is only five minutes North of Betws-y-coed, has fantastic views and
some unique singletrack.
distance 28K (17 miles)
Grid references and map links from: Landranger OS 115
Snowdon and Caernarfon.
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1. 795 609 show
2. 772 598 show
Top of Spliff single
3. 758 586 show
Top of Ridge Single
4. 769 580 show
Short Steep road climb
5. 793 599 show
Top of Final Downhill
Turn across the famous bridge in the Betws town centre and drive two miles until you see the Forestry Commission sign (confusingly not marked Gwydyr). A short drive up this steep little access road brings you to the small Gwydyr car park outside the Forestry Commission office, empty when we arrived one fine Sunday morning, 10AM. The weather report was as usual, almost, but not quite, exactly unlike the perfect sunshine we found there.
Things were really hoting up by the time we bounced out of the car and ripped our bikes from the rack. A pair of happy looking horses snorted at us from the meadow. It dawned on me that they were happy because we were attracting the hordes of local midges from their itchy hides... We went in to a frenzy of repellent spraying till there was more chemical than oxygen in our vicinity and even the horses were repelled, cantering off in apparent distaste. I slipped on the tiny lightweight camera rucksack (Ha!) and we sped off up the forest road climb. After a short while we stopped speeding and just trundled, which soon became a crawl, ouch this is surely a climb of Trans-Alpine proportions. Seemingly days later the climb ends with a pair of characteristic Gwydyr
Death of a thousand
The first forks back from a fire road with a splendid view to help compensate for your flayed calves, almost double wide in places it tempts you to push the speed limits and go for broke. Which you could soon be, the cambered trail surface is higher than the surrounding ground, it's borders fringed with meaty, almost knife edged rocks. So you'd better not lose it down here then.
About this point we started meeting other riders and having set off from an empty car park we were a bit surprised, it seems the locals enter the trail from more than one starting point. Crossing a forest road bags the second trail with a more 'woodsy z-bends and switchbacks' feel. Forest roads bring you to a gentle descent through young conifers, short but sweet. The following section of single is Gwydyr's jewel in the crown, the view is simply stunning and it doesn't hurt that it's a rolling, not too technical section so you can take one, or even both eyes off the trail.
See the video
At the bottom is a huge wooden bench, named Spliff bench by the locals as it's perfect for a chill out session if you haven't already had enough of the fabulous view, we certainly hadn't. We raced on through another section with a good jump then a short tarmac section and fire road climb before a ridge descent.>
in text only form.