Penmachno trails – How long to ride both loops? Which is better?

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  • Penmachno trails – How long to ride both loops? Which is better?
  • patriotpro

    I was going to say 3 hours n a bit with a few of you doing both loops.

    I don’t like the second loop but then I don’t really like riding Penmachno.


    Loop 1 is a good deal better in my view, really great fun in fact. My opinion may be skewed because when I went it was the coldest and wettest days riding I’ve had in a long time. We ended up pretty much riding down a river on loop 2. I bought lizard skins socks the very next day.

    Just checked Strava and we did both loops in 2hrs 32 (moving) or just over 3hrs in total.

    Premier Icon Scapegoat

    My lad and I rode it in 3.15 according to Strava, both on Souls. I’m 49 with a knackered hip….

    Both trails are OK. Loop one is not particularly technical. It flows nicely, and the last couple of descents are just awesome with some decent drops and chutes. . Loop 2 is fun, with more rocks and a few drops. You’ll get all sorts of different answers because everyone has different ideas of fun. MBR route guide tells us it has no rock gardens. Which is bollocks, but they are are all on the second loop. There are a couple of grinding climbing technical unhappiness sections, and I had to chivvy my lad into keeping going. BY the end of the second loop (which is an extension of loop one, so you do half loop one, branch onto loop 2, then rejoin for the last half of loop one)he was really pissed off, but cheered right up with some fine descending ….

    All in all a fine ride….. but then I liked Gwydr as well, so what do I know? 😀


    Me and my hate did them both in 1hr 55mins (moving time) and we weren’t exactly caning it to be honest.

    It’s about 30km all in with 835m of climbing and some good flowy trails, presonnally I prefer the 2nd loop out into the “wilds” but that might just be me


    Sounds good! Thanks for the posts. I am looking forward to it anyway.

    I assume everyone is referring to Dolen Machno as the loop 1 i.e the one that you start on?


    Seems like there is some mixed opinions of the trails but I’ll give it go anyway.


    About 2hrs at reasonable pace and quicker if pushing it. Loop 2 is very overgrown at the moment! I love Penmachno. It’s not a big up and down trail, but there’s plenty of single track to take as fast as you dare. The final descents are pretty cool too. 😀


    Three and a bit hours for me. Second loop is more xc, but can be rocky and wet a lot of the time.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    I love the place.

    It doesn’t feel as artificial as a lot of other trail centres, I can ride it all (and believe me, I’m a wuss) and it just has a really nice vibe to it.
    I prefer loop 1, but only because I’m more familiar with it.

    I think it flows really well, others don’t.

    Try it.
    Bet you like it.

    And I love Gwydr too.


    We are off to Penmachno tomorrow.

    We have a reasonable fitness and decent MTB bikes.

    Just wondering how long it will take to ride both loops together (Dolen Machno + Dolen Eryri)?

    Any advise on which loop is better?

    I downloaded the Penmachno trails map and says it will take between 2.5hrs and 5 hours but not sure how accurate those times are for someone with reasonable fitness and a few stop offs.

    Let me know your thoughts.



    Allow me to go against the grain as I prefer loop 2. Great fun. Even better in the rain.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Love the place, unless you go and park mid way (not sure how you get there) you need to ride loop 1 to do loop 2.

    Both great.


    Make sure you put a few quid in the honesty box as you leave the car park.
    It goes to pay for the upkeep.

    Premier Icon Haze

    Hard work back then but loved the whole lot.

    Must go back sometime…


    Thanks for the comments, Rode Penmachno today and it was great, really enjoyed it. Loop 1 was nice and flowing and loop 2 was nice and natural with some nice climbs. It was very overgrown on loop 2 though so was glad for the long sleeved top! Thanks to BBC weather for telling me it was going to be 20 degrees and sunshine…. when I arrived the clouds were low and it didn’t stop raining until packed the car up at the end. We left a decent amount of money in the honesty box as it was well worth the money and I appreciate it probably takes a few people a lot of their time volunteering to maintain the tracks.

    Crap, dull, no flow and half the second loop is permanently water logged. They employed irrigation engineers instead of trail builders…

    Honesty box? They need a suggestions box. “Learn to build trails” would be a start. It might be built and managed by volunteers but that’s no excuse for missing basic drainage techniques. If you make the trail lower than the surrounding land, of impermeable hard pack, and don’t use camber, culverts etc guess what you built a water course. Not like there’s 20 years of local experience to learn from.

    Not a big fan of the place 😉

    Ahhh, did diddums get a wet botty-wotty? Shame 🙄


    I’ll willy wave tomorrow after I have done both loops 😉

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