Whether you’re a mountain biker, roadie, or trail runner, Aberystwyth offers some of Wales' best terrain. From rugged mountain trails to the flat sands and countryside of Cardigan Bay, there's something for everyone in and around the county town of Mid-Wales. We’ll take a look at some of the best mountain bike trails in and around Aberystwyth, so next time you visit, you know exactly where to head out first.
Bwlch Nant-yr-Arian is a forest situated on the mountains just inland from Aberystwyh. It offers epic wilderness riding with a huge range of trails and tracks. The forest is home to various undulating terrain and tracks, with plenty of steep ups and downs so you can get your thrills. Don’t worry; there are also plenty of smoother tracks, so regardless of your experience level, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself in the forest of Nant-yr-Arian.
The forest features some tarmac sections where the tracks crossroads or rivers, which can easily become slippery with rainfall. The best time to visit Nant-yr-Arian is in spring or autumn when there is less chance for rain or snowfall during your ride and fewer crowds (at least initially).
Coed y Brenin
Coed y Brenin, hailed as Natural Resources Wales’ ‘Mecca’, is a forest that boasts an ever-increasing network of excellent manmade singletrack courses, and is a great spot to take beginners and families. It’s north of Aberystwyth, located in Snowdonia National Park. With a wide range of tracks, ranging in length from 12 to 38km, it has something for all abilities and all weathers, seasons, ages and fitness levels.
There are a range of black, blue, red and green trails at Coed y Brenin; each colour grade has its own distinct feel and difficulty level. In general, Reds are short but technical; the Blacks are longer with more sustained climbs and descents, while the Blue offers an even intermediate challenge for somewhat experienced riders. Green trails are short and flat and ideal for children or inexperienced riders who want to enjoy the fresh air and scenery!
Coed Llandegla Forest
This is one of the most popular mountain biking locations in Wales, and there are plenty of trails to choose from. Located adjacent to Wrexham, it’s a good distance from Aberystwyth; but we think it's well worth the trip if you’re a mountain bike enthusiast. The forest is home to Oneplanet Adventure centre, one of the UK’s leading mountain bike trail centres. There’s a huge range of trails of all colours, so whether you’re a beginner or lifelong enthusiastic, you’ll find something within Coed Llandegla Forest to keep you entertained.
The visitor centre has maps showing you all the trails, along with their description, so it's easy to find one that suits your skill level. Once you're on the trail, there are signs that show where each different route leads—so there’s little chance of getting lost. There are also bike hire shops available at Coed Llandegla Forest- in case you left your bike at home.
Cwm Rheadr is a remote woodland located inland, to the southeast of Aberystwyth. It is home to one of the best mountain bike routes in Wales. There’s only one route here, but it’s so good we think it warrants the trip from Aberystwyth.
The trail descends into a valley full of oak trees and then climbs up onto a ridge before descending again back into the woods. It’s not an easy trail, but there are plenty of places to stop and enjoy some water if you need it!
There are also some great views from this route, including looking over Llyn Brianne reservoir towards the Brechfa Forest.
If you are looking for a place to ride your mountain bike that offers both challenging terrain and stunning scenery, look no further than Aberystwyth. Some of the most spectacular scenery surrounds the town in Wales, and a wealth of fantastic mountain bike trails can be found within a short car drive. To enjoy these trails we know you’ll need a base of operations – so if you’re looking for places to stay in Aberystwyth, try Park Lodge Hotel. We are perfectly located as a base to explore all the stunning scenery the county of Ceredigion has to offer by bike. With an in-house restaurant serving delicious, locally sourced food, we think it’s the perfect place to rest and refuel between shredding on the trails.