North Wales Mountain Bike Route Guide
The Cli-machx in the Dyfi Forest, near Machynlleth, is a great man made mountain bike trail but I do find it a bit of a long way to go for such a short route, at just over 9 miles. To make it worth the trip I have extended it by adding in some of the natural trails the forest has to offer. It's not much longer at 14.6miles but there are an extra four great descents spread out across the route to spice things up.
1. Start from the Cli-machx car park (GR759063) and follow the Cli-machx trail up the long fire track climb. After the first section of singletrack (sidewinder) turn left onto the fire track (GR768072). Climb past the marked singletrack on the right (windy alley) to leave the Cli-machx trail. Continue up the fire track to the junction at the top (GR774078).
2. The junction is a wide three way fire track junction with the start of the last descent of the Cli-machx trail (tony the tiger) on the left. Turn right and climb the fire track, passing the singletrack trail (the end of - where's my ball?) on the left. The climb bears left then flattens off and straightens. At the start of the next left hand bend, where the trail begins to descend, turn hard right down a loose rocky track (GR778081). First is a little jump on the left then a larger jump on the right, they don’t have to be ridden though. A rutted berm and tight drop follows before a loose rocky and rooty blast down to the fire track at the bottom (GR778076).
3. Turn left onto the fire track to pick up the Cli-machx trial again for a section of singletrack (easy rider) a little later, on the left. At the end of singletrack turn right and leave the Cli-machx trail to descend a loose rocky track to a wide fire track junction (GR782078). Turn left, then immediately turn right down a loose rocky singletrack trail. At the T-junction a short distance later turn left for a fantastic section of trail that twists down the hill and ends with a really nice rock section. At the junction with the fire track at the bottom turn left (GR786077).
4. Go past the track on the right and climb the gully, keeping the stream on the right. Eventually turn right over the stream then left at the following four-way junction (GR786083). Continue climbing on fire track and go through a left hand hairpin follow by a long left hand bend that crosses the flank of the hill. After some time the trail descends then climbs through a couple of bends to a wide fire track junction, with the top of previous rocky descent on the left (GR782078). Turn right and climb the wide rocky trial to rejoin the Cli-machx trail. Continue up the climb to the junction at the top (GR781084).
5. Stay on the Cli-machx trail by following the singletrack (va-va-voom) off to the right. At the end of this trail turn right to leave the Cli-machx trail again. Turn left immediately down a thin rutted track that will probably see you whipped by thorny branches (GR789084). The pain is worth it though as the trail soon turns right and drops down a steep and very loose slate chute. When it is wet half of this trail turns into a stream so it is gouged out with off-camber sections, holes and steps. At the bottom (GR787083) turn right and climb the previously ridden fire track. Climb through the long left hand bend to a trail on the right where the fire track flattens off (GR785085).
6. Turn right, up the short, tricky start to the trail, then follow it as it bears right for a less steep but rutted, and muddy if wet, climb. Go past the top of the previous descent and rejoin the Cli-machx trail. Follow the wide rocky trail for a while then turn left on the marked singletrack (the artist). At the end of this short trail follow the signs left for a long fire track climb. Have fun on the next section of singletrack (better late than never) then follow the signs, along the fire track, to the next signed junction (GR781085).
7. Follow the Cli-machx signs and turn right up climb a steep rocky track. At the next junction go straight on to climb past the start of the singletrack (where's my ball?) on the left, to leave the Cli-machx trail again. This climb soon bears right and reaches the top of the ridge short while later (GR781087). Follow the trail off to the left for the very steep start of a great descent with loose rocks, mud and roots the whole way down. At the bottom turn left on the fire track (GR777089).
8. Follow the fire track for a while, through a right hand bend then down a fast descent. The track eventually starts climbing off to the left. Just before the fire track goes through another tight right hand bend, at a stream gully cut into the hillside, take the steep, muddy, rocky and rutted climb on the left, into the trees (GR765081). It is a tricky climb but while it may require some pushing it’s not too long. It winds up the hill, right then left, to come out at another section of fire track (GR767082).
9. Turn right and follow the fire track down hill to a right hand bend then climb to a junction (GR769079). Turn left and climb the fire track. After a while go past a track on the left and on to a three-way junction (GR773081). Turn right and continue climbing on fire track to the wide, previously visited, three way junction at the top (GR774078). Turn right and rejoin the Cli-machx trail for the long and fantastic final descent (tony the tiger). After this great final blast follow the signs back to the car park to complete the ride.