Stage 7: Pontrhydfendigaid to Lake Vyrnwy — GB Divide
Includes a very steep uphill segment
You may need to push your bike.
0.29 mi in total
Road Cycling Highlight
Mountain Biking Highlight
Bike Touring Highlight
Bike Touring Highlight (Segment)
The Racing Collective planned a gravel ride.
March 24, 2020
This slightly shorter stage leaves the Cambrian Mountains behind to head north to Lake Vyrnwy, Powys. Today’s highlight is certainly the trail alongside Nant-y-Moch reservoir, and the fearsome Bwlch y Groes road climb, also known as Hellfire Pass.
Start off heading north on the sweeping road, before peeling off through the Hafod estate along the River Ystwyth. Climb on the road up to Hafod’s Arch where you’ll find the gravel road to your right. Enjoy these undulating forestry roads before rejoining the paved way to Ponterwyd, taking the immaculate tarmac north heading for Nant Y Moch reservoir.
After the gate, the road crumbles into gravel, rocky and loose, with frequent puddles even in the summer. It’s one of the most incredible off road trails in Wales, with barely any trace of human activity for miles around. Follow the technical path through the river crossing and over to the forests above Machynlleth, descending lanes past fields and forests down into the pretty and busy little market town for some refreshments and rest of the legs.
From Mach, follow National Cycle Route Eight climbing north before taking the singletrack trail up onto Mynydd Ty-Mawr. Take the forestry roads heading north east, descending down into Aberangell. Follow the valley road to Dinas Mawddwy before starting the mighty climb that is Hellfire Pass. It’s only two-and-a-half miles (four kilometres) long but it’s a real brute - good luck!
From the top of the pass, now in Snowdonia National Park, descend on road down the shores of beautiful Lake Vyrnwy. This is where today’s official stage ends, but to find accommodation, it’s best to trace the shoreline east to find campsites and hotels for the night.