Forestry Commission Wales has whipped the cover of its latest trail development at Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park, the second phase of a new MinorTaur mountain bike route being worked on at the moment.
The FC reckons this is the perfect reason for “for anyone who may have over-indulged at Christmas to begin their counter-attack in the fight against the flab.” Well we can’t argue with that can we!
Forestry Commission Wales has been racing to build on the trail’s initial success and has now opened the second loop of the £500,000 project, which has been over three years in the planning, just in time for the festive break. Loop one is 3km long and starts from the striking giant bull’s nose ring trailhead feature behind the Forestry Commission Wales visitor centre in the heart of the Welsh Government forest.
Loop 2 links up with this route and now follows the new section, called White Bull, out to the Pont Cae’n y Coed car park, where riders can admire the stunning views down the Afon Mawddach gorge before continuing along the “Naxos” and “Hwyl Ddu” singletracks and joining the forest road back to the start, having covered 5km with 90m of climbing.
The opening of Loop 2 marks the end of the second phase of the project, which forms part of the Gwynedd Council-led Eryri Centre of Excellence partnership, which is part funded by the EU’s Convergence European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
The blue-grade intermediate MinorTaur cross-country trail will be completed over the next two years and is part of an ambitious Forestry Commission Wales aim to provide equal access opportunities for all sectors of society.
It is being built in phases to a specific design criteria to allow more people to experience the thrill of mountain biking in Welsh Government woodlands.
The trail is designed for beginner to intermediate skilled mountain bikers, adults and children. It is suitable for small wheeled kids’ bikes, tag-a-longs and adaptive mountain bikes for riders with disability.
Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park recreation manager Graeme Stringer, said, “Our research, which identified a demand for a more family-friendly trail in Coed-y-Brenin, has really paid off.
“The figures from the trailhead counters confirm that the MinorTaur was the busiest trail over the summer, outstripping even the most established of the forest park’s trails, with more than 5,000 riders trying it out in August alone!
“As Coed-y-Brenin was the first trail centre developed in the UK, it has always catered for the skilled and experienced mountain biker. Hence we have lots of red (difficult) and black (severe) grade trails.
“But we felt it was important to be able to introduce the fun of mountain biking to as many people as possible. The MinorTaur fills the gap in the trail provision at Coed-y-Brenin and allows us to make good on that objective.”
Disabled visitors can experience the MinorTaur cross-country trail by hiring an adaptive mountain bike from the “Challenge Your Boundaries” local community group, which was presented with two bikes by the Snowdonia National Park Authority.
Work will soon start on Loop 3, the most technically challenging phase of construction so far. It’s hoped to have the first sections of Loop 3 open for Easter 2012 and there will be more than 10km of new trail built in the forest when the project is completed by the end of 2013.