The Ruthin and Moel Famau Round
North Wales Mountain Bike Route Guide
This mountain bike route of 18.4 miles starts from Ruthin in North Wales. It is essentially one big climb and one big descent around the far side of Moel Famau, following the line of the Clwydian Range. There is a good mixture of trails with double track and singletrack, loam and rocks all combined with stunning views across this area of outstanding natural beauty.
1. Start from the Craft Centre car park in Ruthin (GR125586). At the junction at the exit of the car park turn right then follow the road past Tesco, on the left, to the roundabout. Take the second exit and follow the A494 road through Ruthin. At the next road junction follow the road square left. A short distance later the road turns square right and comes to junctions with two roads on the left (GR127581). Take the second road on the left and follow it out of Ruthin. After going through a cutting in the red bedrock the road comes to a junction (GR132579). Bear right and follow the road between the hedges all the way to where it ends at a junction. Turn right to a junction immediately after with a dirt double track on the left signed as a bridleway (GR142573).
2. Follow the track through the farm then climb towards the trees. At the junction after the farm climb the steep lane on the left to a junction, by a house on the right (GR155576). 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).
3. 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).
4. 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 (GR172611).
5. Turn right into the car park then follow the trail, signed as a cycle route, out the back of the car park almost opposite the entrance barrier. Follow the track around to the right, past a junction with a footpath on the left, then climb to where it meets a fire track on a hairpin bend. Climb straight ahead up the fire track. 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 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).
6. After the gate turn left and climb towards the trees on the 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 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 (GR156630).
7. Take the left hand track to go straight on through the patch of mud and rocks. Directly before the grassy track kicks up the final steep climb to the ridge, turn square right and follow the muddy and rocky track that runs parallel to the ridge, on the left. Follow this to a junction with a concessional track on the right that goes over a low jumble of rocks (GR153630). Turn right over the rocks then at the next junction immediately after turn left. Follow the singletrack through the heather as it undulates around the hill. After a while the track goes down a short, steep descent before reaching a vague forked junction just after a low broken stone wall across the trail. Go straight on and descend to a junction with a rocky double track (GR146642),
8. Turn left and climb the double track to a gate in the stone wall on the ridge. After going through the gate there is a great view over the Vale of Clwyd, which makes a good spot to catch your breath and have some food. It is then time to start the best descent of the ride. Go straight on, down the rocky double track. As the descent drops through a number of corners the rocks increase. The rocks eventually give way to fast hardpack that leads on to a short section of tarmac before reaching a gate (GR168633).
9. After the gate descend the lane. Keep your speed down as the next junction isn't far down the lane and it's quite easy to overshoot. In the first bends take the track on the left signed as a bridleway, on a left hand bend next to a house (GR138633). Follow the dirt track as it climbs through the bushes to a small gate. Once through the gate go straight on and follow the grassy track. After a while the track climbs and bears left before coming to a short rocky descent to a ford on a right hand hairpin. Go through the stream then climb a short way to a junction (GR143627).
10. Go straight on and follow the double track across the field. A short distance later, where the double track becomes a thin grassy track, continue straight on and descend diagonally across the field to a low bridleway marker post. Continue following the trail as it contours along the side of the hill in the direction of the wall below on the right. At the end of the wall turn left and follow the track up the left hand side of the stream gulley. At the following junction take the right hand fork to continue up the left hand side of the stream. Not long after bear right through a ford and climb to a gate (GR146622).
11. Go through the gate and climb the track straight on, going through a small boggy patch, to a bridleway marker post in the bottom of a grassy field. Bear right and climb diagonally across the field to a junction near a gate in the wall ahead (GR145620). Go through the gate then bear left, away from the wall, to traverse the field on the vague grassy track heading towards a marker post, with a line of trees on the right. At the far side of the field drop right onto the benched double track then go straight ahead through a gap in the trees. In the field on the other side follow the vague singletrack that traverses the steep slope to a marker post then follow the bridleway arrow and drop steeply to the gate in the bottom corner of the field by the farm (GR144616). After going through the gate drop through the next field, keeping to the fence by the farm on the right, to a gate at the bottom. Go through this gate and join the double track (GR144615).
12. Continue descending straight ahead on the double track to a tarmac junction. Turn right then follow the lane through a left hand bend and descend to a junction by a house (GR137613). Go straight on and descend the signed bridleway along the grassy singletrack down the left hand side of the houses. Keep following this track until it eventually bears right to a junction with a lane (GR136613). Turn left to the junction immediately after then take the right hand lane. A short distance later, by a house on the left, continue straight on along the track through the cutting. This track bears right then left before coming to a junction by some buildings on the right. Continue straight on down the grassy singletrack, going through all the gates, to where it ends at a farm. Go straight on through the farm to a gated junction with a lane (GR126607).
13. Turn left and follow the lane to the second junction, a crossroad junction signed as a cycleway to Ruthin on the right (GR132603). Turn right and follow the lane all the way to where it ends at a junction with the A494 in Ruthin (GR127585). Turn right and follow the main road to the roundabout a short distance later. Take the fourth exit from the roundabout, signed for the Craft Centre. After passing Tesco, on the right, turn left into the Craft Centre car park to complete the ride.