perfectly pleasant. After that, there’s no intermediate Blue stepping stone and you’re straight into the Reds and Blacks. Opened in 1997 as the Red Bull Trail, the Tawr Trail still stands up and, being independent and across the valley from the other trails, tends to be quieter. Good for a late afternoon blast with some solid technical riding and filling loosening slabs.
Of the main trails, Temtiwr is a perfect warm-up and a good taste of what to expect on the longer trails. Next is the MBR Trail. Although beautifully bedded in, it still has plenty of rocky teeth. For pure ear to ear grin pleasure, Pink Heifer has to be one of the best trail centre sections in the country.
You’re then onto the Black trails of the Dragon’s Back and the Beast. At 31 km and 38 km respectively, expect to have all aspects of your skill and fitness tested. Some of the sections may have smoothed out and mellowed with age but the Beast, combining the Dragon’s Back and the MBR, is still an epic.
Nearest bike shop
Beics Brenin (onsite) www.beicsbrenin.co.uk
Parking is £4.00 for the day. There’s a cafe halfway round the Beast and, with a bit of cunning map reading and a short sharp road climb, you can cut out the soul destroying fire road climb at the end of the loop.
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