North Wales Mountain Bike Route Guide
Ceiriog Valley, North Wales
(Requires advanced skills and fitness)
OS Explorer 255
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(available via the full MapMyRide page for this route, on the right hand side of the page)
Pontfadog Enduro Route
This mountain bike route of 16.7 miles starts in the village of Pontfadog in the Ceiriog Valley, North Wales. It follows the ‘winch and plummet’ format of Enduro events with non-technical climbs that get you to the top of some steep, rocky and technical descents. It goes back through Pontfadog in the middle, which has a shop and a pub for mid-ride refreshments to keep your strength up for the final climb and descents.
1. Start from the car park next to the bridge, just off the main road (GR234380). Turn left out of the car park then at the three-way junction turn left and cross the bridge. On the opposite side follow the lane left and climb to a junction. Turn sharp right then climb the lane past the houses to a crossroad junction (GR233377). Go straight on up the tarmac climb through the trees. 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 then through a left then right hand bend before reaching the top. After the top continue straight ahead to a crossroad junction (GR243361).
2. Turn left and climb the muddy double track that soon flattens off before ending at a junction with a lane (GR248362). Turn left and descend the lane. Go straight on at the next junction with a lane on the left then go straight on at the following junction with a lane on the right by a farm (GR251365). Continue straight on down the hill. The road soon gives way to a fast, loose and rocky track. Ignore any tracks off to either side and follow the main trail down through the trees. Near the bottom the track emerges from the trees, before coming to an end at a crossroad junction, with a view of Chirk Castle on the left (GR266369). Turn left and continue descending on a rocky track between the hedges. Near the end bear right around a house to a junction with a lane. Take care as the track comes straight out onto the lane and there is no visibility of what’s coming (GR267372).
3. Turn left and descend the lane to the next junction in Bronygarth. Go straight on and follow the lane out of the village then descend gently to a forked junction (GR259376). Take the left hand lane that climbs for some time between the hedges. On the way up the lane goes left then right around a farm on the right before eventually reaching a plateau and going past a house on the left. The lane then descends to a junction (GR244380). Go straight on, past the lane descending on the right, and climb to a crossroad junction with dirt tracks on either side, the right hand one leading down to a house. Follow the lane straight on and descend a short way to the next junction (GR239379).
4. Turn sharp left and climb the wide dirt track. At the following junction go straight on and continue climbing by the woods on the right. At the top of this long climb continue following the track as it bears right then left. The track soon becomes a lane that descends to a junction (GR250364). Turn right and climb the previously ridden lane. Climb the lane straight on over the crest and descend to a junction on a left hand bend. Bear left and descend to the next junction with a double track on the right sign posted as a bridleway (GR243355).
5. Turn right and descend the track, which at first is a fast double track. After a while the track thins where the bushes and trees pull in 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 (GR234361). Turn right and climb the lane, going past a junction with the track on the left, all the way to a crossroad junction at the top (GR243361).
6. Turn left and follow the previously ridden double track across the top of the hill. The track soon starts descending. Follow the track left then right before coming to a forked junction (GR237367). Take the left hand track and continue descending. Keep following the track, which becomes tarmac halfway down, straight on to the crossroad junction on the edge of Pontfadog (GR233377). Go straight on and descend the lane past the houses to the junction just after. Turn hard left and descend the lane, which soon bears right over the bridge. At the junction directly after the bridge turn right and descend past the car park to a junction with the main road (GR234380).
7. Turn right and follow the main road a short distance to a junction directly after the Post Office. Turn left and climb past the right hand side of the Swan Inn 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 emerging from the trees continue climbing past a junction with a singletrack bridleway on the right to the following junction with a lane on the left (GR243388).
8. Turn sharp left and climb the steep, broken lane. After a while the lane leaves the cover of the trees and flattens off slightly. Just as the lane bears right it comes to a junction with a rocky singletrack on the left descending between the bushes (GR238392). Turn left and descend the steep track that goes in a straight line down the hill. The rocks and ruts get bigger as the track descends before ending with a rocky drop to a junction. Turn left and go past the flat forest track then descend the very steep lane to where it ends at a junction on the outskirts of Pontfadog (GR236385).
9. Turn right and descend to the next junction at the back of the village (GR234382). Turn right and climb the lane to a junction with a track on the left directly at the far side of a farm (GR231384). Turn left and follow the muddy, grassy double track between the hedges to where it ends at a forked junction by a house. Climb the steep track on the right. The track soon flattens off for a nice bit of singletrack through the trees. The singletrack ends with a short climb to a junction with a muddy double track. Turn left and descend the double track to a junction with a lane (GR228376).
10. Go straight on and follow the lane to a four-way junction (GR226374). Turn right and climb the steep lane. After a while go past a crossroad junction, at some buildings on the left, before continuing on to a forked junction with a gravel track on the right. Take the lane on the left that soon goes between some houses before climbing steeply. Go past a gravel track on the right to the next junction (GR218378). Turn right and continue climbing steeply then follow the lane up through a left hand hairpin, past a junction on the right. After the lane emerges from the trees it comes to a gated junction with a track on the right sign posted as a bridleway (GR219380).
11. Turn right through the gate then climb the double track by the wall on the right. At the next junction, where the obvious double track turns left and climbs into the field, go straight ahead on the grassy track. At the next junction, a short distance later, continue ahead on the left hand side of the wall and climb through the edge of the field to a small gate in the corner. Go straight on through the gate and follow the muddy singletrack by the fence on the right. After reaching the brow of the hill continue ahead and descend to where the track ends at a gated junction with a lane (GR225380).
12. Go through the gate then turn right and descend the lane 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). Take the track on the right to descend the dirt double track straight ahead through the trees. After a couple of bends the track straightens out for a steep, fast, loose and rutted trail that also contains some nice drops. At the crossroad junction with the lane continue straight on and go down the tarmac then drop between the hedges for more descending on a short, steep, muddy and rutted section of trail that ends at a junction with a lane (GR221373).
13. Turn left and follow the lane as it traverses the valley side to the next, previously visited, junction. Go straight on and follow the lane to a forked junction (GR227375). Take the track on the left and climb into the trees. A short distance up the climb turn right and descend the previously ridden singletrack that traverses the valley side through the trees. At the end of the track go straight on down a short, steep descent to the junction by the house. Turn right then 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.