Moel Arthur Circuits
North Wales Mountain Bike Route Guide
This mountain bike route of just over 20 miles comprises two loops starting the car park at Moel Arthur in the Clwydian Range. The first loop is a fairly easy loop of 11miles with nothing too technical or too steep. The second loop, although shorter at 9.5miles, has some rocky, loose descents and climbs that are long and steep in places. Most of the ride takes place on rocky doubletrack but being the Clwyds if it is wet it will also be muddy.
1. From the car park (GR147658) turn right and follow the lane over the cattle grid. Descend the lane for about 1/3rd of a mile. After a right then left hand bend follow the signposted bridleway, on the next right hand bend, through a gate on the right, just before the lane starts descending steeply. After the gate follow the muddy double track along the contour of the hill. At the next junction follow the left hand track that descends past a pond on the right, to a gate. About 20m after the gate take the singletrack on the right that climbs away from the double track descent (GR139661). Follow this singletrack as it gently climbs through the gorse bushes, eventually bearing right to a small field at the top. Bear slightly right over the field and after a short distance pick up the double track descending off to the right to a gate. Go through the gate and descend to a junction. Turn right and descend the double track into the trees to a gate and a junction with a lane (GR136665).
2. Once through the gate turn right and climb the lane. After a long left hand bend the climb finishes at a junction where the lane turns right. Take the short track that climbs straight ahead into the car park (GR138668). Turn left in the car park to the four gates at the top of Llangwyfan forest. Go through the second gate from the right for a trail that descends gently through the trees. After an open section in the middle it drops back into the trees for a final twisty, muddy and rooty section. At the bottom bear right through a small gate and follow the track a short distance to a junction with a double track (GR126663).
3. Turn right and climb the double track for about 2miles across the flank of the hill below Penycloddiau Fort. There are a number of gates on this climb, but they are well spaced out and don’t interrupt the ride. About 3/4 of the way up the climb go straight on at a junction with a track on the left and climb towards the mast on the ridge (GR121680). At the top of the climb the track ends at a gate and junction beneath the radio mast (GR121689).
4. Directly after the gate turn right. The lane soon turns into grassy double track, which leads to a junction with two gates. Go through the gate straight ahead and follow the grassy and rutted track down hill. Go through the next gate and descend the loose rocky track to a junction with a lane, by a farm on the left. Go straight on and follow the lane for a fast finish to the descent. At the bottom the lane bears left and goes through a dip. Climb out of the dip then after the crest follow the lane a short way to a junction with a lane on the right (GR137701).
5. Turn right and climb the lane as it bears right to a junction just after a cattle grid. Turn right and follow the lane to the next junction (GR136695). Take the double track that climbs away to the left. Follow the track through a right hand bend where the track becomes muddier then go straight on past a track on the left. The track then goes up a short climb and comes to a junction at a small open grassy area. Turn left and descend, bearing left, down the muddy, rutted track. After passing a house on the left, go through a right hand bend and down to a junction with a lane (GR144686).
6. Turn left and follow the lane to the next junction, then turn right. At the next junction turn right again (GR147682). Climb this lane to the previously visited car park at the top of Llangwyfan forest. Bear left and continue along the lane. Descend through a long right hand bend then take the previously ridden double track on the left (GR136665). Be careful, it is all to easy to go too fast and overshoot this junction.
7. A short way up the track go through the gate and climb the double track to the next junction. Turn left and continue climbing the rutted double track. Go through the following gate to the small field at the top. Bear slightly left and pick up the singletrack through the gorse bushes. Descend this track as it bears left round the hill then go straight on at the junction at the end of the trail and climb to the gate. After the gate bear right and follow the double track along the contour of the hill to the gate at the other end. After the gate turn left and climb the lane back to the Moel Aruthur car park (GR147658).
8. To start the second loop leave the car park and turn left to follow the lane to the junction, at the start of the woods on the right (GR148659). Turn right on the dirt track then go through the gate and follow the trail as it climbs off gently to the left. The trail soon bears right and, after the crest, descends to a gate. After the gate drop down the fast double track, try to keep up your speed for the short climb that follows. At the junction at the top of this climb, where the trail bears right, go through the gate on the left signposted as a Byway (GR161661).
9. Go down the long, fast and straight descent covered in lots of rocks and mud, and usually a bit of water. Follow the trail straight ahead all the way to the bottom where it gets really rocky. Where the trail flattens off go through the short but very muddy ruts. Follow the track through a couple of bends to the next junction (GR171671). Turn left and follow the trail that soon steepens and turns into tarmac. Be careful as there are a few blind bends and it is usually green and slimy. Follow this lane down to a road junction at the bottom (GR174676).
10. Turn right and follow the main road over a crest. Descend past a crossroad with some dirt tracks, then go past the open junction on the left. After passing the next lane on the right the lane comes to a crossroad at the house on the right with the well kept hedges (GR177660). Turn right, following the sign for the viewpoint. Climb the lane for a while then turn right to a junction. Turn left and continue climbing then, at the next junction, go straight on. Go up the steepest part of the climb to a crossroad junction at the top (GR166653). Go straight on and continue up the gentle climb. At a junction with some tracks on the right bear left to stay on the tarmac. Climb past a farm on the left and go straight on to where the lane changes into a wide rocky track (GR160651).
11. Stay on this track and climb for just over a mile. There are a couple of gates on the way up, go through these all the way to the gate at the top of the climb, in the saddle on the ridge (GR145641). After the gate is a great view over the Vale of Clwyd that makes it a good spot to catch your breath and have some food. It is then time for another long rocky descent. Go straight on down the main trail, through a couple of corners and over some bedrock, before the loose, rocky main section of the descent. It starts off as double track scattered with small rocks but as you descend the amount of rocks increases. The rocks eventually give way to a fast hardpack trail that leads on to a short section of broken tarmac and a gate (GR168633). After the gate follow the tarmac down through a number of bends to the junction at the bottom (GR129633). Be careful as a lot of the corners are blind and the road is slippery.
12. At the crossroad turn right into Llangynhafal village. At the junction by the pub follow the lane off to the right. Continue along the lane past a few tracks and farms on the right to the next crossroad junction (GR126648). Turn right and climb the lane towards Moel Arthur. Climb, past a house on the left, all the way to a gate straight ahead, where the tarmac turns 90deg left (GR138652). Go through the gate and climb the steep, muddy trail following the line of trees on the left. The trail soon reduces in steepness and leads on to another gate. After the gate the trail soon comes out of the trees, widens and gives a view of the final part of the climb. Back off a bit and get ready for the steep final section that winds through a couple of bends to a gate at the top. Go straight on over the cattle grid and return to the Moel Arthur car park to complete the ride.