Moel Famau and the Vale of Clwyd
North Wales Mountain Bike Route Guide
The Clwydian Range, North Wales
(For Experienced Riders)
OS Explorer 265
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Moel Famau and the Vale of Clwyd
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Moel Famau and the Vale of Clwyd Route
This is a 16 mile mountain bike route around Moel Famau in the Clwydian Range, a chain of hills just inside the North Wales border near Chester. The riding on this route, although not very technical, is enjoyable as it has a good mixture of trails and a great descent from Moel Famau into the Vale of Clwyd. The trails are pretty much ridable all year but when it's wet it's muddy.
1. Start from the Moel Famau lower car park (GR172611). Follow the trail out the back of the car park, signed as a cycle route, almost opposite the entrance barrier. Follow it around to the right, past a junction with a footpath on the left, to where it meets a fire track on a bend. Climb straight ahead up the firetrack. Go straight on at the first junction to the second junction, at the crest (GR178616). Turn left up a short climb then go through a left hand bend to a junction a little while after (GR174617). Go straight on at the next junction and follow the trail as it contours around the eastern slope of Moel Famau. Keep to the main trail as it climbs and descends through a number of bends. The fire track eventually finishes on a descent where it turns into a thin rocky track with bushes on either side. This turns left in a dip before climbing to a gate (GR169633).
2. After the gate turn left and climb towards the trees on the steep grassy trail by a drystone wall. Go through the gate at the top then follow the, usually muddy, trail by the trees on the left. The trail starts becoming firmer before climbing to a crossroad junction, with a steep trail on the left leading to the summit of Moel Famau (GR163633). Go straight on along the muddy singletrack through the heather. This track soon bears left up a short, steep climb. After reaching the top descend the singletrack that eventually jinks right through a drystone wall. Continue straight ahead after the wall for some rocky sections a little further on before reaching a muddy and rocky junction. Take the left hand track to go straight on through the patch of mud and rocks to a junction immediately after with a steep grassy climb straight ahead (GR156630).
3. Go straight on up the climb, following the drystone wall on the left. This section can be a bit wet and muddy and is usually a push but fortunately only short. Near the top go left across the fallen section of wall then turn right and follow the wall up to a gate on the ridge of the Clwydian Range (GR156629). Go through the gate then straight on to a crossroad junction with Offa's Dyke path a short distance later. Go straight across the junction to start a long, grassy descent that drops into the Vale of Clwyd. After a few winding bends the trail bears square right then flattens off for a traverse. At the end of the traverse the track turns left and steepens dramatically for the main part of the descent. The grassy double track eventually comes to a forked junction with a marker post. Bear right then, a short distance later, go through the gap in the dry stone wall. After the wall follow the track right to a junction with a rocky double track at a bridleway marker post (GR143627).
4. Bear right for a short descent then follow the track left through a stream crossing. After the stream climb a short way to a grassy trail at the top. Follow the grassy double track until it eventually comes to a gate in some bushes, directly ahead. Don’t go through the gate but turn left and follow the fence down to the small gate in the bottom corner of the field (GR137633). Go through the gate and descend between the fences. As the trail descends it becomes a sunken trail through the trees. At the end go through a gate to a junction with a lane. Go across the lane and continue descending along the bridleway on the opposite side. This is a nice fast trail but be careful of the stream in the deep gulley. The trail comes out onto a lane at the village of Gellifor (GR126626).
5. Go straight on past a lane on the left to the next junction at the end of the lane. Turn left and follow the road to another junction and turn left again. Follow this lane for a couple of miles and after the second crossroad take the dirt track on the right, just before a house on the right (GR133603). Follow the muddy double track between the hedges. When the double track eventually gives way to tarmac, continue straight on to where the lane ends at a junction on a bend in the main road (GR141588).
6. Carefully cross the main road and follow the lane on the other side. Go right at the next junction a short distance later. Follow the lane ahead for about 1 mile to a junction with a lane on the right signed to Ruthin, next a house on the left. Go straight on to a junction with a lane on the left immediately after, signed as a bridleway (GR142573). Turn left and follow the lane to a farm. Go straight on through the farm then climb towards the trees. At the first small junction follow the lane to the left. Go up the steep climb to the next junction, by a house on the right (GR155576).
7. Go straight on and climb the dirt track into the woods. Go through the gate then follow the main track ahead through the trees, ignoring the tracks on either side. At a junction at the top edge of the woods, where the right hand track leads to a house, take the left hand track that leads to a forked junction shortly after. Go through a gate on the right to exit the woods. Climb the track, keeping the trees on the left then go through a left hand hairpin at the house and climb back into the trees. After the trees bear right through a field then follow the track ahead, past some houses, to a junction with the A494 by the Clwyd Gate Hotel (GR163581).
8. Turn right and descend the main road a short way then, just after bollards, take the track climbing away on the left (GR166582). At the houses follow the track right and go over the cattle grid then follow the double track as it climbs steadily across the side of the hill. At the junction at the end of the gorse hedge on the left bear left up a short, steep grassy climb to a gate (GR170589). After the gate follow the singletrack into the trees. On the other side of the trees keep going straight ahead through the gates and fields. After a while the grassy trail descends to another gate. Go through the gate then on to a junction in the bottom of a dip. Turn left and climb the steep, grassy track along the edge of the field to a gate at a farm (GR172597).
9. Once through the gate turn right and go through two more gates set close together. Continue climbing, on a gentler incline, along the double track as it follows the drystone wall. At the top the track bears right and flattens off, still following the wall. The track then bears left before coming to a junction with the grassy, rutted double track. Continue straight on and descend to a gate. Go through the gate then after a short distance go through the next gate to a wide hard pack track. Bear right and descend the wide track. Keep descending the track ahead, which soon bears left. Go through the gate about 1/3 of the way down and continue descending ahead on the increasingly rocky trail that ends at a gate and a junction at the bottom (GR179611). After the gate turn left on the lane then follow it through a right hand bend to where it ends at a junction. Turn left and follow the lane to the lower Moel Famau car park on the right to complete the ride (GR172611).