Penmachno

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  • Penmachno
  • GolfChick
    Member

    It’s all marked out but dont expect visitor centre facilities as its one of the more ‘back country’/natural approaches to a route. Drive back to nearby Betwsy afterwards for somewhere to eat and drink. we’ve been once before and hated it but I think the weather altered our decision and judgement so we’re going back soon to give it a second chance. From what i hear its very much marmite.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Its ace! Except in the winter when its the wettest, coldest place on earth! Definitely ride it when its dry. Its great fun in a wooded single track way. Some stunning views if you can actuality see anything. Chances are you won’t see anyone else all day.

    discoduck
    Member

    Try the Chippy on the Bridge at Betswy,

    stumpy01
    Member

    Penmachno is one of my favourite trail centre routes. Always seems to be wet though.

    And as above, it’s not really a trail centre really. The car park is just a small layby on the access road.

    poonprice
    Member

    Except in the winter when its the wettest, coldest place on earth!

    100% agree, I did it late one afternoon and it chucked it down all the way round, the tracks were like rivers and the wind really picked up.

    Enjoyed it, but would love to try it on a nice summers day.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    We were stupid enough to ride it in January when the snow was melting off the tops. And the trail does literally become a stream, as we sloshed through it all the way around. I can say , without a doubt, it is the coldest and wettest I have ever been on a bike. And I live in Lancashire! 😯 despite having decent winter gear on, I couldn’t feel my hands or feet by half way round. I’ve been back in better weather and it redeemed itself though.

    Tom B
    Member

    I love the place, ridden it in the snow and all sort. I’ve even ridden after two weeks of no rain and it was still soaking!

    Premier Icon lowey
    Subscriber

    Very marmite. Personally its one of my favourite man made tracks I;ve ever ridden. Loop 2 is a bit pedally and is there really just to pad out the distance. Loop 1 is ace. Hit it fast and its a real blast.

    Some great natural riding in the area too though. If you have time and a GPS I’d be doing Loop of Llyn Cowlyd

    I have never been so wet and cold as a this January riding around Penmachno. My feet finally felt normal after stockport on the way home (no joke). Still liked it but I actually prefer the Marin Trail around the corner.

    Stevelol
    Member

    It has a really unique feel compared to other man made trails, it feels very fast because a lot is really narrow single track, be prepared for standing water and nettle stings and you’ll love it.

    zedz
    Member

    Have ridden it 3 times in last 3 months. It always seems to have some wet bits even when the weather has been absolutely dry 😯

    Last time we were there was two weeks ago it had been raining a bit and then the sun came out and the light through the trees was absolutely amazing, backlight cutting through the trees highlighting steam coming off the drying trails! Nice and quiet, fantastic views and easy waymarking.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    The “drainage” is genius, we did it on a dry summer’s day, everything apart from the trail was bone dry but luckily the trail had remained underwater because of the canal banks they’ve built. Bizarre tbh. But fab trail anyway.

    mmel
    Member

    I was there a couple of weeks ago and all that is said above is true. It is always wet, even after a long dry spell but if you go with the attitude of once your wet you can’t get wetter, the trails are really quite good. Almost everything is on singletrack and there are some really good twisty narrow sections that flow well. The climbs aren’t too bad either.

    I’ve ridden there twice now and look forward to going again. Just make sure you weatherproof yourself and your bike as well as you can, and take some warm dry clothes to change into afterwards!

    Premier Icon chrisdw
    Subscriber

    Its very overgrown at the moment. Just so you know! Expect some bramble slashes !

    Premier Icon offthebrakes
    Subscriber

    Some great natural riding in the area too though. If you have time and a GPS I’d be doing Loop of Llyn Cowlyd

    I did that route a couple of weeks back! Really enjoyed it on a sweltering hot afternoon, although being from the South I don’t get much practice riding rocks – by the end my rock-skills had progressed from “pitiful” to “poor”.

    The road descent to Trefriw was a strange finish to a MTB ride, dropping nearly 400m on tarmac. Great fun for a road though, loose, very steep, loads of hairpins, would be scary on a road bike. Would also make an epic road climb!

    As for Penmachno, holds up very well in the wet, one of my favourite trail centres.

    Premier Icon mtbguiding
    Subscriber

    Great trail/trails. Pretty much run by volunteers too… The Eagles in Penmachno is excellent too – no need to go to Betws-y-coed for food if it’s open. Agree re the Cowlyd loop – a real gem. But there is just no way to avoid that road descent 🙁 It may be better started at capel Curig, that way it at least comes in the middle so you get the singletrack from Crimpiau at the end 🙂

    smudge
    Member

    Agree with the Cowlyd loop, mega classic of a ride and the views especially one will take your breath away as you don’t expect it.

    Premier Icon Fantombiker
    Subscriber

    I need to go the Betws y coed area next week and have some time for MTB! Never been to Penmachno, what’s it like and is the trail marked or do I need a gps file. Cheers

    Premier Icon Fantombiker
    Subscriber

    That Cowlyd loop looks good, I prefer wilderness xc routes rather than trail centres anyway. For some reason I can’t download the gpx file off the site mentioned, does anyone have a gpx file they could email me?
    cheers

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
    Subscriber

    There are a couple of options for avoiding the road descent, they’re just a bit cheeky.

    Have ridden it twice now and agree with what’s been said above about loop 2 being a little uninspiring. If i visit again I won’t be doing loop 2 as (IMO) all the best riding is on the first loop.

    Having said that, there are some stunning views off the top of loop 2. Great for lunch breaks if it’s not raining and the midges aren’t about!

    Lester
    Member

    Went there a couple of weeks ago, loop 1 my first experience of riding in Wales, i found it quite hard but very rewarding, i was with much better riders than me who dragged me along with them, thanks guys.
    Its a nice mix of riding and ill remember it fondly. Yes it was very wet but i didnt notice as i was having so much fun.
    loop 2 is a lot more pedally and took a very similar time as loop 1 which i got much more out of.

    Premier Icon monkeysfeet
    Subscriber

    Love the place. Some really good singletrack. As a local I am used to riding in the wet! As has been said, it is not a trail centre, so for food pop in to Betws where there is loads of choice. It can be exposed so treat it as if you were riding au naturel.

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    Northwind is spot on as usual. Seems to be the centre of a weird sub-set if the MTB world, the “water up to my hubs at all time”

    They must hold the world champs at Penmachno 🙂

    big yim
    Member

    I loved the place when we went. If I went again I would just do the main loop. The last downhills are amazing. And puts a real grin on your face.
    Not sure about the rain as when we went it was hotter than the sun.

    Premier Icon mtbguiding
    Subscriber

    Fantombiker, PM me for a GPX of Cowlyd. No wonder I can’t make a living out of selling guidebooks or guiding people 🙂

    Premier Icon mtbguiding
    Subscriber

    Hey Mrhoppy, any advice/pointers/gpx of cheeky sections?

    Loop two is worth doing (well, adding-on really as it’s not a separate loop). Otherwise it’s a bit short IMO.
    You WILL get wet. Very wet. Even if it’s a glorious sunny day you will get wet.
    If you have time, get over to the Marin trail and ride that afterwards. It gets a lot of stick on here for not being all gnar-core overgrown BMX track, but it’s alright.
    Try the Stables in B-y-C for plentiful food and beerage.

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
    Subscriber

    Well a friend recommends the Fp that runs down to Gellilydan, I found singletrack running through Coed Creggan to Trefriw, I then went up through the Marin Trail to the South end of Llyn Geirionydd before heading over to Cornel.

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