Destination: Gwydyr Forest, North Wales
The Marin Trail is one of the original purpose built trails and while some may shun it for its simplistic fire road climbs and singletrack descent approach, if you don’t mind earning your downhill fun with some uphill grinding, it’s still well worth getting your tyres muddy for.
How to get there
Head into Betws-Y-Coed and then turn right over the historic bridge immediately after Llanrwst then right onto the B5106 past ‘Gwydyr Castle’. The trail head is on the right after 500m. Sat Nav: LL26 OPN
Apart from parking, that’s about it at the trailhead. You’ve got full facilities at Betws-Y-Coed (about 2 km away) though and when you’ve got the whole of Snowdonia to play in, who needs swanky visitor centres.
Glossing over the absolute sod of a climb straight out of the car-park, think of it as either a “fun toll” or a warm-up, the stunning views over Snowdonia and classic singletrack are more than payback. The Red grade is probably slight overkill but it’s certainly not a trail for novices and, if your ride it hard, there are plenty of challenges and, on the final wonderful descent, air to be had. It can bite though and, last time I was there, the PR girl from Gore-Tex ended up with five stitches in her face courtesy of some prime Welsh slate.
Nearest bike shop
If you fancy riding to the trail from the town centre, it’s perfectly do-able but does add considerably more slog to the opening ascent.
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