Attractions & Activities

Cwmcarn Forest – Mountain Biking

Do you dream about riding that perfect piece of singletrack? Of twisting up through story-book woodland; the light filtering perfectly through the trees as your legs burn and beg forgiveness, before making a faultless transition into that smooth, flowing descent?

Named after the fearsome wild boar of the Mabinogion legends the trail has it all, testing climbs, swooping descents and demanding technical sections. In 15.5km of almost pure singletrack through a landscape once scarred by coal mining now lives one of Wales’ hidden gems. Best of all – the trails can be ridden.

Y Mynydd downhill

Y Mynydd Downhill isn’t for the faint-hearted. Loads of berms, a few switch backs, doubles, a tunnel, rock steps, the bridge, hip jump, then there’s the quarry gap if you’ve got the guts, and the bottom section which is just nuts, totally flat out. Designed by Phil Saxena of ‘Full Contact Racing’ and built by local riders including Rowan Sorrell, means this is one of the best downhill venues in the UK. The course is split into two runs, the 2-light run and the 3-light run, which merge about a third of the way down the mountain. The 2-light run is the easier of the two so that’s the best place to start if its your first time. The 3-light run should be left to the more experienced rider as it’s a bit steeper in places. The whole course is rollable, as long as you’re careful. There are some really big jumps at Cwmcarn, but you can easily go round them if you want to. However, if you do like to fly then you’re in for a real treat. Trail Grade – Bike Park Extreme

Twrch Trail

This is a superb trail of the very highest quality that is not for the faint hearted. Virtually the entire route is on a purpose built single-track. The riding varies from open and flowing hard pack to tight technical and rooty and is rideable in all weather. In places the trail hugs the sides of some very steep wooded side slopes, demanding concentration, whilst in others it sweeps along open ground giving you the chance to take in dramatic views of the Bristol Channel and the surrounding hills. Trail Grade – Red Difficult

Cafall Trail – 14k cross country trail

Climbing to altitudes over 400 metres, this trail gives you a real sense of adventure.

Tough climbs and tight hand-built singletrack sections combine with some fantastic steep and technical descents (Watch out for the Hideout, Rocky Valley, Heartbreak Ridge and Powder House sections) all delivering a fantastic ‘natural’ feel for more experienced riders only. You will be rewarded with some amazing riding and stunning views of the surrounding area on a trail that takes you out in to some of the most remote areas of Cwmcarn Forest. You will need to be self-sufficient and expect weather changes on this tough and challenging ‘Red graded’ trail. Trail Grade – Red Difficult

Pedalhounds Trail

Access to the ‘Pedalhounds’ Black-graded trail is either via the Cafall XC trail or the onsite uplift service. It is an optional linear cross-country trail but requires much higher advanced riding skills and equipment than a Red-graded XC trail.

If you are looking for a friendly bike shop, PS Cycles are located on the Trail Centre at Cwmcarn Forest Drive.

Providing Cross Country Bike Hire/MTB skills coaching for Cwmcarn catering from 1 to 12 people in a party.

For Cwmdown uplift service visit the website:

Essential information

Cwmcarn, Nr Crosskeys
NP11 7FE
Contact Name
Mike Owen
01495 272001
Social Media
Facebook Page
Free to ride the trails. Charge for uplift service and car parking.
CTA Member

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