Llyn Cowlyd Path – North Wales

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  • Llyn Cowlyd Path – North Wales
  • Maltloaf
    Member

    It ridable in all weathers i’d say but does get very wet with standing / flowing water, so you’ll get soaked whatever. It’s all solid round that way so won’t get boggy though and is great fun. Are you going wet to east?

    Premier Icon lowey
    Subscriber

    Trefriw, Crafnant, Capel, Llyn Ogwen, Tal-y-Briach, Cowlyd So yeah… west to east.

    Fingers crossed for forecast.

    Cheers.

    I Ride it pretty regular as a local..Cowlyd path, boggy sections at the top and bottom bits (after and before the main run) probably some standing water in the main sections. Similar to the run down from Top of Crafnant to Capel which is ace In a nutshell :- great views, remote, slow going (dont expect more than about a 7kmh average) pretty damn technical, yes rocky ๐Ÿ™‚ Hard to find off the A5. But all good, if you ride the whole section without dabbing…impressive

    have you done the run down from top of Crafnant/crympiau down the rocky bed to Capel ??? That again is rocky, fairly technical (although not quite as technical as Cowlyd) but ace, highlight of the ride IMHO

    Premier Icon lowey
    Subscriber

    Having a ride around here on Sunday and not having ridden it thought I’d ask locals whats it like after rain… boggy or a rock fest ?

    Cheers all.

    Premier Icon lowey
    Subscriber

    Smeg, yeah thats the one.

    From his description he seems to be going the other way round. Which in my opinion is better. In HTH route description you are riding up from Capel on the rock based climb, which I way prefer as a descent. So start from Trefriw. Climb up to Crafnant on the road, when you ge to Crafnant dont bother with the road which runs on the left of the lake, go to the right and stay off road. At the lake head up the grassy climb instead of descending it, and then up through the gap, and then ride the big rocks for 2km all the way down to Capel…nice ๐Ÿ™‚ If your rear mech / wheels / tyres are still in one piece at Capel, go along the byway alongside the A5 across the A5 at the campsite, climb up to Cowlyd, keeping the reservoir on your right in this direction, then ride the rocks and drops alongside the reservoir, again if you dont dab here your doing well. Under neath the massive water pipeline at the end of the reservoir, up the steep road climb and then descend the road steeply all the way back to your car, sweet ride, but slow going for such a short ride mileage wise

    smeg
    Member

    Thanks downthemiddle.

    Like the sound of this ride, esp the big rocks for 2km bit.

    Rorschach
    Member

    Downthemiddle has got it spot on.Possibly my favorite short ride ever :0)

    No probs Smeg, thats a guestimate its definately at least 2km, maybe nearer 3km so tired hands are the order of the day. great descent if youve got a bit of travel ๐Ÿ™‚ not fast thundering through rocks gardens sort of riding more pick lines slowly through some big obstacles, but rideable all the way down. Always had plently of cheery walkers coming up, giving encouragement etc, as its slow speed stuff so safe for all ๐Ÿ™‚ Starting to fancy it as my sunday ride this week now, not done it for a couple of months

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Had earmarked this route for a future trip. Is the way being discussed here the same as in the Vertebrae guidebook, do you know?

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have no idea whats in the book. It can be done both ways. I believe many years ago MBR did as the killer loop and referred to it as one off the hardest MTB rides in Britain, and they did it the way I describe as above I think starting and finishing at the North part of the loop (Trefriw) which is Crafnant first – Cowlyd second. I have done it both ways. Of the few people you see on bikes up there, I see most riders doing it Crafnant first I suppose the only way to describe the difference is :- If you prefer longer technicalish descending on rocks and your climbing short but steep on grass, then go from Trefriw and go Crafnant first. If you prefer the descending faster and smoother on grass but longer technical climbs with a bit of hike a bike then go Cowlyd first. Cowlyd rides similar both ways as its actually relatively a flat shoreline tech fest either way.
    Either way you cant get around that you will have to do 2 x steep road climbs either way you do it, but they are slightly less endless feeling on the Trefriw start / finish

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    I think that’s the same direction as the book, except it starts in Capel Curig.

    Cheers, looking forward to this one.

    ๐Ÿ˜€

    Premier Icon lowey
    Subscriber

    Thanks for the heads up DTM… how long does it take you at a non racing pace. I’m stopping over in Colwyn on Sat night but need to be in Warrington for 5pm. just trying to gauge a good start time.

    Without going nuts and plenty of time to look at views etc, about 3 and a half hours

    Premier Icon lowey
    Subscriber

    Perfect. Thanks mate. Appreciated.

    Just got to book the weather now. ๐Ÿ˜†

    Forecast is alright round our way for weekend. May see you up there, havent decided on the weekends ride venue but its likely to be on the shortlist

    rudebwoy
    Member

    jeez, that route makes me feel old now, first went up from trefriw over to colwyd in 1988, to test my new Muddy Fox courier, just picked the route from the os map, also wanted to check the leat that runs between colwyd(deepest in n wales) and llugwy . Had to do a bit of CX to get back down to the A5 and back to bangor.

    That climb up from trefriw is a toughie, been up on a road bike since, don’t get any easier.

    Used to go up the carneddau in them days too, up carnedd dafydd from gerlan, mostly pushing, but then ride above the black ladders, over llewellyn, foel grach, down to drum, then down to aber on the ‘roman’ road.didn’t used to meet many people never mind mbters’.

    have only road bikes now, don’t stop me going off road a bit, have come down the rr from rowen to aber on a gazelle with 20mm road tyres, carefully !!

    Premier Icon singlespeedstu
    Subscriber

    Mmmm.
    I was just thinking about where to ride on Sunday.

    Thanks for making up my mind for me. 8)

    dirtydog
    Member

    That climb up from trefriw is a toughie, been up on a road bike since, don’t get any easier.

    Goes from 50m to 450m in the space of 2.5km

    saxabar
    Member

    I’m in Bethesda just up the road. If you have options, Capel Curig is the best starting point imv and then on to Colwyd. If I read the above right, do folk really do it in reverse? V. odd!

    Edit: watch for the bogs at the top before you begin the descent around Colywd.

    @rudebwoy – did the climb/walk up to Dafydd/top of Carneddau the other day from Bethesda. Buggered by the end!

    hitthehills
    Member

    Hi All,

    Thanks for posting my route, I chose to publish the route in the anti-clockwise direction for 2 reasons:

    1. Seems a shame to drop 400m on road between Cowlyd to Trefriw, that’s why I suggest it as a climb so you get an off road descent from cowld.

    (Admittedly you still need to descend from crafnant on the road but hey-ho [there is another option to go right over the top from crafnant to cowlyd, not done it yet but on my to do list])

    2. The descent from the top of Crafnant to Capel is a bit too steppy (few steep bits but a lot of flat stops) and involves a bit too much pedalling. Better to descend to Crafnant over the rock garden and then the uber fast grass with a few drops and amazing view.

    Both ways are good and it’s a great day out. Enjoy!

    Cheers,
    Christian
    Hit the Hills

    Premier Icon lowey
    Subscriber

    Weather was biblical so did the Marin instead. I have never been so wet in my life.

    The route is now firmly on the to do list.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Did this yesterday. Ridiculously boggy from the A5 up to Llyn Colwyd – took us 2 hours just to reach the reservoir from Capel Curig.

    Singletrack alongside the lake was nice and technical but littered with wheelgrabbing patches of bog, so a bit frustrating.

    Road descent to Trefriw is insane, had my brake pads burning. Took a mini-detour into the woods about 2/3s of the way down and found some promising singletrack (straight on at a harepin bend), but had to turn back to follow my mate. Is there much in there?

    I’m glad the descent from Crafnant to Capel Curig was so bloody good after all the wading, pushing and tarmac – but next time I’ll probably just go from Capel to Crafnant and back again (unless it’s the height of summer).

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