Penmachno is a quiet little Welsh village situated in Snowdonia about 4 miles from Betws Y Coed. The trail starts about half a mile outside the village with a long climb up the side of a hill called Pen-y-bryn and then loops off the main forest roads on man made single tracks. Some of this leads you out into open countryside with fantastic views of the local hills and mountains. It is unusual to be taken out from under the forest canopy and as such is much more open and spectacular than the other forestry centres like Marin Trail and Coed Y Brenin. The trails are well designed and have some swooping sections which get the adrenaline flowing. They are way marked with posts and arrows and it is virtually impossible to get lost.
Just through Penmachno village you will see the car park on the right. It is only small but can’t be missed.
The trail is made up of two loops. Loop 1 is about 16km and Loop 2 about 14km. Linking them can be fairly difficult if you do not want to go back to the car and make the starting climb back to the junction of Loop 1 & 2.
Otherwise it is fairly straight forward as it is way marked. However on the first time round be careful because once in full flow it is very easy to miss a marker.
All the single track loops off the wide forest track and the only decision will be whether to turn right to do Loop 2 or left to do Loop 1. Both are well worth doing with nothing scary, more XC stuff and some interesting switchback ascents.
Take the M56 to Queensferry and then onto the A55 to Conwy. At the Llandudno exit take the A470 to Bewts-Y- Coed passing through Llanrwst. At the junction with the A5 bear left (not to Betws) and continue for about 1.6 miles and turn right at the Conwy Falls sign to Penmachno. After 2 miles go through the village, right across the river and left at the pub. The car park is about half a mile on the right.
When to Bike
Biking is year round and a donation of £1 is well worth it to keep the trail open.
There are no facilities at the car park. There is a rather poor trail map posted on a board. Limited facilities i.e. a pub in the village.