Pontfadog and the Vale of Llangollen
North Wales Mountain Bike Route Guide
This mountain bike route of 8.5 miles mainly consists of two big climbs and two big descents, from the Cieiorg Valley to the Vale of Llangollen and back. The descents are definitely worth the climbs, as are the stunning views. The ride starts in Pontfadog from a car park on the main road, next to the river and opposite the Post Office.
1. From the car park (GR234380) turn right and follow the main road a very short distance to a junction directly after the Post Office. Turn left and climb past the right hand side of Black Swan pub to the following junction (GR234382). Turn right and climb the lane out of the village through a couple of bends. After leaving the village the lane straightens out and climbs steeply through the trees. After going past the second junction with a track on the left the lane comes to a bridleway on the right a short distance later, after emerging from the trees (GR241387).
2. Turn right and descend the tight singletrack that sqeezes between the bushes to a gate in the trees at the bottom. After the gate go straight on through another gate a short distance later that leads to a stream crossing. Once across the stream climb a short way, bearing right, before descending and going over a horse stile to a junction with a lane (GR247386).
3. Turn left and climb the lane between the hedges. It soon bears right before coming to a junction with a track on the right (GR252388). Turn right and descend the double track to a junction directly after the cottages then turn left for a gentle but muddy climb through the woods. At the following four-way junction turn sharp left (GR255384). Climb the steep and loose track, which then flattens off before the next short climb to a junction. Continue straight on then follow the track as it bears right to a junction with a lane (GR254389).
4. Turn right and climb the lane to the next junction. Bear right and continue climbing to a junction with a house on the left (GR259392). Turn left and climb the steep lane through the bends. After a while, when the climb flattens off a bit, go straight across the crossroad. At the next junction go through the gate directly ahead onto the double track in the field (GR253404).
5. After taking in the great views of the Cheshire basin, the Vale of Llangollen and Worlds End, head off down the double track that is the top of the 'Three Trees' descent. Simply follow this fast rocky trail for about 1mile, going through a couple of gates on the way, to a junction directly after a sharp, gravelly right hand bend (GR237408). DO NOT continue down hill on the steep gravelly trail, or it'll be a hard climb back up!
6. At the junction turn sharp left and climb with the fence on the right, to a gate at the woods. Go through the gate and climb through the woods, then after the trail emerges from the trees continue up the rocky, rutted double track all the way to the gate at the top, while enjoying the views across the Vale of Llangollen on the right. Go through the gate and follow the muddy ruts a short distance to a gated junction with a lane (GR227398).
7. Turn right and follow the lane to a junction with the second lane on the left (GR224397). Turn left and descend the lane, which soon bears right to a junction in the bottom of a dip. Go straight on then climb the lane as it bears left to the next junction (GR223388). Take the lane on the left that soon starts to descend gently towards some trees on the left, where the lane steepens and comes to a junction with a lane on the left. Follow the lane straight on then go through a few bends and past a farm on the right. The lane then descends steeply to a junction with a track on the right where the lane turns sharp left (GR225382).
8. Jink right to continue descending straight on along the double track through the trees for a steep, fast, loose and rutted trail that also contains some nice little drops. At the crossroad junction with the first lane continue straight on to go down a tarmac drop leading to more descending on a short, steep, muddy and rutted section of trail. At the junction with the next lane (make sure you don’t fly across it) turn left (GR221373).
9. Follow the lane as it traverses the valley side then at the next junction continue straight on. At the following forked junction, where the lane bears right down hill, take the track on the left and climb into the trees (GR227375). A short distance up the climb turn right and descend the singletrack that traverses the valley side through the trees. At the next junction, after a short steep descent to a house, turn right and descend the tarmac track through a left hand bend to a crossroad junction with the main road in the bottom of the valley (GR231377). Turn left and follow the road back into Pontfadog to the car park by the bridge, on the right, to complete the ride.