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Author: Subject: MTB Trail Guide - Syfydrin Trail, Nant yr Arian

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posted on 26-9-2008 at 11:24 Reply With Quote
MTB Trail Guide - Syfydrin Trail, Nant yr Arian

The Continental Syfydrin Trail at Nant-yr-Arian.

Distance 35km

This trail is a mixture of the trail centre constructed trails through forestry and a longer loop out across moorland with a more XC feel to it. Although graded as Black (severe) there are very few technical obstacles, but at 35km with two large hills it is fairly physically demanding. The trail includes almost all of the Summit and Pendam Trails along with a large loop out through Welsh Mountain Scenery. It is well sign-posted but does take you into remote and exposed countryside so go equipped for any eventuality. (Many places on the route have poor or no mobile reception).

The trail starts at the well equipped Nant-yr-Arian Forest Visitor Centre. The visitor centre house a craft shop, cafe, toilets, showers and a bike wash. There are also plenty of forest walks starting here and a playground for the children. There isn't a bike shop, so no spares, repairs of hire facilities.

After a short shallow climb on forest road you immediately start the 'Italian Job' section. A lovely little downhill section with sweeping berms and a few little rocky drops. Nothing too technical but some good exposure on some of the berms. It is then a short climb up the the lake at Blaenmelindwr before heading off into the Welsh hills past Llyn Syfydrin (which the trail is named after) and then on across double track (which can get very wet in places) to the reservoir at Nant-y-Moch.

A short section on road along the reservoir takes you to another little climb along a surfaced road before heading back off across undulating, remote, and once again often quite wet double track. There are a couple of nice little rocky descents along here too and then the long descent into Boch Goch which has the odd rocky step or eroded gulley to negotiate.

At the bottom of the descent is a ford followed by some time on country roads through Bont Goch and across into the next valley where you start the Bont Goch climb. The climb goes up in stages, starting on the road and then on double track and has a steeper section to act as a sting in the tail. before you know it you are back in the forest with just a little more climbing to do before the nice flowing Hippity Hop singletrack section with its little jumps. This and the next couple of single track sections are part of the shorter, Pendam Trail. The next two sections of singletrack weave you through the forest on the west side of Llyn Blaenmelindwr. Although pleasant enough there are no real surprises here.

Next you head through the gate and up onto moorland again (following the route of the Summit Trail) before descending back into the forest for probably the best decent, The Mark of Zorro. Again, there is nothing too technical here. it starts of weaving through the trees before providing a couple of nice berms and then traverses back and forth across a steep hillside before emerging at the bottom of the hill with the visitor centre high above you.

You are now faced with the leg-burner, a 2 mile climb on forest roads. It isn't too steep, but does drag on a bit, especially with almost 20 miles in your legs already. At the top there are a few more sections of Singletrack for you to enjoy. The drunken Druid and the nice flowing 'High as a kite' before you emerge from the forest back at the Visitor Centre for a well earned flapjack..

A Google Earth file of the trail is available here:
Syfydrin Trail - Nant-yr-Arian. Just download it and open with Google Earth

If you have a GPS unit with you whilst on this trail then it passes four geocaches that I have hidden which may provide you with an excuse for a rest:
The first you pass is Watery Wales 1 - Llyn Blaenmelindwr
Next up is Watery Wales 1 - Llyn Syfydrin
Followed quite a while later by Watery Wales 1 - Llyn Pendam
and finally Watery Wales 1 - Llyn Rhosgoch

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