Affiliate Disclosure: We are reader-supported. We may earn a small commission from affiliate links at no extra cost to you. All of our reviews are independently conducted.
In this post, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Coed y Brenin MTB trails. With our comprehensive guide, you’ll find out the best time to ride, trail difficulty, and more.
Coed y Brenin is a truly special mountain biking destination, with something for riders of all levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, the trails, facilities, and community at Coed y Brenin make it a must-visit destination for any mountain biker
Most trail centres have different routes for different abilities and they will be marked with the corresponding colours. All trail centres in the UK follow the same grading system so you will always know what level of trail you should be riding.
If you’re new to mountain biking you may not have seen these colour systems yet or may be confused as to which colour trail you should be riding. Here’s our quick guide to trail grading and what it all means…
Green trails are for beginners and families. They are generally wide, well-surfaced trails with minimal ascent or descent involved. They are often shared with walkers and are commonly forest access roads. These routes are great for exploring forests and a perfect way to find your confidence and improve your fitness on a bike.
Blue routes are the next step up from green routes. They often use some of the same forest access roads but will link together with some singletrack trails and some steeper hills to ride. You will need to be moderately fit and confident on your bike to ride these trails.
Red routes are what many trail centres are all about. Fast-flowing singletrack, steps, berms and drop-offs. These routes are not for beginners but they will probably be the routes that you will want to ride because they look like the most fun. Red routes will have steep climbs and technical descents with unavoidable drop-offs as well as rocky or rooty terrain. You will need a good level of fitness, stamina and technical ability to ride these trails.
Black routes are the extreme end of the scales, with very steep descents and large jumps and drop-offs. These trails require an expert level of ability and fitness. Many red routes will have some black options through the trails, meaning that you will have two options at certain points, a black graded drop or jump, or the easier red route around the obstacle. Be sure to know your ability before attempting a black route.
The Coed y Brenin Trail Centre
Coed y Brenin has some of the best mountain biking facilities in the UK. There’s a well-stocked bike shop, bike hire, a cafe, showers, and changing rooms. There’s also a skills area where you can practice your technique before hitting the trails.
Parking for Coed y Brenin MTB Trails
Coed y Brenin Forest Park has several car parks for visitors to access the mountain bike trails. The main car park, which is located near the Visitor Centre, is the largest and offers the most facilities. To get there, you will need to follow the signs for Coed y Brenin Forest Park from the A470 or the A494. Once you reach the park entrance, continue straight ahead and follow the signs for the Visitor Centre car park.
Alternatively, if you are using a sat-nav, the postcode LL40 2HZ should take you directly to the Visitor Centre car park. There are also several other smaller car parks located throughout the forest park, which are closer to certain trails.
Bike Hire at Coed y Brenin
The Beics Brenin bike shop, which is located at the Visitor Centre, offers a wide range of mountain bikes for hire, including hardtail, full suspension, and electric bikes. The shop also provides helmets and other safety equipment, as well as route maps and advice on the best trails to ride. It’s recommended to book in advance, especially during peak season, to ensure availability of your preferred bike type and size. The bike shop also provides bike repairs and maintenance services if needed.
The Coed y Brenin MTB Trails
One of the best things about Coed y Brenin is the number of trails here. There are plenty to tackle and you could come back week after week and still have something new to ride. And if you’re a beginner, there is a natural progression in the trails here, too. So you can start off on the gentle green trails and work your way up to the black trails as your skills, confidence and fitness improves.
Yr Afon (Green MTB Trail)
The green-graded Yr Afon trail is a great introduction to mountain biking in this beautiful part of Wales. The trail meanders through forest roads and takes you to viewpoints of stunning waterfalls. You’ll also spot signs of the old gold mines where Welsh gold was once found.
The trail runs for just over 10km, so it might be a bit of a stretch for younger children, but the trail is well-surfaced and doesn’t feature too much in the way of climbing or descending.
MinorTaur (Blue MTB Trail)
For those looking for a step up from the green-graded trail, the MinorTaur trail is the perfect place to get a taster of ‘proper’ mountain biking. Featuring flowing berms, steps and bumps, there is plenty to keep you entertained while you work on improving your techniques.
The route is essentially made up of four loops of around 3km each. You can ride them all in one go, or you can keep repeating the same loops while you build up your confidence.
Cyflym Coch (Red MTB Trail)
The red-graded Cyflym Coch is the natural progression once you’ve honed your skills on the MinorTaur trail. This 11 km trail features fast-flowing singletrack and a few more technical sections, as well as some short, steep climbs to tackle.
This trail is a lot of fun and you’ll want to go around again as soon as you finish, so keep some energy in the tank on your first attempt.
Temtiwr (Red MTB Trail)
Although the Temtiwr trail is technically graded as a red route, the same as Cyflym Coch, this one does feel a little bit more advanced and it features some longer climbs and more technical descents. You’ll need a good level of competence to tackle this one, but it’s a great taster of the more advanced trails that Coed y Brenin has to offer.
Dragon’s Back (Red MTB Trail)
The Dragon’s Back mtb trail at Coed y Brenin is pretty legendary. At 31 km long, it’s something of a challenge. The trail will take you to the top of Moel Hafodowen where you’ll probably want to stop for a breather while you enjoy the epic views over the surrounding hills and mountains, before psyching yourself up for the descents to come.
You’ll need a good level of fitness to tackle this one. And you’ll need to make sure you’ve got some basic equipment with you so you can deal with any punctures or mechanical issues, as you’ll be heading a good distance away from the trail centre.
Tarw Du (Black MTB Trail)
If you know your mountain biking history, you might know that this was the first purpose-built mountain bike trail in the UK – and the team at Coed y Brenin might even tell you this was the first mtb trail ever built, anywhere. In my book, that makes this a must-ride for anyone who loves mountain biking.
However, this is a black-graded trail and that means you’ve got to have expert-level skills and fitness. The trail features many technical sections, including the infamous ‘Y Slab’ which takes more than a bit of nerve to drop down on your first few attempts.
MBR (Black MTB Trail)
At 18 km, the MBR route packs in as much as possible in a short space, creating a pretty incredible trail that you can tackle in just a couple of hours.
Featuring many of the best bits of the longer trails, this is a great route to take on if you’re short on time, and it’s perfect for those after-work rides through the lighter months.
As with all of the black-graded mtb trails at Coed y Brenin, this is a challenging route and an expert level of competence is needed to get around it. Steep descents, rocks and drops are on the cards with this one.
The Beast of Brenin (Black MTB Trail)
Arguably, the Beast of Brenin is one of the most infamous trails in Wales. The trail, which is approximately 38 km long, is something of a monster and takes riders through challenging terrain that includes steep climbs, rocky descents, and technical singletrack sections. This one is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
You’ll need to be well-prepared for this route and take food, drinks and basic equipment with you. And keep your eyes peeled for the real Beast of Brenin, a mythical creature, also known as the Welsh Bigfoot, that is said to roam these parts.
FAQs – Coed y Brenin MTB Trails
What is the best time of year to ride at Coed y Brenin?
The best time of year to ride at Coed y Brenin is generally from spring through to autumn when the weather is mild and the trails are drier. However, getting muddy is lots of fun so you can tackle these trails all year round. Just be mindful of the daylight hours when taking on the longer routes.
How difficult are the trails at Coed y Brenin?
The trails at Coed y Brenin vary in difficulty from easy to extremely technical, with most trails being classified as intermediate to advanced.
Are there any family-friendly trails at Coed y Brenin?
Yes, there are several family-friendly trails at Coed y Brenin, including the MinorTaur trail and the Yr Afon trail.
Are there any facilities available at Coed y Brenin?
Yes, there are facilities available at Coed y Brenin, including a Visitor Centre, a café, toilets, and a bike shop.
Can I hire bikes and equipment at Coed y Brenin?
Yes, you can hire bikes and equipment at the Beics Brenin bike shop, which is located at the Visitor Centre.
Is there a fee to ride the trails at Coed y Brenin?
There is no fee to ride the trails at Coed y Brenin, but there is a parking fee for using the car park.
Are the trails well-marked and easy to navigate?
The trails at Coed y Brenin are well-marked and easy to navigate, with maps available at the Visitor Centre and on the Coed y Brenin website.
Are there any guided rides or coaching sessions available at Coed y Brenin?
Yes, there are guided rides and coaching sessions available at Coed y Brenin, provided by the Beics Brenin bike shop.
What should I wear and bring for a day of riding at Coed y Brenin?
For a day of riding at Coed y Brenin, it’s recommended that you wear appropriate mountain bike clothing, a helmet and gloves, and you should bring plenty of water and snacks. You should also bring some basic bike maintenance tools and spare inner tubes.
Make it a Weekend Adventure
Think of heading to the Coed y Brenin MTB trails? There is plenty to do here and you’ll struggle to fit it all into one day. Fortunately, there are plenty of mountain-biker-friendly hotels nearby…