The Pheasant Track
North Wales Mountain Bike Route Guide
This mountain bike route of 20.1 miles starts from Glyn Ceiriog in Wrexham County, North Wales. It uses trails in the Ceiriog Valley to the south and west of Glyn Ceiriog, which includes the Pheasant Track across Bryn Du. The route is about 40% tarmac but this is generally on the flat and the climbs, which helps reserve your energy for the fantastic off-road sections.
1. Start from the car park by the community centre (GR204379). Turn left out of the car park and head along the main road towards Dolywern. At the third lane on the left, on the edge of Glyn Ceiriog, just before the main road crosses a stream turn left (GR207379). Follow the lane through a few bends to the next junction then turn right. Follow the lane along the valley, going past a couple of junctions and a few houses on the left, to a forked junction where the left hand lane climbs and the right hand lane descends (GR220373).
2. Take the left hand lane and traverse the side of the valley. Go straight on at the following crossroad junction with a track. At the next four way junction continue straight ahead along the lane. A short distance later, at a forked junction where the lane bears right down hill, take the wide track on the left and climb into the trees (GR227375). A short distance later take the singletrack on the right and traverse the valley side through the trees. At the next junction, by a house, turn right and descend the tarmac track to a crossroad junction with the main road in the bottom of the valley (GR231377).
3. Go straight across the main road and follow the lane to a junction directly after a house, shortly after crossing the river. Turn left and climb steeply for the start of the first long climb. Climb into the trees to the following crossroad junction then turn right and climb the tarmac track (GR233377). Climb the tarmac until it reaches a forked junction where it gives way to dirt tracks. Take the left hand track and continue climbing. Go straight on at the next junction and follow the track to a crossroad junction on the top of the hill. Continue straight on and follow the lane to the next junction (GR244357). Turn right and descend to the next junction, with a double track signed as a bridleway, on the right (GR244355).
4. Turn right and descend the track, which at first is fast double track. After a while the track thins and the bushes and trees pull in tighter on either side just before reaching a horse stile. After going over the sleepers continue down the steep, tight and rocky track. Near the bottom of the track go over another horse stile for a bit more rocky descending before reaching the final horse stile at the junction at the bottom. Turn left at the junction then descend the lane through a right hand bend to a junction with a lane on the left, by some stone buildings (GR232363). Turn left and climb steeply up the lane. At the following junction turn left and climb the lane to a house. Go right then left around a house for the steepest part of the climb that ends at a junction (GR227359).
5. Turn left and follow the lane for about 1 mile then go straight on at the junction with a lane on the left. At the next junction a little further on turn hard right, almost back on yourself (GR246353). The lane climbs, bearing left before straightening out and going past a junction with a track on the left, which is then followed by a forked junction. Bear left and follow the lane past the trees on the right. After a while descend to a junction (GR226340). Turn right and follow the lane left then right through a farm to a gated junction with a bridleway on the left directly after the last farm building (GR224340).
6. Turn left through the gate and descend through a dip to the next junction. Turn right and climb the double track towards the trees on the ridge. Bear right on the track and go past the old hanger, then follow the grassy double track parallel to the line of trees on the left. At the end of the trees, go through the gate in the left hand corner of the field. Go straight on and follow the grassy track in the direction the fence on the left. After the crest descend straight on to a gate in the left hand corner of the next field (GR204338).
7. Go through the gate and follow the double track through a left hand bend to the next gate. After the gate descend through a couple more gates on the wide, rocky track. Go straight on at a junction with a track on the left, then directly after follow the track 90deg right and descend to a gate at a farm. Go through this gate and the next and descend to a 3-way junction at the lanes. Go straight on to a gated junction a short distance later (GR189335). Go through the gate on the left, turning almost 180deg, then descend the double track through a long right hand bend to a farm. Go straight on through the farm, where the track becomes a lane. Descend the lane to a crossroad junction at the bottom. Turn right across the stone bridge then climb to the junction in Tregeiriog (GR177338).
8. Turn left and follow the lane along the bottom of the valley to the next junction, with a lane on the right, directly after crossing a stream (GR168334).Turn right on the lane by the stream, then a short distance later take the next lane on the left and climb steeply between the hedges. Go through the gate at the farm then keep climbing the lane straight ahead all the way to a T-junction at the top, by a house on the left (GR157335). Turn right and continue climbing on a much gentler gradient along a wide rocky track. Stay on the main track and go past the tracks on either side. Continue along the main trail where it kicks up and becomes more broken, to follow a line of trees on the right to a gate at the top (GR156350).
9. After the gate go straight on across flanks of Bryn Du on the muddy, rocky and rutted double track. Descend to a ford on a right hand bend then climb, bearing left, to a gate near the crest of the next hill (GR162375). Go straight on through the gate and over the top of the hill then descend the fast, rocky track on the other side. There are a couple of gates on this descent, but only the middle one is usually closed. The start of the descent is a very rocky double track then near the bottom, after a few bends, it crosses some off camber slate bedrock, sketchy but great fun. The descent finishes at a gated offset junction (GR170369).
10. After the gate go straight on through a dip then climb the lane right to a junction (GR171371). Turn right and climb the steep lane, past a farm on the left, to the next junction. Take the second track on the left and climb steeply past the right hand side of the house. Go straight on at the junction at the top of the hill then bear left and descend the lane through a series of bends. Follow the lane right at the bottom of the dip then climb to a four way junction (GR189382).
11. Turn right and follow the wide dirt track past the farm on the left. Stay on the main trail, ignoring both the gated tracks on the right for a descent that starts with wide double track then, at the second track on the right, drops left over a step down into a rocky eroded gully. The descent then goes through a couple of naturally bermed corners. At the junction after the berms, on a right hand bend, follow the main track right. The track then bears left before becoming a tarmac lane. Go straight on and descend a short distance to a junction, where the lane turns left (GR203381). Follow the lane left then go through a right hand hairpin before reaching a forked junction. Take the left hand lane for a short steep climb. At the next forked junction bear right along the double track that goes past a line of cottages on the left and a red phone box. The track ends at a junction by the church (GR204384).
12. Turn right and descend the very steep lane to a junction on the lower edge of the church yard. Bear left, keeping to the wall of the church yard, and follow the level track that soon comes to a gate (GR205384). Directly before the gate turn right and descend the singletrack between the hedges. This fun track eventually bears left and comes out at a house. Follow the track past the house then bear right and follow the double track down to a junction with a lane (GR209381). Turn right and follow the lane to a junction directly after the very small bridge. Turn left and follow the lane, by the culvert on the left, to a junction with the main road on the outskirts of Glyn Cieiriog (GR207379). Turn right and follow the main road back to the community centre car park to complete the ride (GR204379).