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Cwmcarn Trail Centre — divine singletrack in the valleys of South Wales

Katherine Moore

Cwmcarn Trail Centre — divine singletrack in the valleys of South Wales

Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore

5

Tours

03:28 h

20.5 mi

2,750 ft

Nestled in the valleys of South Wales, Cwmcarn offers a trail centre with a real punch! Technical challenges await both going up and down, with a range of red-rated, downhill and natural trails that are best suited to more experienced mountain bikers.

Two red-rated trails offer exploration either side of the valley, with the 8 mile (13 km) Twrch trail and the slightly longer 8.8 mile (14.2 km) Cafall trail. Both offer rocky, technical climbs with flowing descents that make the most of the elevation gain. Prepare to be wowed by the views from these open trails if you’re lucky enough to visit on a clear day.

There are two downhill trails to ride, too: the original Y Mynydd and the newer Pedalhounds track. You can either pedal up to these using the trails, fire roads and Cwmcarn Forest Drive or book onto the uplift service. If you enjoy the competitive side of mountain biking, look out for local racing series on these tracks.
Opened in 2021, the blue-rated Pwca trail is a more accessible option for beginner and novice riders.

Rated as a three-dot trail, Y Mynydd is the harder of the two, and should only be attempted by experienced, capable mountain bikers using full-face helmets and body armour. Long travel bikes are also highly recommended.

As well as the established trails, there’s an incredible network of off-piste, natural and steep trails to explore, if you wish. You can find these signposted at the sides of the main trails.

Riders will be pleased to hear that there’s a visitor centre and cafe on site too. Raven’s Cafe has a good range of drinks, snacks and meals with indoor and outdoor seating. You can also find public toilets and showers just a short walk from the car park and bike wash. There’s a bike shop, Ps Cycles, for any last-minute purchases or mechanical help.

If you’re visiting from further afield and would like to make a weekend of it, you can camp at the trail centre. There’s a choice of camping pitches for tents, caravans and motorhomes, as well as glamping pods and luxury lodges. Do make sure you book in advance though, as it can quickly get booked up.

For riders who’d rather take the uplift than pedal, check out Cwmdown (cwmdown.co.uk) for more details on how to book.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Twrch red trail — Cwmcarn Trail Centre

    Difficult
    01:28
    8.07 mi
    5.5 mph
    1,175 ft
    1,175 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Stretching for 13 kilometres (8 miles), Twrch is one of two red-rated trails at Cwmcarn, combining some classic Welsh trail centre techy climbing with some thrilling downhill segments.

    

    The trail takes you up to the south-east of the valley, towards the peaks of Twmbarlwm and Medart, from where you can

    by Katherine Moore

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  • Difficult
    01:33
    8.90 mi
    5.8 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,300 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Cafall shares the same starting climb as Twrch, but when you reach the Cwmcarn Forest Drive, these two red-rated trails split. To carry on along Cafall, follow the purple dog, symbolising Cafall, King Arthur’s dog, used in the hunt for the great boar that gives its name to the Twrch trail.

    

    You continue

    by Katherine Moore

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  • Difficult
    00:18
    1.70 mi
    5.6 mph
    275 ft
    275 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Cwmcarn's most recent addition, the blue-rated Pwca Trail gives a great option for beginner riders or more experienced mountain bikers looking for a quick warm up before heading onto more technical trails.

    

    In true Cwmcarn style, despite the absence of technical trail features, it still has its fair share

    by Katherine Moore

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  • Difficult
    00:05
    0.85 mi
    10.7 mph
    0 ft
    550 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    A more recent addition to the trail centre, Pedalhounds is a two-dot orange downhill mountain biking track for experienced riders with some large technical trail features.

    

    You can access the Pedalhounds DH track from the Cafall trail, taking the few last sections of singletrack along Dragon's Back after

    by Katherine Moore

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  • Difficult
    00:05
    0.99 mi
    12.2 mph
    0 ft
    825 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The original downhill track at Cwmcarn, Y Mynydd, which translates as ‘the mountain’, is a phenomenal ride for experienced, adrenaline-seeking riders and racers kitted out with longer-travel enduro or downhill bikes, full face helmets and body armour.

    

    Therefore, though you can ride up to the trailhead

    by Katherine Moore

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    20.5 mi
  • Duration
    03:28 h
  • Elevation
    2,750 ft

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Cwmcarn Trail Centre — divine singletrack in the valleys of South Wales

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